The discovery of penicillin has often been described as a miracle drug. Prior to its discovery, death could occur in what would appear to be very trivial injuries and diseases by today’s standards. It could occur from minor wounds that became infected or from common diseases such as strep throat and pneumonia. There’s no question that penicillin and today’s modern antibiotics can save lives.
But their use has come at a cost.
Antibiotics destroy the intestinal flora and recent research shows that much of the beneficial bacteria is permanently destroyed, even if probiotics are given after antibiotic use.
Martin Blaser of New York University’s Langone Medical Center argues that antibiotics’ impact on gut bacteria is permanent and so serious in their long term consequences that medicine should consider whether to restrict antibiotic prescribing to pregnant women and young children.
Early evidence from my lab and others hints that, sometimes, our friendly flora never fully recover. These long-term changes to the beneficial bacteria within people’s bodies may even increase our susceptibility to infections and disease. Overuse of antibiotics could be fuelling the dramatic increase in conditions such as obesity, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and asthma, which have more than doubled in many populations.
Previous studies on farm animals have also shown that antibiotic use leads to an increase in antibiotic resistance in animals taking the drugs as well as in people working on the farms where those animals live. Even when farmers stop using the drugs, resistance persists for years, as mothers pass their drug-resistant flora down to their offspring for generations.
Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to antibiotics. Instead of using antibiotics as a first line of defence, try one of the many natural options available. They can be quite effective and they just might help your dog avoid immune system complications and inflammatory diseases that can be caused by antibiotic use. Here are three natural options you should have on hand.
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