The numbers are frightening, and rising quickly. The issue is affecting livestock, and is now being implicated in the deaths of humans as well. Everything from cancer to liver disease is being traced back to this, and the number of infected patients jumped 50% in the last year.
The culprit? Antibiotic-resistant bacteria Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL).
Health officials in Denmark claim that ESBL is killing both people and livestock, especially pigs, in that country. And its spread comes, ironically, from an increase in the use of antibiotics to treat livestock. They say that the bacteria can be transmitted from pigs to humans, where it is resistant to the most effective antibiotics on the market.
First, an explanation of the science behind this issue might be helpful to understanding the implications. Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBLs) are actually enzymes, which are produced by certain types of bacteria. Once these enzymes are formed, it makes the mutated bacteria resistant to the antibiotics that are frequently used to kill them.
The phenomenon is not entirely new. These mutant strains of bacteria have been found in hospitals in the Klebsiella species. Hospital staff have been aware of the dangers since around 1985. Since they mostly seemed to occur in enclosed settings like intensive care units, there was generally no need for widespread alarm.
All that has now changed, with the discovery of a new class of ESBL called CTX-M enzymes. This emerging strain is now being seen quite frequently in E.Coli bacteria, including urinary tract infections. Alarmingly, they are resistant to the most common forms of treatment.
And the news continues to get more unsettling, as other species of bacteria like Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are now producing ESBLs as well.
A Threat Bigger Than Aids?
The Journal of the American Medical Association conducted a thorough study of the issue and published their findings in October of 2007. According to that study, invasive methicilin-resistants MRSAs let to more than 18,600 deaths in the US in 2005 alone. Compare that to the 17,000 US patients who died from AIDS.
Clearly, this man-made crisis is significant enough to cause widespread concern in the medical community. The results from this study made the national news, helped in part with a rash of infectious bacterial outbreaks in several schools.
Where Is It Coming From?
While health practitioners have emphasized hygiene and hand-washing as a key to halting the spread of these infections, the larger question remains. Why are we seeing so many mutant forms of anti-biotic resistant bacteria?
Many blame the over-use of antibiotics in raising livestock. Both MRSA and ESBL are being traced back to animals raised for food production, especially pigs.
Certainly antibiotics have their place in agriculture, treating a variety of formerly devastating diseases. Yet modern practices have thrown the cycle out of balance. In an effort to raise larger, healthier animals, livestock is often given low doses of antibiotics on a daily basis. This happens whether they are sick or not, and is aimed at preventing diseases.
And while this practice results in larger (usually 4-5% larger) animals at the time of slaughter, it has a cost to the consumer. Feeding these continuous low doses of antibiotics provides the perfect breeding ground for antibiotic resistance to take hold.
And it’s not just the people who eat the meat who are at risk. Denmark health officials are seeing farmers and large animal vets becoming infected with these mutant strains of antibiotics, simply by handling the animals and coming into contact with their waste products.
What’s the Answer?
The answers can be found in the space between science and politics. While the FDA has made some progress in banning some of the drugs thought to be responsible for this threat, the pharmaceutical companies are fighting back. It’s a huge market for them, and their studies do show larger, healthier animals from the use of these drugs.
Other studies have shown alarming rates of mutant infections in chickens and other livestock. Even non-meat products like produce have been shown to transfer antibiotics through their leaves and tissues when fertilized with antibiotic contaminated fertilizers.
To protect yourself and your family, you do have some options. If you aren’t growing your own antibiotic-free food, find a local co-op or farm that does. Buying locally is a great way to save on energy costs too, and support your local economy. If you live in the city, find the local co-op and join. You may even be able to volunteer a few hours a week to help raise the food yourself. It’s a great way to know exactly where your food comes from.
Make sure the farms you frequent use non-toxic farming methods, and ask about their antibiotic policy. Grass fed and free range livestock generally do not need the high level of antibiotics that commercially-raised herds do.
According to Forrester Research, “health-related” products and information is by far the most sought after things anywhere online.
“Natural” is best, organic superior, and to learn how to undo the negative effects already suffered you need to visit AllInOneHealth.com
Get Other amazing discounts here:
Ninja Mega Kitchen System 1500 Food Processor Blender BL773CO
Phentermine hcl 30mg