Antibiotics Pose Hidden Health Risks
Antibiotics are also massively overused in human medicine, which also contributes to the development of drug resistance. Antibiotic misuse and overuse also puts your health at risk in other ways.
For example, fluoroquinolones have been shown to increase your risk of aortic dissection (a tear in the wall of the major artery, allowing blood to flow between the layers) or aortic rupture, which can lead to death.
And even though these antibiotics carry a “black-box” warning, fluoroquinolones are still often prescribed for upper respiratory infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs). In fact, according to a 2022 investigation,14 fluoroquinolones remain among the most-prescribed antibiotics in the world.
As noted by the authors, the lack of understanding of the risk profile of this class of antibiotics is putting patients at risk, and there’s “a dire need” to initiate educational campaigns among health care professionals to prevent unnecessary harm to patients.
Fluoroquinolones, along with nitrofurantoin, cephalosporins, sulfas and broad-spectrum penicillins, have also been linked to the development of kidney stones. The association is most pronounced among younger children and, with the exception of broad-spectrum penicillin, this risk remains statistically significant for up to five years after exposure.
Studies have also found an association between oral antibiotics and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer, likely due to disruption of the gut microbiome.
According to research presented at the Digestive Disease Week conference held in San Diego, California, in May 2022, use of antibiotics was associated with a 64% increased risk of developing IBD, and the risk increased with additional doses.15
Compared with those who had taken no antibiotics in the previous five years, the risk of IBD in those who received five or more antibiotics prescriptions was increased by 236%. And, while all classes of antibiotics were associated with increased IBD risk, fluoroquinolones again took the lead, having the strongest association.
Natural Antimicrobials to the Rescue
Considering their many risks, I advise using antibiotics only as a last resort. The good news is there are many natural plant-based remedies that will help kill bacteria without the risk of building resistance, including the following.
|Garlic — Garlic has been used to fight bacterial and parasitical infections for centuries. According to a 2014 review,16 garlic has been proven effective against “a plethora of gram-positive, gram-negative, and acid-fast bacteria,” including but not limited to Salmonella, E. coli, Klebsiella, Clostridium and Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus.
Importantly, garlic “exerts a differential inhibition between beneficial intestinal microflora and potentially harmful enterobacteria,” meaning it inhibits bad bacteria while leaving good bacteria alone.17
Research also supports the use of garlic and garlic derivatives for chronic external- and middle-ear infections.18 Garlic-infused oils are commercially available, but it’s also easy to make your own.19
|Ginger — A 2020 study20 demonstrated that ginger essential oil was effective against E. coli and S. aureus, two bacteria involved in periodontal infections. Another study21 found a 10% ginger extract effectively killed Streptococcus mutans, Candida albicans and Enterococcus faecalis, which are also implicated in the causation of oral infections. More than a dozen other bacteria are also vulnerable to its effects,22 as are a number of biofilms.23
Ginger is not suitable for children under age 2, and adults should not take more than 4 grams of ginger per day. Pregnant women are advised to cap their intake at 1 gram per day.24
|Echinacea — According to Mount Sinai Hospital,25 echinacea extract may be used to treat “urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast (candida) infections, ear infections (also known as otitis media), athlete’s foot, sinusitis, hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis), as well as slow-healing wounds.” As a general recommendation for infection, take it three times a day for a maximum of 10 days.26
|Goldenseal — One of the main constituents of goldenseal is berberine, known for its potent antibacterial properties. Berberine primarily kills gram-positive bacteria, including MRSA.
According to Mount Sinai,27 goldenseal is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with high blood pressure, liver disease or heart disease should discuss its use with their medical provider, as it can interfere with medications prescribed for these conditions. Potential adverse effects include irritation of the skin, mouth, throat and vagina, and increased sensitivity to sunlight.
|Myrrh oil — When an antibiotic fails to kill off all the bacteria, you can end up with nongrowing bacterial persister cells. While these persisters do not undergo genetic change to make them resistant to the antibiotic, they often end up forming biofilms and are a major cause of chronic low-grade infections.28
This is where myrrh oil really shines, as research29 shows it preferentially kills off these nongrowing persister cells, and do so without the risk of promoting resistance. Other research suggests it may be useful in the treatment of gingivitis,30 treatment-resistant trichomoniasis vaginalis31 (a sexually transmitted disease) and Lyme disease.32
|Thyme (including thyme essential oil) — Thyme oil has antibacterial, antibiofilm, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties. However, make sure you’re using either standardized thyme preparations or essential oils that meet the requirements of national pharmacopeias.33 What you’re looking for in thyme preparations are minimum thymol and carvacrol contents of 40%. In essential oils, you want 37 to 55% thymol and 0.5 to 5.5% carvacrol.
|Oregano oil — Oregano oil has shown effectiveness against bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans,34 which causes dental cavities, as well as 11 different multidrug-resistant bacteria, including MRSA, and their biofilms.35 Tests have confirmed that repeated use of oregano oil does not lead to resistance, which makes it a useful remedy in the treatment of wounds.36
|Clove extract — Research has shown ethanolic clove extract provides broad-spectrum inhibition against both gram-negative and gram-positive UTI-causing pathogens such as Proteus mirabilis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus, E. coli and K. pneumoniae.37
|Olive leaf extract — Olive leaf extract has been shown to be effective against bacteria such as Klebsiella, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli and Salmonella.38
|Colloidal silver — Colloidal silver has been regarded as an effective natural antibiotic for centuries, and research suggests it can even help eradicate multidrug-resistant gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.39
TAP. Roger Spurr of Mudfossil University (YT) says that most illness and cancers in our body are fought by enzymes which are produced by bacteria. The enzymes need minerals and cannot work without sufficient. They work a million times faster when they have all the mineralisation they need. In his own case, he breathes a Himalayan Mountain Salt in a salt pipe to boost the enzymes with the minerals from the salt. This cured his continual winter bad chest. He also cured his wife’s cancer, possibly using a faecal pill (he didn’t say exactly what approach he took) to load her body with bacteria of sufficient quality to manufacture enough enzymes to cure her. Anti-biotics are killing off bacteria which keep us alive, which is why their use is found to promote colo-rectal cancers. Medicine is seriously wrong and food production too using too many anti-biotics. Try to source meat locally where you know you’re not eating anti-biotics, or drinking milk with anti-biotics (12% of supermarket milk has anti-biotics present, according to recent survey). Hand-washing is also counterproductive. Aran camel-train drivers for example are known to eat fresh dung from their animals, being aware of the health benefits of healthy faeces to the less healthy – and another reason why cancer hardly existed a hundred years ago when people had less access to ‘hygiene’, and modern medicine.
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