A recent study has been gaining the spotlight of those in traditional and alternative medical communities; it reveals antibiotic use to be potentially more harmful than previously thought.
The Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control a few years ago studied the short-term and long-term effects on the flora of the lower intestine and throat with the administration of the antibiotics clarithromycin and metronidazole.
The abstract for the study can be found here.
But in summary (and hopefully readable English)…
The natural flora (bacteria that exist in the gut and help with metabolic and digestive processes) was significantly disturbed in the test subjects (the people who actually took the antibiotics). In other words, their digestive track got jacked.
While their gut did eventually return to normal, for some of the test subjects that process took four years.
Additionally, after four years, some of the test subjects were found to still be harboring the macrolide resistance gene: erm(B). In other words, antibiotic-resistance was created within the test subject’s bodies, and even after four years, some of them still had the gene that made them antibiotic-resistant.
The study concluded with these words:
This highlights the importance of a restrictive antibiotic usage in order to prevent subsequent treatment failure and potential spread of antibiotic resistance.
This is a fantastic articulation (and a scientific one, at that) of why we should all avoid not only the use of antibiotics in our own body (except perhaps as a last resort), but the consumption of meat (and patronizing of the farms that produce it) that was treated with routine antibiotics.
If you’re wondering if your meat came from an animal that was given antibiotics, here’s an informal test I would use:
-Am I eating beef, pork, or chicken at a restaurant that hasn’t said anything about how those animals were raised?
-Am I purchasing meat at the supermarket that does not mention anything like “grass-fed” or “grass-finished” or “antibiotic-free” or “certified organic”?
If the answer to either of those is, “Yes,” then you should at least suspect that you’re eating meat from animals that were given antibiotics. It’s not a guarantee that you are, but you should be suspicious.
If the answer is, “No,” then it’s not a guarantee that you’re eating antibiotic-free meat, but it’s more likely that you are. Your best bet is to do your research and know from whom you are buying.
Buying at a local farmers market (like Osage Beach Farmers Market!!!) is also a good way to know your farmer and ask them about how they raised their meat.
Here’s to healthy guts and the wonderful bacteria they (should) contain!