I was born in 1978. At that time my mother was experiencing the fashionable bottled fed experience. I was breastfed only during my first three moths of life. As a consequence, my gut was populated by a combination of different bacteria which predispose myself to different health problems.
Dr Natasha Cambell-Mc Bride MD, MMedSci (Neurology and Nutrition) author of Gut and Phychology Syndrome acknowledge that babies are born with a sterile gut and breastfeeding is the only opportunity they have in their lives to populate the entire surface of the gut with a healthy mixture of bacteria to lay the basis of the future health.
With the health problems Antibiotics came along. I agree with Dr. David Perlmutter, MD board-certified neurologist and fellow of the American College of Nutrition, I can’t talk about antibiotics without paying tribute to them. However, we need to be aware of what Dr Perlmutter quoted in his book Brain Maker. Alexander Fleming , the inventor of the Penicillium during his Nobel Prize lecture in 1945 said “The time may come when penicillin can be bought by anyone in the shops. Then there is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and, by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug, make them resistant”.
Today we all have taken antibiotics in our lives. It is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in our modern world. Antibiotics are also used extensively in agriculture and farming. They are used to treat infection as well as to make animals grow larger and mature earlier. These antibiotics eventually find their way into meat, poultry and dairy products. We are likely exposed to this group of drugs on a regular basis, not only through prescription, but aso through food.
What does Antibiotics do in your body? Dr. Cambell explained as follows:
- Antibiotics have a devastating effect on beneficial bacteria in the human body, not only in the gut but in other organs and tissues.
- Antibiotics change bacteria, viruses and fungi from benign to pathogenic, giving them the ability to invade tissues and cause disease.
- Antibiotics make bacteria resistant to antibiotics, so the industry has to work on more and more powerful new antibiotics to attack this new changed bacteria.
- Antibiotics have a direct damaging effect on the immune system making us more vulnerable to infections, which leads to a vicious cycle of more antibiotics and more infections.
When an antibiotic is prescribed in a high dose, it leaves the gut with a lot of empty niches to be populated by whatever bacteria, viruses or fungi get there first. Even when the course of the antibiotic is short and the dose is low, it takes beneficial bacteria in the gut a long time to recover (from one week to one month!).
I have learned and took the advise from Dr. Perlmutter, when I think I need an antibiotic for myself or for my child I weigh the pros and cons. Actually, my baby got sick recently and when I visited my pediatrician I was intended to talk with her about how to use wisely antibiotics at this specific case. It was not necessary. She, by herself, pointed out when will be the correct moment to use the Antibiotic. I am so glad to be surrounded with sources that help me out to take the decision that makes more sense to me. I am grateful for all the information that brings to me the bigger picture and for be connected with people that share this knowledge.