- New research shows that a solution to the superbug threat is in a very unlikely place
- Why the cause of joint pain and other ailments could be bacterial
- Four types of food that turn your stomach into a disease-fighting machine
As you know, I’m not one to shy away from the weirder health stories…
- I’d told you about the punk rocker who fought the ageing process with snake venom read about it here.
- …and the people in India who roll in leftovers to cure illness read about it here.
- …and the strange phenomenon of hard Italian CHEESE being a way to control blood pressure read about it here.
But perhaps strangest of all…
There was my actually-very–serious email at the beginning of this year entitled Apocalypse Pig.
It was about a pig in China that had caught a disease…
And there was NO antibiotic that could cure it.
Because the very last of the all-resistant antibiotics, known as colistin, had failed.
Think of it as the last-ditch antibiotic safety net.
A development like this could spell disaster for human health. Because it means we’ll face more and more bugs described as “superbugs” which simply cannot be stopped by our current stock of antibiotics.
In the not-so-distant future, routine operations like hip replacements and C-sections could become deadly if the patient becomes infected with one of these superbugs.
It’s a scary thought…
But step forward some plucky researchers at the University of Tubingen in Germany.
They think they might have the answer.
Because according to their research, the new antibiotics might be found UP YOUR NOSE.
Yep, this is another weird one. But it’s so, so important.
Usually antibiotics are discovered in soil. However, it turns out that your nose is also a bacteria battlefield.
Or as you could call them….“Snot Wars!”
(Honestly, I can almost hear my eldest child going “Eeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuwwwww!”)
For instance, there’s a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, which has a strain we know as MRSA. the killer superbug that terrorises our hospitals.
Surprisingly, this is found in the noses of 30% of the population.
But this bug has a rival known as Staphylococcus lugdunensis.
People who carry this bacterium in their nostrils are less likely to carry Staphylococcus aureus.
In other words, it’s the Luke Skywalker to MRSA’s Darth Vadar.
What the German scientists have done is worked out the genetic code of Staphylococcus lugdunensis in order to build a new antibiotic called lugdunin.
This could be the weapon we need to fight MRSA.
For me, personally, this is such an important development. About ten years ago my grandfather died
from a heart-attack linked to an MRSA infection he got after a knee operation.
Recently, when my father recently broke his hip and was whisked into surgery for an operation, it wasn’t the operation itself that worried me, but the thought of rampaging superbugs.
However, as you’ll know if you’re a long-term People’s Doctor reader, it’s not just new antibiotics that we need…
We need to completely free ourselves from our reliance on antibiotics
Antibiotics are a very 20th Century health solution. They helped revolutionise human health… but this came at a price.
Scientists now believe that many arthritic and immune-system diseases are triggered by the bacteria in your gastrointesntial tract, known as microbiomes. For instance, people with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to have a bacterium known as Prevotella copri in their intestines than those without the condition.
There’s a suspicion that increases in these ailments are down to the widespread use of antibiotics, which alters the bacterial balance in our intestines.
So while scientists figure out what do so about the battle against superbugs, there is perhaps something we can do…
How to rebalance your gut and encourage healthy bacteria
As much as possible you should avoid antibiotics, acid blockers, and anti-inflammatories. Eat a diet richer in vegetables, fish, fruit, wholegrains, nuts and olive oil. Also cut down on sugar and processed foods.
Once you’ve done that, consider these specific foods to target your gut bacteria:
- Take a spoonful of high quality (and raw as possible) Manuka honey. It has special anti-inflammatory and anti-infection properties.
- Eat more jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, leeks, and onions – they contain inulin, an insoluble fibre that ferments in your colon into healthy micro flora.
- Have a banana every day – you might know from your own experience that bananas are a good thing to eat when you have an upset stomach. They contain fructooligosaccharides, a prebiotic that promotes friendly bacteria in your digestive system.
- Eat more cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower) They are packed with sulphurous metabolites, which are broken down by microbes to release substances that can fight harmful free radicals and reduce inflammation.
Finally, you might find this helpful…
Some doctors now see chronic inflammation in the body as a major cause of problems like joint pain, memory loss and poor heart health. If you look at this report, you’ll find out more about the cause AND the solution.
I’ll be back with more at the weekend.
Until then, stay healthy!