The Golden Age of Antibiotics is over
The Golden Age of Antibiotics is over! – By: Top Secret
Deadly microbes that cannot be destroyed invade the human body, mutating and multiplying at such a rapid rate that the entire global population is imperiled. Sound like the logline of a sci-fi horror film? It’s actually a very real synopsis of the impending health apocalypse. The World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Risk survey cited antibiotic resistant bacteria among the top 50 risks threatening the human population.
We’ve been careless with our most valuable weapon: antibiotics. In less than eighty years after antibiotics were created we are now suffering the consequence of our abuse.
As more and more strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria mutate and spread, our ability to fight back diminishes—antibiotics are no longer the weapons of mass destruction they once were. Our ammunition has been used up and our battle-axes are now rusty and defunct.
A Brief History of Antibiotics
Scientists began the quest for antibiotics in the late 1800s as the germ theory of disease was gaining scientific acceptance. The germ theory linked bacteria and other microbes with various illnesses, and scientists realized how valuable it would be to find a chemical substance that could destroy particular pathogens.
It wasn’t until Sir Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered penicillin in 1928 that the antibiotic solution gathered momentum. The first antibacterial drug sulfa was developed in 1935, and Nobel Prize winners Howard Florey and Ernest Gain developed Penicillin G Procaine to be marketed as a drug in 1942.
After World War II the antibiotic assault was in full gear with Tetracycline, Amoxicillin and Trimox joined the ranks and cured fatal, and previously untreatable, infections at the time.
Where We Went Wrong
Antibiotics don’t launch an attack against a specific infection, but go on an all-out destruction path to sweep out of trillions of bacteria—both good and bad—in the body.
Bacteria are incredibly resilient, however, and the sheer number of bacteria, coupled with the ability to mutate into ever-resistant strains, gave some bacteria an advantage. The bacteria that survived doubled their efforts and multiplied, and won the war against antibiotics.
How did we lose our offensive advantage against disease?
Prescription-happy doctors doled out antibiotics to cure non-infectious ailments such as colds and viruses that don’t even respond to antibiotic treatments. The more we exposed bacteria in our bodies to antibiotics, especially when antibiotic treatments weren’t called for, the more resistant they became.
Perhaps the biggest culprit is the agricultural industry, which pumps livestock full of antibiotics in order to fatten up our meat. Europe banned the use of antibiotics in livestock years ago, but the United States still uses 30 million pounds of antibiotics in livestock each year! Bacteria resistance accumulates in cattle and is passed down to humans through food.
That’s four times the amount of antibiotics prescribed by doctors, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
No Chance of Containment
We cannot depend on the drug companies to help us. The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t want to invest hundreds of millions of dollars on an antibiotic that is only used for short-term benefit.
Drug companies would rather spend their money developing drugs for chronic illnesses… drugs that need to be used over a lifetime in order to recoup their investment.
It’s shocking to discover that no new antibiotic treatments have been proposed in over ten years! And it doesn’t look like the government is going to be much help either. There have been no restrictions placed on the use of antibiotics to spur livestock growth. It’s up to the individual to contain the rampant spread of daily antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Before antibiotics people fought off infectious diseases quite effectively with natural remedies, HERBS and oils, soaps and salves that didn’t harm a single cell in the body. It’s imperative that we get reacquainted with our natural heritage.