Keep it Real TV Episode 36

Video by Dr. Chad Larson

In episode 36 of his video series, Dr. Larson discusses: 

  • Humans are made up of microbiome, which is an accumulation of all the bacteria that we have both in and on our bodies
  • The average human has about ten trillion human cells and approximately one hundred trillion bacterial cells, which is about a ten to one ratio
  • We have about 20 thousand genes compared to about 20 million bacterial genes, meaning we are more microbe than human
  • That is why it is becoming more apparent that we need to know how to share the environment so that we can maintain good health and ward off disease
  • It isn't a new finding that we have a massive increase of antibiotic resistant bacteria or superbugs in the environment that are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics
  • The pharmaceutical companies are working hard to developing stronger and more powerful antibiotics to fight the new resistant strains
  • The more that antibiotics are prescribed to humans, livestock, and animals, the more antibiotic resistant bacteria we have, also not a new concept
  • With billions of prescriptions around the globe, it is a recipe for disaster
  • When you take antibiotics, they work by killing off the drug sensitive bacteria that is causing illness
  • But, there is also something called "opportunistic bacteria," which can survive the antibiotics
  • No longer left in check, the drug resistant bacteria become stronger and stronger, and that resistant bacteria is left unchecked to swap genes and mutate in the environment to become even more powerful
  • A recent study published in the British Medical Journal, which is tantamount to the Journal of American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at the course of antibiotic recommendations and their origins
  • As much as the researchers looked for origins of the prescribing duration of antibiotic, they could find nothing
  • The only related search found was traced to a speech that the founder of antibiotics, Sr. Alexander Fleming gave when he accepted a Nobel Prize in 1945, which was "if you give antibiotics, give enough," or err on the side of over-treating
  • The assumption since the discovery of antibiotics has been that if you don't over treat a bacteria with antibiotics, then you make it more resilient
  • But, the reality is that when you over treat, you are putting more antibiotic resistant bacteria into the environment and allowing it to swap genes and become more powerful
  • That challenges the common notion that patients have been told, namely, take all the antibiotics that are prescribed
  • Although deeply ingrained into both the patient and the medical community, the exact opposite might be true
  • The Hippocratic oath is to do no harm, which translates into giving the minimal effective dose
  • Most people feel much better after about 24 to 72 hours after taking antibiotics but are told not to discontinue taking the prescription until they have finished it all
  • Evidence is emerging that two to three days might be enough to kill off the drug sensitive bacteria without leaving an abundance of drug resistant bacteria left unchecked and to mingle with the environment and wreak havoc
  • Before you accept the recommendations for your next antibiotic course, if you need it, you might want to read the results published by the University of Oxford in July and have a real conversation with your physician


Related Slideshows:

Keep it Real TV Episode 17

How exposure to the environment affects brain and body health, and, why decreasing that exposure, is so critical for long-term quality of life.
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Keep it Real TV Episode 12

Did you know that genetics only account for about one-third of the risk factor for autoimmune diseases?
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Don't Like the Taste of Leafy Greens? The Good Bacteria in Your Gut Do

A critical discovery that bacteria feed on an unusual sugar molecule found in leafy green vegetables could provide an important insight into how "good" bacteria protect our gut and promote health.
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