Once reserved for life-threatening situations, antibiotics have now become abused substances, generally via the dairy and meat food chain. Repeated courses of antibiotics can disturb the immune system so much that they
can become ineffective. Physicians have become much more aware of this problem, and avoid prescribing them where possible. Repeated use of antibiotics in children, toddlers, and babies can lead to severe conditions,
which may include cases of unresolved tonsillitis (often resulting in surgery to remove the tonsils), chronic respiratory problems, skin disorders, middle ear infections, allergies, and hyperactivity.
These are problems that, originating in childhood, maybe reflected in a difficult and sickly transition into puberty, with deeper problems like myalgic encephalomyelitis (chronic fatigue syndrome), cancer, and other virulent
immune disorders occurring in adulthood.
We now know, in terms of specific side effects, that prolonged use of neomycin can cause liver malfunction, tetracycline can stain children’s teeth yellow, chloramphenicol can interfere with the production of red blood cells or cause potentially fatal underproduction of bone marrow. It is now generally understood that repeated use (in other words, three to four courses of broad-spectrum antibiotics in the course of several weeks or months) can so deplete a patient’s immune system that chronic illness can set in very fast. This opinion is often reiterated by many enlightened doctors, nurses, and members of the public. It is now generally understood that once the “good” bacteria in the gut are gone — destroyed by antibiotics — yeasts and molds can quickly overpopulate the body, leaving
it in a weakened state. What is less known is that, at that point, the body is vulnerable to a variety of other conditions ranging from digestive disorders, liver and gallbladder problems, and spleen and pancreas dysfunction to hormonal imbalance, thyroid insufficiencies, and bowel disorders.
We have created antibiotic-dependent cells in our bodies; we have coded our memory cells so that they are constantly looking for antibiotics. In other words, our cells have become drug-addicted. Thus, antibiotics that once worked now have little or no effect. In some parts of Africa and the Philippines, penicillin won’t work at all. In other countries,where once one medium dose of penicillin would have worked to clear gonorrhea and staphylo coccal infections, it now takes two huge doses of penicillin together with another antibiotic to deal with these conditions.
Staphylococcus aureus is the most common type of bacteria that can infect humans. About a third of the population is colonized “harmlessly” by this bacterium, but it liberally passes to the vulnerable, especially in hospitals
and care centers; and it has mutated into antibiotic-resistant forms.
Probiotics are organic substances for life as opposed to antibiotics (which kill germs, very often indiscriminately). Probiotics were originally called ecobiotics. Ecobiotics are substances that specifically treat intestinal flora and nowadays we call them probiotics — a term first used by Monica Bryant in 1986. Veterinarians have administered probiotic bacterial supplements for a long time to treat animals. It is only comparatively recently that these substances have been put to use with humans. What we now realize is that a balanced colony of beneficial bacteria will prevent intestinal toxicity and give good general protection from infection.
The highest numbers of beneficial bacteria in the body are situated in the small and large intestines, perhaps as many as a trillion microorganisms. This volume of flora can easily weigh about four to five pounds! All bacteria have different actions, some living permanently in intestinal walls, others moving through the system, working as needed. This protective bacterial colony deals with invasive parasites, yeasts, and so on. Its other jobs include helping to break down bile in order to inhibit pathogenic organisms, assisting complete digestion, and helping to reduce toxic
residues that encourage putrefactive bacteria. They assist in the making of B vitamins and important enzymes for digestion —, particularly of lactose.
Where do probiotics come from? Some come from milk products, others from fermented vegetables and other sources. Ask your supplier for one that is suitable for you and appropriate for the problem at hand. Soil organisms are also being used very successfully to balance our own flora, reinstating the “peck of dirt” that used to be considered vital for our wellbeing, according to the old European saying.