Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, seems to make a big ballyhoo about the new “war” against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus).
They spend ever more time and money trying to develop more and more drugs to fight these deadly infections. But they’re destined to remain “a day late and a dollar short” despite billions in taxpayer funding–because they persist in completely ignoring one proven, natural approach to fighting infection (which I’ll explain in a moment).
To win the “war” of antibiotic resistance we should enlist the support of natural approaches instead of trying to overcome Nature. In fact, penicillin–the first antibiotic–came directly from Nature. Not from some high-tech drug lab.
You see, in 1928, a British scientist named Alexander Fleming left his lab window open one summer when he went away on vacation. Spores of a natural fungus called Penicillium floated in from the forest to contaminate some of his lab experiments. When Fleming returned, he observed how the growing penicillin colonies (mold) prevented the growth of adjacent bacteria colonies.
As Louis Pasteur observed, “chance favors the prepared mind.” And Fleming was “prepared” to notice this natural antibiotic controls bacterial growth.
Most people think antibiotics like penicillin kill bacteria outright. But they don’t, as Fleming observed. They simply interfere with bacterial metabolism, which slows the bacteria’s reproduction, replication and multiplication.
Getting a fever works in the same way. Higher temperature actually slows bacterial multiplication and reduces the infection. (If only we’d give a simple fever a chance to do its work in the body more often.) This approach allows the host immune system to catch up and overcome the infection on its own, before the infection gets out of control. Overcoming any infection even with antibiotics still requires a healthy immune system. Antibiotics just give the body a chance to catch up on the infection.
Of course, big problems eventually arose after mainstream medicine and big pharma got their hands on Fleming’s discovery.
First, doctors began to inappropriately prescribe an antibiotic drug for every little viral cough and sniffle. (Today, doctors routinely prescribe fewer antibiotics for viral infections, but it still happens way too often.)
Second, mainstream doctors often stopped giving patients a chance to overcome the infections on their own by reducing fevers with toxic drugs like acetaminophen (Tylenol).
As I mentioned above, you still need a healthy immune system to fight off any bacterial infections in all cases. But, when new antibiotic hit the market, doctors rush to hand out these drugs as a quick fix for bacterial infections. The proliferation of vaccines also prevents people in the population from developing any natural immunity to viral infections.
Of course, big pharma plays a big part…
They develop one antibiotic after another–even when we didn’t really need new ones–to replace older drugs after they went off patent. Many of these new antibiotic drugs seem to come along so big pharma can continue to make big profits with newer, more expensive drugs.
But when you flood the environment with more antibiotics, bacteria quickly adapt to find ways to survive. In fact, this rampant overuse and misuse of antibiotics has led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA.
Today, MRSA is resistant to everything but the very strongest antibiotics–making it difficult or impossible to treat. And it’s a permanent feature in unhealthy environments like hospitals and gyms.
In the meantime, vitamin D is gaining recognition for the major role it plays in the immune system. And a new study published in the research journal Infection looked at the association between low vitamin D and MRSA infections.
It makes sense someone with low vitamin D would be more susceptible to a serious infection like MRSA. Previous research shows vitamin D increases production of a natural anti-microbial peptide, which acts like one of the body’s own naturally occurring “antibiotics.”
For this study, researchers recruited 6,405 patients from the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center and tested their vitamin D levels. Then, they matched the participants with a registry of MRSA infections from October 2005 through December 2010.
Just six percent of patients in the study came down with MRSA infections. But those who did get the infection were overwhelmingly more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency. In fact, the average vitamin D level of patients who got MRSA infection was 21 nanograms per milliliter. (As I’ve reported before, you should strive for a vitamin D level of at least 30 nanograms per milliliter.)
In statistical terms, there was a “p value” less than 0.0001. (In other words, there was less than a one-hundredth of one percent chance that the findings were due to chance alone.) I can’t remember seeing such a highly significant statistical association in a study.
Nonetheless, researchers said more research is necessary!
I am certainly not waiting for more research to repeat my recommendation to take 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily. You gain so many other health benefits as well. And you will finally have some real ammo to use in our new war against antibiotic-resistant infection.
- “Association between vitamin D deficiency and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection,” Infection 8/4/2015