Consumer Alert: Even Small Doses of Antibiotics Can Fuel Antibiotic Resistance
The threat of antibiotic resistance is a growing problem across the globe. In fact, the crisis is so urgent that a 2014 report from the World Health Organization (WHO), states: “A post-antibiotic era — in which common infections and minor injuries can kill — far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century.”
And in a recent press release, the director of WHO’s Antimicrobial Resistance Secretariat, Dr. Marc Sprenger, notes that some of the world’s most common, and potentially most dangerous, infections are now proving to be drug resistant.
Overuse of medically prescribed antibiotics plays a large role. In fact, about one in every three antibiotic prescriptions is unnecessary. But misuse of these prescription drugs isn’t the only factor contributing to the problem…
Low Dose of Antibiotic Exposure Increases Resistance by More Than a Thousand Times
In addition to medical exposure to high doses of antibiotics, we’re also bombarded by low doses of these drugs every day.
This includes exposure to the antibiotics added to animal feed, those that end up in lakes and soil via wastewater, and the ones used in aqua-farms that raise farmed fish all contribute to low-dose exposure. All of these eventually end up in the foods we eat.
Now, a new study shows that bacteria exposed to low doses of antibiotics develop resistance over time. And not by just a little bit; the bacteria actually become resistant to antibiotic levels more than a thousand times higher than they were initially subjected to.
The study also found that the DNA mutations leading to this high level of resistance are of a different type than if they had been exposed to a high dose.
As if this isn’t bad enough, it turns out that antibiotics aren’t the only medication we should be concerned about these days…
Common Medications May Contribute to Antibiotic Resistance
In a startling review of over 1,000 commonly used medications, a team of researchers found that many drugs exhibit antibiotic-like side effects and may promote antibiotic resistance.
Specifically, one in four drugs inhibited the growth of at least one species of bacteria commonly found in a healthy gut microbiome. Some of the medications included in the study included those that reduce stomach acid, antiviral drugs, antipsychotics and some blood pressure medications.
“This is scary, considering that we take many non-antibiotic drugs in our life, often for long periods,” says Nassos Typas, one of the group leaders involved in the study.
“Still, not all drugs will impact gut bacteria and not all resistance will be common. In some cases, resistance to specific non-antibiotics will trigger sensitivity to specific antibiotics,” adds Typas.
ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE Global Report on Surveillance. World Health Organization. 2014.
High levels of antibiotic resistance found worldwide, new data shows. World Health Organization. 2018.
Small amounts of antibiotics can cause resistance. News Release. Uppsala University. Apr 2018.
Commonly used drugs affect our gut bacteria. News Release. European Molecular Biology Laboratory. Mar 2018.
Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”