Dr. Reese’s Bits and Pieces
May 2018 Newsletter
For the most part, the days are longer and the weather warmer so it’s starting to feel like summer is just around the corner. Of course, there is still the possibility of snow especially around Mother’s Day. Wishing a happy month to all the Mothers in the world for all the things you do to brighten our day!
Not So Bright
As we come out of the “flu season”, how many of us made it through the winter without taking an antibiotic? Sometimes our immune system is so weak we need a drug to help us win the battle. But what is that doing in the long run to our chance of beating the next infection? Below are excerpts from a recent article on Mercola.com.
Drug Resistant Bugs
According to the largest review of the drug resistance problem to date, by 2050 the annual global death toll from antibiotic-resistant disease will reach 10 million. At present, an estimated 23,000 Americans die each year from drug-resistant infections, and the death toll will continue to rise until or unless the underlying causes are properly addressed.
One significant driver of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is the routine use of antibiotics in agriculture.As noted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in 2016, "The rapid spread of new disease strains ... is one very visible reason why the expansion of factory-style animal production is viewed as unsustainable."
Another major contributor to and source of drug-resistant infections is hospitals. According to statistics by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 25 patients now contracts a hospital-acquired infectionand many of them are resistant to drug treatment. Most disturbing of all, some infections are now exhibiting "panresistance," meaning they're resistant to every antibiotic in existence.
Tests conducted last year on nearly 5,780 antibiotic-resistant bacterial samples collected from hospitals and nursing homes revealed 1 in 4 samples contained genes known to confer drug resistance, and 221 contained a particularly rare drug-resistance gene that confers a very high level of resistance. Principal deputy director of the CDC, Dr. Anne Schuchat, told CNN she was "surprised by the numbers found."
The 221 samples came from 27 different states, which shows this particularly troublesome drug-resistance gene has already spread far and wide. It was also found in a number of different types of infections, including samples of pneumonia, bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections.
Other Drugs with Similar Effects
In related news, scientists warn that antibiotics are not the only type of drug capable of altering the human microbiome and posing a significant health threat. According to researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany, antidiabetic drugs, proton pump inhibitors, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and atypical antipsychotics are all capable of upsetting the composition of your microbiome.
Of the 1,000 nonantibiotic drugs tested in vitro, one-quarter of them were found to inhibit the growth of at least one species of human gut bacteria. Forty of the drugs impacted 10 or more species. As predicted, 78 percent of antibacterial drugs tested inhibited one or more species of gut bacteria, but the fact that so many drugs designed to target human cells, not microbes, were also found to affect the microbiome took them by surprise. Senior author professor Peer Bork commented on the findings, saying:
"The number of unrelated drugs that hit gut microbes as collateral damage was surprising. Especially since we show that the actual number is likely to be even higher. More human-targeted drugs would inhibit bacterial growth if probed at higher doses, closer to physiological concentrations. [And] analysis indicates that if more gut species were tested, the fraction of human-targeted drugs with anti-commensal activity would increase."
Another surprise: The team also found that the microbes' resistance mechanisms to human-targeted drugs had a "large degree of overlap" with those of antibiotics. What this means is that even nonantibiotic drugs may promote antibiotic resistance. As noted by the authors, "The potential risk of nonantibiotics promoting antibiotic resistance warrants further exploration.
A studythat appears to support these findings was recently published in JAMA Pediatrics. Here, they found that use of either antibiotics or antacids during infancy increased the risk of childhood allergies, including asthma, to an equal degree. For this study, the Tricare health records of nearly 800,000 children born between 2001 and 2013 were reviewed. The follow-up period averaged 4.5 years, at which point more than half of the children had developed some form of allergy.
While the root cause remains uncertain, there appears to be a strong relationship between allergy development and the use of antibiotics and antacids. Babies who received antacids such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2 blockers) at some point during their first six months of life had twice the risk of developing a food allergy, especially for cow's milk, and a 50 percent higher risk of hay fever and anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction.
Babies given antibiotics during the first six months of life had more than twice the risk of asthma, a 14 percent increased risk for food allergy, as well as a 50 percent higher risk of anaphylaxis and hay fever. According to the researchers, the common link between antacids and antibiotics is their impact on intestinal bacteria.
By altering the balance of gut bacteria, it can cause the child's immune system to overreact, triggering an allergy. The scientists also noted there's evidence to suggest antacids affect the digestion of proteins and may alter the development of a child's immune system pathways. Senior author and pediatric gastroenterologist at Uniformed Services University, Dr. Cade Nylund, told The New York Times:
"Let's not prescribe these medicines for things that are very common in babies. Just because a baby spits up doesn't mean that it's a disease that requires treatment with a PPI. And we have to avoid overprescribing antibiotics for upper respiratory infections and other viral illnesses."(https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/04/17/cre-with-rare-new-resistance-conferring-genes.aspx)
Keeping your vitamin D blood levels over 60 will help support your immune system. Eating fermented foods like pickels, olives, sauerkraut, vinegar, etc. will help restore your gut flora. Taking enzymes and HCL will improve your digestion. If you have reflux or indigestion, there is a cause that needs to be delat with and not covered up with antacids or other medications. At the very least, chew up DGL instead of antacids because at least it is trying to heal your stomach.
Since there is no such thing as a “normal cold”, treat any early symptoms immediately with echinacea, goldenseal, berberine, more vitamin D and vitamin C, oregano, garlic, etc. Increase your water intake and rest. These steps will usually keep the infection from getting worse and make drugs unnecessary. Drug resistant bugs are a real problem that is only getting worse each year. Don’t add to the problem if you can help it.
We will be closed Friday April 27-Monday 4/30 for a long weekend break. See you on May 1st.