Antibiotics have a devastating effect on beneficial bacteria in the human body, not only in the gut but in other organs and tissues.
Antibiotics change bacteria, viruses and fungi from benign to pathogenic, giving them the ability to invade tissues and cause disease.
Antibiotics make bacteria resistant to antibiotics, so the industry has to work on more and more powerful new antibiotics to attack the new changed bacteria.
Antibiotics have a direct damaging effect on the immune system making it more vulnerable to infections, which lead to a vicious cycle of more antibiotics and more infection.
Different groups of antibiotics:
Penicillins have a damaging effect on beneficial resident bacteria : lactobacilli and bifidobacterial while promoting growth of pathogenic bacteria that allow bacteria normally found in the bowel to move up to the intestines which predisposes the person to the development of IBS and other digestive disorders.
Tetarcyclines and other “cyclines”. Prescribed for acne, the cylines has a toxic effect on the gut wall by altering protein structure in the mucous membranes causing the gut wall to be vulnerable to invasion by pathogenic microbes and starting an auto – immune reaction in the body against its own gut.
Erythromycin and other “mycins”. These microbes have a devastating effect on colonies of beneficial bacteria in the gut such as physiological E.coli , leaving the gut open to invasion of pathogenic E.Coli.
Antifungal antibiotics. These drugs lead to selective stimulation of the Proteus family and lactose-negative E.Coli species, capable of causing serious disease.
Other drugs that destroy the gut flora:
• Pain killers and analgesics
• Steroid drugs
• Contraceptive pills
• Sleeping pills, heart burn pills, cytotoxic drugs, cholinolytic drugs
A modern diet of convenience rather than nutrition, full of processed foods, has a seriousdetrimental effect on the gut flora. Too many sugary foods and processed carbohydrates increase numbers of different fungi. Candida species in particular and some aerobic opportunistic bacteria. Processed and sugary carbohydrates (white bread, cakes, biscuits, pastries and pasta) also promote population of the gut with worms and other parasites.
A high diet in fibre from grains (bran and breakfast cereals in particular) has a profound negative effect on the gut flora, gut health and general body metabolism, predisposing the person to IBS, bowel cancer, nutritional deficiencies and many other problems. Organic naturally-farmed fruit and vegetables provide a better quality fibre that is not as harsh for the digestive system.
Antibiotics, hormones and GMO given to animals transfer to the human gut. Eat only organic and naturally farmed meats.
Breastfeeding is essential for appropriate population of the baby’s gut with balanced, healthy gut flora. Babies are born with a sterile gut. Breastfeeding is the one and only opportunity we have in our lives to populate the entire surface of our gut with a healthy mixture of bacteria to lay the basis of our future health. Therefore pregnant women should take care of their gut health.
Prolonged fasting, starvation, overeating, or poor diet can seriously alter the composition of gut flora and start a chain of health problems causing gut dysbiosis. Supplementing beneficial bacterial in a form of probiotic and prebiotic would be a good idea in these situations and can be corrected by better eating habits.
Long term physical or psychological stress can do permanent damage to the indigenous flora.
Different infectious diseases, like typhoid, cholets, dysentery, salmonella, and some viral infections can cause lasting damage to the gut flora. Repopulating the gut with beneficial bacteria has to be an important part of the treatment of patients.
Different chronic illnesses such as diabetes, autoimmune disease, endocrine disease, obesity, and neurological conditions are accompanied by serious defects in the gut flora. Such defects are common after- effect of surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy (chemical) and radiotherapy.
5. Other Factors
• Physical exertion
• Old age
• Exposure to toxic substances
• Seasonal factors
• Exposure to ionizing radiation
• Extreme climates