A Narrow Miss with a Nasty Bug
It’s that season again. No, not the holiday season – I mean the cold, flu and nasty bug season.
Fall and winter is the time when low vitamin D levels, kids going back to school and lots of holiday travel create the perfect storm for seasonal bugs to flourish and spread. And the risk is not just limited to the common cold and flu viruses. As the number of people traveling and shopping increase, so does the risk of catching community infections like MRSA, Strep, E. coli, norovirus and other germs.
Where Germs Hang Out
Before I tell you about my own narrow miss, here’s a few travel tips that will help you stay safe. This time of year with people on the go and traveling for the holidays, there’s some high-risk surfaces and objects you’ll want to be aware of.
The DNA of many GMO foods have been tampered with to create organisms that cannot naturally occur in nature, including merging bacterial and plant DNA.
Genetically modified foods have been widely touted as the foods of the future, or foods that will feed the world. As my last blog post reveals, Genetically Modified Organism (GMO or GM) foods have many potential health risks that you may not be aware of. Notably, GMO foods are linked to altering gut flora and disrupting the G.I. tract. The G.I. tract is the foundation for preventing and recovering from infections such as Staph, MRSA, or C. difficile.
There are enough studies and scientific evidence to raise major red flags about the safety and environmental effect of GMO foods. Unfortunately, there is also heavy resistance to evidence supporting the dangers of GMOs in both government and industry circles. Fortunately, you can reduce your exposure to these foods with a little knowledge and a few simple tips.
The main ingredient in popular commercial herbicides and garden weed killers may lead to disruption of healthy G.I. flora in people
Foods made from Genetically Modified (GM, or GMO) crops are at the center of a heated political battle in the United States. Regardless of your opinions on GMO food safety, nobody can deny that the heavy use of herbicides and insecticides goes hand-in-hand with growing GMO crops. Perhaps the most troubling thing about GMO foods has nothing to do with the food itself, but rather what is sprayed on it.
The herbicide glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup® and other popular weed killers, is used heavily on GMO crops. In fact, “Roundup-Ready” crops are genetically modified to survive being sprayed with glyphosate, so that the spray only kills the weeds. The trouble is, glyphosate cannot be easily removed from foods after it is applied. And mounting evidence suggests that this popular herbicide negatively alters the balance of the microbiome, the healthy flora in the human gut.
Salmonella and E.coli bacteria were found to become more resistant to antibiotics after exposure to common herbicides.
Antibiotic resistance is not a new topic. In 2013, reports from both the CDC and World Health Organization issued stern warnings about this growing problem with the CDC estimating “more than two million people are sickened every year with antibiotic-resistant infections, with at least 23,000 dying as a result” (see CDC report here).
Now it appears another factor has implications in this concerning issue. New research indicates at least three different commonly used herbicides effect the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics, meaning these herbicides are changing the way bacteria respond to antibiotics. A new study published in the American Society for Microbiology journal mBio looked at both E. coli and Salmonella bacteria exposed to three different herbicides; Dicamba (Kamba), 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and Glyphosate (Roundup).
Staph and MRSA bacteria have been found in meat products and on livestock farms, where they pose a direct infection threat to anyone handling or eating contaminated meat. But there’s a another infection threat found in most meat that makes Staph and MRSA harder to treat. This indirect threat has nothing to do with Staph or MRSA bacteria but rather with the drugs fed to livestock to make them grow faster.
In an effort to promote awareness about the growing problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria, November 18-24 marks the CDC’s annual “Get Smart about Antibiotics Week” here in the US. Other countries abroad are also promoting education on this topic, and the European Union has marked November 18th as it’s “Antibiotic Awareness Day”.
Cranberry extracts have been proven to be antibacterial against both Staph and MRSA bacteria.
Here’s some “new” news for cranberries. While it’s been long known and well documented that cranberry juice helps soothe and control bladder infections, a recent study published in 2012 shows cranberry extracts inhibited the growth of multiple species of Staph bacteria, including MRSA.
The new CDC report summarizes the 18 highest threat antibiotic resistant infections. MRSA is near the top of the list.
On Monday the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an extensive report about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance in the United States. The report details the risks, prevalence and national impact of 18 different superbugs, including MRSA, rating each according to level of concern. The report also outlines what can be done to combat these growing threats.