In 1928, Professor Alexander Fleming, a bacteriologist working at St Mary’s Hospital in London accidentally discovered Penicillin. It was the first of the antibiotics but failed to stabilize the substance because the germ-destroying qualities lasted for only a few days.

The next major breakthrough was achieved when stabilization was achieved by Australian-born pathologist Howard Florey and the German-born Ernst Chain, a chemist, working at Oxford University in 1940

The invention of antibiotic has proved to be the "miracle drug" but indiscriminate use has led to resistant strains, such as the British Superbug MRSA.

Many microbiologists will tell you that, great though antibiotics have been, it was improvement in basic hygiene that gave the greatest rewards to health. And antibiotics are being targeted more and more as the bringers of long term ill health. 

Asthma and Allergies 

Antibiotics linked to huge rise in allergies - 17:06 27 May 04 Source: NewScientist.com news service

The increasing use of antibiotics to treat disease may be responsible for the rising rates of asthma and allergies. By upsetting the body's normal balance of gut microbes, antibiotics may prevent our immune system from distinguishing between harmless chemicals and real attacks.

"The microbial gut flora is an arm of the immune system," says Gary Huffnagle at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbour. His research group has provided the first experimental evidence in mice that upsetting the gut flora can provoke an allergic response.

Asthma has increased by around 160 per cent globally in the last 20 years. Currently about a quarter of schoolchildren in the US and a third of those in the UK have the condition, but pinning down the causes of the rise has proved difficult. Some researchers have blamed modern dust-free homes, while others have pointed to diet.

Antibiotics have been implicated by some epidemiological studies. For example, the rise in allergies and asthma has tracked widespread antibiotic use. Furthermore, research in Berlin, Germany, has found that both antibiotic treatment and asthma were low in the east compared to the west when the wall came down. As antibiotic use has increased in the east though, so has asthma. This study is particularly valuable because the politically divided populations were genetically very similar and enjoyed much the same menu.

Crohn's Disease  (Source BMJ Journals)

There is a highly significant association between Crohn's disease and prior antibiotic use in this data. This is unlikely to be explained by reporting bias in view of the prospective recording of all prescriptions. If this association is causal then it may explain about a quarter of all Crohn's disease.

If Probiotics mean pro-life then antibiotics must mean anti-life. The trouble with antibiotics is that while they will indeed kill off those bugs that may be causing infection, they are non-discriminatory and so will attack those friendly bugs in the digestive tract that actually work to keep us healthy.

The over-prescribing of antibiotics is one of the most common causes of Digestive Stress. However, supplementing the diet with a good quality probiotic will help redress the balance and put those good bacteria back in control. Whenever you are prescribed antibiotics you need to take a probiotic as well, to counter the negative effects on your digestive system.

The Body Language website prefers foods to pills, so how do you get good intestinal flora? 

Pro-biotics are a dose of healthy bacteria. What you really need is PRE-BIOTICS - the foods that feed your natural bacteria. 

Raw vegetables 
Fresh fruit
live yoghurt
no sugar, fungi, 

In a healthy gut, the good bacteria naturally produce antimicrobial agents that kill off or inhibit the more harmful micro-organisms that can bind to the gut wall - where the damage they can cause include a condition called Leaky Gut.

When this happens, the small, sieve-like holes in the lining of the wall (which allow only certain nutrients to pass through) become enlarged allowing larger molecules, including partially-digested foods, to get into the bloodstream. The immune system then attacks leading to food intolerances and even allergies. This is thought to be the cause of M.E.

The European market in probiotics is already worth in excess of £520 million and the fastest-growing sector of that market is the UK. Researchers now estimate that globally, the total market value of so-called functional foods, including pre- and probiotics, will be in the region of $100 billion in the first part of this century - so the race is on to find those foods that will perform a prebiotic function in the gut. 

Don't bother. All you need is good, healthy food. Cheap and cheerful. 





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