Hand Dryers Spread Bacteria So Dramatically That Scientists Think They’re A Public Health Threat

 

 

 

 

 

In 2014, a team of researchers from the University of Leeds dropped a disturbing truth bomb on the public by announcing that the no-touch jet-air dryers in public restrooms are anything but sanitary. They found that these increasingly popular devices blast bacteria from people’s poorly washed hands (most people don’t wash their hands correctly) into the air and onto nearby surfaces in disturbing quantities, increasing the likelihood that you’ll walk out of the bathroom covered in other people’s germs.

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Eating This Much Meat Each Day Could Reduce Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria By 66%

Your choices at the grocery store could help turn the tide. 

In 1928, a Scottish scientist named Alexander Flemming discovered penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic medicine. It took 12 years for researchers to learn how to purify and concentrate the antibacterial compound, and it was first used to treat the public during World War II, where it saved countless lives and ushered in a new era in medicine.

In 1945, when Flemming received a Nobel Prize for his discovery, he ended his acceptance speech with a word of warning: he described how easy it was to create bacteria resistant to penicillin in his laboratory, simply by exposing them to concentrations of the drug that were too low to kill them all, but enough to educate them to resist the antibiotic. Such a scenario could easily unfold inside the human body, he warned: “negligent use of penicillin change[s] the nature of the microbe.”

The world should have paid closer attention.

(Brag your love of gardening with the Organic Life 2018 Wall Calendar, featuring gorgeous photographs, cooking tips and recipes, plus how to eat more—and waste less—of what’s in season.)

In the 89 years since their discovery, antibiotics have transformed modern medicine, sparing countless millions pain, suffering, and death. But their effectiveness is waning.

“The Post-Antibotic Era Is Here”, Wired announced in a recent article. For years, organizations like the CDC has warned that we’ll reach a tipping point in antibiotic’s effectiveness. That moment, they say, is here. “Folks are dying simply because there is no antibiotic available to treat their infection, infections that not too long ago were easily treatable,” Jean Patel, who leads the CDC’s Antibiotic Strategy & Coordination Unit, told the magazine.

Check out this inspiring nurse who’s also a professional herbalist—and grows her own medicines!

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is inevitable—it’s nature’s way. If a few bacteria happen to have genes that protect them from antibiotics, they will survive and replicate and spread. But the rise and spread of antibiotic resistance isn’t happening at a natural rate: It’s being accelerated by the inappropriate use of antibiotics in animals.

In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly flagged the inappropriate use of antibiotics in animals as a leading cause of the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

“Agriculture must shoulder its share of responsibility, both by using antimicrobials more responsibly and by cutting down on the need to use them, through good farm hygiene,” said Dr José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), in a press release.

In the United States, antibiotics are prohibited in organic farming, but are regularly given to cows, pigs, and chickens in conventional large-scale livestock operations to combat diseases arising from unsanitary conditions. While the U.S. does not collect data about how antibiotics are used on farms, the volume of antibiotics used can be tracked through sales data. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, in 2015 (the most recent year for which data is available) 2.41 million pounds of antibiotics considered “important for human use” were sold for use in animal agriculture. That’s accounts for about 70% of all antibiotic use in the United States.

Related: Why Buying Organic Is A Really Big Deal If You Care About Animal Welfare

When large numbers of animals are dosed indiscriminately with antibiotics, it increases the odds that bacteria resist the drugs and survive, replicating in the animals’ guts.

From there, here’s exactly how antibiotic use in farm animals leads to the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the human population, according to the Centers for Disease Control: the antibiotic-resistant bacteria can infect people through the meat of the infected animal (especially if it’s improperly handled and cooked). They can also infect people via plant food crops: when animal feces are used to make fertilizer or contaminate water systems, those superbugs can also get onto vegetable crops, infecting anyone who eats them. There are also studies that show that the microbes can be carried by dust through the air.

In a paper published last month in Science, an international team of researchers identified three urgently needed measures that must take place to reduce the use of antibiotics in food animals. Two measures must be implemented at regulatory and farm levels: limiting the use of antibiotics in animals and imposing a fee on veterinary antibiotics.

The third simply asks consumers to reduce the amount of meat they consume each day.

If all of the omnivores on the planet were to limit themselves to 40 grams of meat daily—that’s about as much meat as you see in a skinny fast food hamburger patty— that alone would reduce antibiotic consumption by food animals by 66%, the study says.

On average, Americans eat a whopping 265 grams of meat every day (well above the daily recommendation for adults of 5 to 6 ounces, or 142 to 170 grams), so this won’t be the easiest lifestyle switch for everyone. (If you’re used to thinking of meat as your mainstay for iron and protein, check out these 14 vegetarian foods that have more iron than meat, and 6 easy vegetarian sources of protein.)

You can also reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock by sticking to organic-certified meat and dairy: organic livestock can not be given antibiotics for growth promotion, and if an animal is sick and legitimately needs to be treated with antibiotics for its health, that animal—and the food it produces—cannot then be sold as “organic.”

“It’s not about turning people vegetarian,” one of the study authors told Time, “but you don’t need to eat meat three times a day 365 days a year. It’s not sustainable or good for you.”

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Link Original:https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/food/eat-less-meat-to-reduce-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria


Chronic Liver Inflammation Linked To Western Diet

Philadelphia, PA, July 12, 2017 – A new study in The American Journal of Pathology reports that mice fed a Western diet, which is high in fat and sugar, resulted in hepatic inflammation, especially in males. Moreover, liver inflammation was most pronounced in Western diet-fed male mice that also lacked farnesoid x receptor (FXR), a bile acid receptor.

 The study is important because it links diet to changes in the gut microbiota as well as bile acid profile, opening the possibility that probiotics and bile acid receptor agonists may be useful for the prevention and treatment of hepatic inflammation and progression into advanced liver diseases such as cancer.

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How taking care of your gut bacteria could improve your anxiety

The psychobiotic revolution is just beginning and it could change the way we treat mental health problems. Tailoring the diet to promote gut bacterial health could have knock-on benefits for mental health, such as reducing anxiety and depression.

Focusing on the microbiome could revolutionise treatments for mental health problems. Supplements could help boost the health of your microbiome, but many products marketed as probiotics or prebiotics have no evidence to back up their marketing claims.

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