How our antibiotics fixation is going to kill us

Taking a pill
It might make you feel better – but long-term it’s worse

It starts with a bacon sarnie – maybe our most addictive pleasure.

Super-bad for you of course, described by health experts as a “health time bomb in a bun“.

Ah yes, because it’s high fat and a major cause of atherosclerosis – bacon, butter, brown sauce and bread – overdo them and you’re dead.

Actually no – unless you pig out something stupid.

It’s how the bacon gets that way – solid, meaty taste you can’t resist. What happens out on the farm.

A disaster already happening

Antibiotics is how.

Because there’s a lot of money in pigs. So you’ll find them crowded together in high-intensity breeding sheds. Always dirty, often unhygienic – lots of pigs living close to each other, lots of pig poo – a real mission to keep healthy.

Which is where the antibiotics come in. Lots of healthy pigs, a sure-fire success.

Plus there’s a bonus. Antibiotics in their food makes pigs bulk up, especially from young. Bigger, heavier pigs – even more money.

It works the same with poultry – all those mega chicken sheds the size of aircraft hangers. Put antibiotics in their feed and you get bigger, better chickens – they even eat less too. Higher profits, lower overheads.

Which is why antibiotics are used across the board in all livestock production. Beef and dairy cattle. Lamb and mutton. A massive chunk of the food industry on an industrial scale – 65,000 tons a year world wide and rising.

One heck of a health time bomb.

Over-used and useless

Because when it comes to the purpose antibiotics were designed for – fighting disease in human beings – they’re beginning not to work any more. Over-use and abuse have trained bacteria how to be resistant. Our medicines are useless.

Mind you, we’re not exactly innocent ourselves. Jumping up and down with every minor ailment, demanding antibiotics from the Doc like they’re Smarties. Not finishing the course half the time when we get them – teaching bugs to be even more resistant.

“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics.”

*Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies

Catastrophic, yes. But that’s not the time bomb.

The real one is ticking away in our kids.

Because what do antibiotics do? They either destroy bacteria, or slow down their growth – bactericidal or bacteriostatic.

Bacteria are us

But it’s a slowly dawning fact of life that we ourselves are more bacteria than human – colonised over our whole evolution and outnumbered 10 to 1. In our gut alone, there are more than 100 trillion of them – doing the heavy work of digesting, producing proteins and regulating our immune systems.

Hold that thought – regulating our immune systems.

Which means when that antibiotic capsule dissolves in our gut, it’s like a nuclear explosion. 100 trillion bacteria – boom! Yes, it gets rid of the bad guys, but there’s collateral damage too – good guys caught in the crossfire.

No wonder there’s side effects – cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea. All from fighting infection in a hip operation – what’s that about?

Yeah, that’s what happens when we take a pill. But that’s not the time bomb either.

You see, we’ve all of us been taking antibiotics continuously since birth – and even before.

They’re in the food we eat – the beef, pork, mutton and poultry. They’re in our vegetables too – from soil enriched by animal fertiliser. No getting away from it, we’re full of the things.

But hold it.

If bacteria regulate our immune system and antibiotics destroy them, what does that do to the rest of us?

System under threat

Plays havoc with our defences, right? Takes down our protective shield at exactly the same time that bad guy bacteria learn how to be invincible. Double whammy BOOM-BOOM!

Now flash-back to why those young piggy-wigs get antibiotics in the first place. Not the health reason, the money reason.

To bulk them up. Bigger, better, fatter pigs.

And don’t forget the “from young” bit. So their bodies LEARN to be fat.

Just like we humans do – and have been doing – more and more visibly throughout the last generation. Learning to get fat. Shaped that way by antibiotics. Hello Twenty-First Century obesity.

Yeah, you got it. We’ve done it to ourselves and keep doing it. Getting in deeper and paying the price.

We start as babies – our immune systems shaped and trained by our mothers’ own metabolism. Her bacteria teach ours – about good and bad. Some of her passive bad guys even teaching us about bogies we’ve neither of us met.

But she’s got antibiotics in her system from the food she eats – and so have we. Not even born and we’re already picking up bad habits.

It gets worse

There’s an even bigger hiccup if the birth goes iffy. Docs can save Mum and us by doing a C-section – a caesarean to get us out of trouble. It stops the bacterial learning curve though. Once that umbilical cord is cut, her system can’t teach us any more. We’ve got to go with what we’ve got.

Then whoops, what happens if she goes onto feeding us with formula? Any last-minute briefing sessions in her breast milk are denied to us – our bacteria have to make do with an incomplete picture. They don’t know how to recognise dangers, or what to do when they happen.

Yeah, yeah – but the world’s a healthier place than it was generations ago. Clean water, fewer diseases, better living conditions, less chance to get sick.

Except antibiotics have graunched our systems.

Our bacteria don’t see threats, so they make up phantoms. Reacting to things that aren’t there with very real symptoms – allergies, asthma. When you were growing up, how many kids did you know who broke out in hives from a peanut butter sandwich? Or went into full anaphylactic shock?

And now we’re getting fat, too. Never mind what we eat, we bulk up – like our bodies were trained to from birth.

Yeah, antibiotics.

We can’t live with them, we can’t live without them.

But not all bad

Except that’s not entirely true.

Inside our bodies we’re OK, protected by our own bacteria. It’s the outside nasties we’ve got to handle – viruses, bacteria and fungi, waiting to have a go at us.

Washing our hands is a start. Getting rid of germs on our skin we might ingest otherwise.

Sterilising our surroundings is our best follow-up. Misting up our living space with ionised hydrogen peroxide from a Hypersteriliser – oxidising all germs to nothing, keeping ourselves safe.

We may not stop the time bomb.

But at least we can try to slow it down.* Note: Professor Dame Sally Davies was England’s Chief Medical Officer from June 2010 to September 2019. As of October 2019, the current Chief Medical Officer is Professor Chris Whitty.

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 10 December 2018 @ 4:54 pm

Originally posted on 10 December 2018 @ 4:54 pm

Mad cows invade hospitals

Woman mimes c ow
Infection is no joke – you’re right to be mad

Somewhere out there, according to a recent study by the BMJ, around one in every 2,000 Britons is a carrier of CJD proteins – the building blocks of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and human form of “Mad Cow” disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Cast your mind back, and you’ll recall BSE was a disaster for British agriculture that led to a 10-year ban on British beef across the EU and 4.4 million cattle being destroyed.

But right now it’s not BSE that’s making cows mad. And believe us, they’re not just mad – they’re out-of-their-skulls furious.

Antibiotics junkies

Seems we human beings cannot stop ourselves messing around with things beyond our control – especially the way we use antibiotics any time a biological challenge pops up to test us.

Antibiotics again, huh?

Give it five years, they’ll be our biggest health problem. Across the world, doctors are tearing their hair out because a whole slew of these vitally necessary wonder-drugs are just not working any more.

Resistant superbugs

Using them for everything has triggered a new wave of pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics – and all of a sardine, doctors are thrown back into Nineteenth Century treatment methods.

Which is exactly why the cows are mad.

We should be too – mad at ourselves at being so stupid. Because over-reliance on antibiotics is coming back to bite us, big time.

All that panic about Ebola because there’s no cure? The day is coming when you could die from a paper cut. Because it’s not just our stupid selves who keep insisting on antibiotics – it’s the whole farming industry worldwide.

Widespread over-use

For instance, five years ago, 80% of the antibiotics sold in the US were used on farms. Today, it’s even more.

80%!

So we bring it on ourselves.

Because, right on cue – surprise, surprise – it now seems that a livestock variant of the MRSA superbug has jumped from farm animals to hospitals and baby clinics, with three instances recently recorded in Scotland.

Now MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) itself is bad enough – major grief for hospitals trying to prevent post-op infections and other medical uphill.

But this is strain CC398, a particularly nasty variant – a super-MRSA – way more virulent and certainly life-threatening. You’re right to be mad about it, just like the cows.

Especially when you realise that antibiotics are so widely used on farms, they’re regularly included in feedstuffs to boost easier production of healthier animals without the hassles. Not just for when they’re ill, but every day for breakfast, lunch and supper. No wonder it’s 80%.

And a lot of the time, completely unnecessary.

Symptoms, not cause

You see, chucking antibiotics into feedstuffs is treating symptoms, not cause.

It’s no even treating – it’s anticipating. Pouring antibiotics down the poor animals’ throats because they MIGHT develop an infection.

Talk about compounding the problem.

Because it’s not just strain CC398 – just to put your mind at ease, there are 270,000 strains of MRSA, each potentially harmful.

Yet without using antibiotics or chucking anything down their throats, it’s simple enough to treat the same animals’ living quarters so they’re completely sterilised – to lower the infection threshold to nothing.

No germs, no infections. What’s the problem?

We can do exactly the same with our own environment too – reducing our own dependence on antibiotics. It’s attacking the problem BEFORE anything happens – treating cause, not symptoms.

Before, not after

There’s lots of ways to do it.

With Ebola in the news, a lot of action is happening around hospital robots that irradiate UV light, destroying viruses and bacteria in the air before they get near the patient. Expensive, but effective.

A lot of other places in the US use ozone generators, particularly in old age homes. It destroys pathogens by oxidising them to nothing – ripping them apart with extra oxygen atoms.

Even better is hydrogen peroxide, another super-oxidiser. By ionising the stuff into an ultra-fine dry-mist spray, it spreads upwards and outwards, actively grabbing at pathogens by electrostatic charge.

It reaches everywhere too. Up to the ceiling, into all the cracks and crevices. Sterilising the average room in around twenty minutes flat. No germs, no anything – especially MRSA.

So if you had that available in your hospital, wouldn’t you be mad if they didn’t use it?

It’s not just the cows – it’s all of us. We need to take our hygiene habits up a level.

Then we know we’ll be safe by prevention, antibiotics or not.

Silly old moos!

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Originally posted on 21 July 2018 @ 2:58 am

Originally posted on 21 July 2018 @ 2:58 am