Antibiotic use weakens immune system’s ability to fight off disease

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antibiotic-resistance(NaturalHealth365) There has been a rising tide of awareness regarding the dangers of overusing antibiotics. Not only are viruses developing antibiotic resistance at an alarming rate; new research out of the University of Virginia School of Medicine has found that antibiotic use can also make the gut microbiome and the immune system more prone to disease.

The researchers believe this is due to a reduction in the positive gut bacteria microbes that assist in fighting off disease. While antibiotics assist with fighting off unhealthy bacteria and other invaders, they can also suppress growth of the bacteria that contributes to a healthy gut microbiome and a robust immune system.

Immune system ‘first responder cells’ impaired by antibiotic use

The researchers specifically found that neutrophils, an important immune system white blood cell, was dramatically suppressed. This weakened the intestinal barrier against invading bugs and made the entire immune system less effective at fighting off infections.

Neutrophils are in a sense the immune system’s “first responders” against invading foreign pathogens. Antibiotics were found to disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome to the extent that natural microbes could not properly do their job. This in turn left the gut and the entire body more susceptible to infection.

Researchers are still looking for more insights into the role of the gut microbiome in health. The microorganisms that live inside of us are still somewhat mysterious, but undoubtedly play a key role in both digestion and our overall health.

Entire gut microbiome and immune system compromised by overuse of antibiotics

For the study, the University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers zeroed in on amebic colitis, a deadly parasitic infection commonly found in developing countries. In many third world or developing countries, antibiotic use is widespread.

The researchers collected and analyzed stool samples from children living in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh. They found those with the most severe infections had far less gut microbiome diversity. This correlated with high antibiotic use in this area, where children often receive two dozen or more antibiotic treatments by the age of two.

Lab mice were then used to see how this reduction in intestinal flora could worsen disease. The mice’s gut microbiomes were indeed found to be impaired, with reduced neutrophils and overall white blood cell activity. Additionally, the intestinal barrier was found to be compromised, leaving this area extremely vulnerable to disease.

Use vitamin C, vitamin D and healthy diet to bolster the immune system naturally

This research adds to the mounting evidence that antibiotics should not be used unless absolutely necessary. Not only does antibiotic overuse lead to multi-drug resistant bacteria; it also raises the risk for infection due to impaired immune system functioning.

Let this serve as a reminder to avoid antibiotics whenever possible. Instead, strive to keep your immune system strong through a healthy diet, sufficient vitamin C and adequate vitamin D intake through sunshine exposure and/or supplementation.

We, at NaturalHealth365, can only hope that government health officials – especially within developing countries – will read this article and take action to help save lives.

Sources for this article include:

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  • Raymond W

    Why am I not surprised by this? Antibiotics are found in vaccines, animal protein and as a stand alone against infections. For sure it doesn’t supercharge your immune system. To stimulate your immune system to fight infections you need the right fuel. This sure isn’t it.

  • Norm Tyler

    Antibiotics does not work for the common cold or flu. Yet, over the years I have seen it given for that. Sometimes, it was just in case it was more than the flu or else to be sure the flu doesn’t become pneumonia. Other times it was just a precaution until the results of a throat culture came back. To think that weakens the immune system is extremely disturbing.

    • Wendy Allen

      2000mg of fish oil daily stopped my colds/flu for more than 20 years.

  • Irene Solavita

    Antibiotics is an industry in of itself. There is great profits as it can be used in many things and in many ways. IT IS A POISON WHEN USED IN THE WRONG WAY.

  • Jules Farber

    Of course we overuse antibiotics. One of the reasons is the medical doctors trained by the pharmaceutical industry have no idea what food, herbs and vitamins can do. It is a fact that vitamin C can do more for a person than a broad-spectrum antibiotic can.

  • Connie

    The whole idea is to have a strong immune system. We have a food supply and a medical system that somehow does the opposite.There is no evidence pharmaceuticals do anything, but make us more susceptible in the long run to becoming sick.

  • Linda Holms

    The flu vaccine is not going to prevent or mitigate any flu symptoms. Antibiotics are in the flu shot along with other poisons. The reason I bring this up is who are you going to trust with your health. I have had enough experience with the medical establishment to know it is not them. i went in to have wax taken out my ear and they keep shooting warm water in until the canal turned red. Then they prescribed antibiotics just in case it was really an infection and if not it was a precaution in case it became infected.

    The expensive bottle went into the garbage. I filled it only, because they wanted to sent it over from their computer. They have gotten to the point where they don’t give the prescription tor you to fill. The pharmaceutical industry knows many people aren’t taking it to the drug store, but dumping the piece of paper it is written on.

  • Craig Reily

    I protect myself from unnecessary pharmaceuticals. I probably fear prescriptive drugs more than a cold, flu or a chronic condition.

  • per

    Can NH365 please show the readers where the study, which this text refers to, can be found?

  • Joel WS

    Symptoms of SIBO were getting alarming when I finally found a GI doctor who OKed the glucose breath test. The test result was positive. This small intestinal bacterial overgrowth may have been harming me for years and I was sick, sick, sick. My weight dropped from 154 to 135. My outdoor exercise continued as usual, but my appetite was pseudo-anorexic.

    I opted for quick relief and knowing what I was in for, took Cipro and Flagyl for 14 days. Vitamin C, D3, probiotics (taken in between med doses) and other supplements taken as a regular routine mitigated the ‘nuke strike’ on my microbiome. Man do I feel better. Now I just need to keep eating better. I rarely opt for antibiotics if there is another alternative. This time I believe I made the right call.

  • IMHO_2

    Can you please advise on how to detox or repair damage from the Fluoroquinolone antibiotics that seem to have a progressively deteriorating affect tendons and muscles …?

  • Wendy Allen

    No gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO/food with a label…taking vitamins/good oils/minerals…probiotic…LDN…detoxing may help the immune system. Zn/fish oil/Vit C/Mg/Vit D3/sunlight/Essiac/mushrooms/Oil of oregano/Garlic etc may help. Antbiotics may lower the immune system/lower Mg/wipe out good bacteria in the large intestines/hurt mitochondria and hurt the gut lining. Ozone/herbs/Far Infrared Sauna/strong probiotic may help infections. Zyto scan shows infections and how organs and glands are working.