Heralded as wonder drugs, beginning with the discovery of penicillin in 1928, antibiotics continue to play a major role in conventional medicine. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, at least 150 million antibiotic prescriptions are written in the United States, every year, many of them for infants and children. Other studies suggest that figure to be well over 200 million dosages!
Despite their ‘cure-all’ reputation, there is a darker side to antibiotic use that has slowly begun to reveal itself in recent years. In addition to problems associated with antibiotic resistance, an alarming number of antibiotics are being traced to severe side effects, even premature death.
The dangerous side effects of antibiotics exposed
While antibiotics are associated with several serious health problems, physicians continue to prescribe them at what some concerned experts have described as “alarming rates.” It is estimated that pediatricians prescribe over $500 million worth of antibiotics annually to treat ear infections alone. Can you believe it?!
Here are nine reasons to avoid antibiotic use:
1. Antibiotics treat symptoms, not causes. When antibiotics are administered to ward off bacterial infection, the body’s natural defense mechanisms like fever are intercepted. This prevents things like fever from their natural process of removing toxins from the body. This can impair long-term health.
2. Antibiotic use has been linked to cancer. The International Journal of Cancer has reported on a study of 3 million people tracked for six years. Those who had reported taking antibiotics between two and five times in the two years preceding the study were 27 percent more likely to develop cancer during the course of the study than those who had taken no antibiotics. Those who had reported taken six or more prescriptions showed a 37 percent greater risk of developing cancer. A National Cancer Institute study published in the Journal of American Medical Association showed similar results.
3. Deadly allergic reactions. Fatal reactions to antibiotics like penicillin are not unheard of, while other allergic reactions to entire groups of antibiotics are shockingly common, many of them leading to symptoms that can become life-threatening. In addition to allergic reactions to the drugs themselves, most antibiotics contain impurities, such as color agents, that can cause allergic reactions.
4. Development of antibiotic-resistant “super bugs.” Since coming to light in a 1992 article in Science Magazine, the development of drug-resistant bacterial infections, from staph to pneumonia, can be traced to increased use of antibiotics. These new “super bugs” can be extremely difficult to treat. However, high doses of vitamin C can act as an antioxidant in combatting infection.
5. Overpopulation of candida albicans. This common yeast typically exists peacefully in the gut and other parts of the body. But when antibiotics interfere with other intestinal flora normally keeping this yeast in check, it can become overgrown, resulting in conditions such as diarrhea or yeast infection. Chronic forms of muco-cutaneous yeast infection can prove serious, even fatal.
6. Chronic fatigue syndrome. This newly recognized disorder comes about as a result of weakened immunity and chronic viral illness. Repeated antibiotic use is a major risk factor for this condition.
7. Disruption of intestinal bacteria. The human intestine has a delicate community of helpful microbes, involved in everything from digestion to immunity. Antimicrobials, particularly broad-spectrum antibiotics, can have a destructive impact on the normal ecology of the gut, leaving the body open to infection, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, inflammation of the gut, malabsorption and food allergies.
8. Weakening of the immune system. Research has shown that patients treated with antibiotics have an increased rate of repeat infections. Antibiotics work by blocking certain enzymatic processes of bacteria, as well as by altering mineral balances. However, normal cells are also affected by this activity, which may contribute to the weakened immune response seen in patients receiving antibiotics.
9. Nutrient loss and mineral deficiency. Antibiotics, through diarrhea, can cause a loss of essential minerals. Devastation of intestinal bacteria can also reduce the synthesis of certain vitamins in the intestines. The result can be a contributing factor to poor nutrition and a weakened body chemistry.
The problems brought about by antibiotic resistance and other threats posed by antibiotic use underscore the importance of relying on antibiotic alternatives to combat infection and illness. Perhaps the strongest weapon for curing many drug-resistant illnesses naturally is high vitamin C dosage therapy, a powerful antioxidant.
Editor’s note: To learn more about the best ways to use vitamin C – take a look at the “multi-protocol.”