This Natural Remedy May Help Us Fight Antibiotic Resistance and Superbugs

Most of us know that antibiotics, our so-called best weapon against superbugs, are slowly (and sometimes quickly) losing their effectiveness against many bacterial infections, putting people at a serious risk of contracting an untreatable or even deadly infection. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have stated that the threat of superbugs and antibiotic resistance is “a quickly growing, extremely dangerous problem.” Scientists around the globe have been searching for the solution. And, they may have found it in probiotics.

Most people think of yogurt when they hear the term “probiotics,” but probiotics are much more than just cultured milk. The reality is that a growing body of research is showing that probiotics, rather than antibiotics, may be the solution we’ve been looking for in our fight against superbugs. Scientists behind a new study published in the European Journal of Public Health set out to find whether probiotics could prevent the need for antibiotics at all. And, their findings were impressive.

In the meta-analysis, researchers assessed 12 studies of infants and children who received either Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium probiotics to determine whether these supplements had any effect on their likelihood to need antibiotic prescriptions. They found that infants and children were 29 percent less likely to be prescribed antibiotics if they were regularly taking probiotic supplements. And, that number escalated to a whopping 53 percent when only the highest quality studies were included in their evaluation.

More research of this sort is needed on people of all age groups to confirm the European Journal of Public Health study. But, if the findings are similar, it suggests that one of the best ways to reduce our over-reliance on antibiotics is to take probiotic supplementation. And, since there are so many health benefits attributed to their use, it may be a good idea to take them regardless.

Reducing our dependence on antibiotics is not the only way that probiotics may be able to help us in the fight against superbugs, as earlier research has shown. Another study found that Bifidobacteria bifiform may be directly helpful against infections like H. pylori—a form of bacterial infection often linked to stomach ulcers which is resistant to many common drugs used against it.

Probiotics haven’t just shown effectiveness against H. pylori infections, they’ve even demonstrated effectiveness against MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a sometimes deadly infectious disease that many people have contracted during a hospital stay.  According to research in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been found to work on multiple levels against MRSA infections.

Other strains of probiotics including: L. reuteri, L. rhamnosus, L. paracasei, L. plantarum, and L. bulgaricus have also demonstrated effectiveness against Staphylococcus aureus. But, you don’t have to remember their names to benefit from the power of probiotics to reduce infections and the likelihood of needing an antibiotic prescription. You can start by taking a broad-spectrum probiotic supplement that contains some or all of the strains included above (not all are necessary in a single product).

Alternatively, you can also increase the amount of fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt or vegan yogurt, or other naturally-fermented foods that contain live cultures. Remember: not all of these foods do. You’ll need to find them in the refrigerator section of your health food or grocery store and they need to state “live cultures” or something similar on the label.

Related Stories:

 

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking.  Follow her work.

 

95 comments

Rose Becke
Rose B29 days ago

Thanks

SEND
Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Thanks.

SEND
Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Thanks.

SEND
Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Thanks.

SEND
Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Thanks.

SEND
Lindsay K
Lindsay Kabout a month ago

Interesting. Many thanks for sharing.

SEND
hELEN h
hELEN hEARFIELDabout a month ago

tyfs

SEND
Carole R
Carole Rabout a month ago

Keep up the research.

SEND
Peggy B
Peggy Babout a month ago

Interesting.

SEND
David C
David Cabout a month ago

would be good if it holds up in the general population...thanks

SEND