Looking for new antibiotics in all the wrong places

We hear a lot from the mainstream academic-government-industrial medical complex about antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” which kill about 700,000 people each year worldwide. Experts project superbugs will claim 10 million lives annually by 2050.

But worry not. The National Institutes of Health declared “war” on antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Ah yes.

Another permanent war that will funnel billions of taxpayer dollars into another fruitless pursuit. But, once again, their war is being fought on the wrong front. And they’re looking for “magic bullets” in all the wrong places.

Plus, what these mainstream minions often forget to mention is that they created this crisis in the first place.

Big pharma spawns superbug crisis

Modern pharmacology created the superbug crisis by isolating single, active ingredients. Then modern medicine advanced the problem by over-prescribing antibiotic drugs for every little sniffle or sneeze.

Of course, in Nature, organisms adapt to new threats introduced into their environment. In this case, “superbugs” learned to resist antibiotic drugs and became even more dangerous. (Bacteria adapt quickly, because they reproduce so quickly.)

In my view, we should look to natural organisms and their ability to adapt for the solution to this superbug problem. You see, other organisms in Nature compete to outwit bacteria. And we know plants, fungi, and insects make natural antibiotics to thwart bacteria. In fact, the most effective antibiotics came from Nature — including penicillin, streptomycin, erythromycin, and others.

However, plants aren’t like drugs, which contain isolated chemicals. Plants make a spectrum of related, active compounds that act against a spectrum of bacteria or parasites. Plus, if a bacteria or parasite develops resistance to one of the plant’s compounds, other compounds in the plant still remain active.

I saw this natural mechanism in action when I worked in Southeast Asia in the 1970s. By that time, malaria had become resistant to the drug chloroquine. And chloroquine-resistant malaria was a major problem. (Chloroquine relates to the original quinine, which came from cinchona bark originally found in the Amazon. Traditional cultures have used it to treat infection for centuries.)

Fast forward to the 1990s. In the Amazon and in Africa, we found we could use artemesia (wormwood) and aloe to effectively treat resistant malaria. Plus, we found the crude extract of the original cinchona bark, which contains a rich mixture of phytochemicals, could still also effectively treat resistant malaria.

We can apply this same approach to antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Look to Nature to combat superbugs

For centuries, Native American healers used natural compounds to fight infection. For example, they used the roots of Nuphar lutea — a lily that grows in wetlands of southeastern U.S. — to treat chills, fever and inflamed sores. Early colonial physicians and settlers recorded these natural treatments when they encountered them.

Emory University scientists recently collected Nuphar lutea plants in Arcadia, Florida, near our home in Sarasota. They are currently analyzing it, as well as hundreds of herbs, shrubs, and weeds, for healing activities.

In my view, using this approach is the only way we will find new cures for infection. The medicine cabinet of safe and effective antibiotic drugs is almost empty. But plants on Earth have been evolving for 400 million years — about 100 million years before the first animal life emerged from the oceans.

And if we turn our attention to plant life in the oceans, they have about 600 million years of experience fighting infection. Indeed, Nature is the “super chemist” that can come up with solutions to “superbugs.”

I have reported before about a recipe found in an ancient parchment called “Bald’s Leech Book.” Modern scientists followed this recipe to stop the growth of modern antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Plus, in August, I reported about “probiotic” bacteria, naturally present in the noses of many people, that stop strep bacteria from growing.

Big pharma giving up on antibiotics

Ironically, big pharma has all but given up on the antibiotic drug business. In fact, over the past 20 years, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Eli Lilly, and Pfizer have closed or downsized their antibiotic research programs.

Big pharma lost interest because it could no longer produce new antibiotics. And because other drugs, which people must take for a lifetime, bring in far more profits.

In another ironic twist, even though the antibiotics often don’t work, they’re still overused!

We even see widespread abuse and overuse in animals. In fact, commercial cattle farmers widely pretreat their livestock to supposedly prevent infection and encourage quicker growth in abnormally crowded conditions. Of course, these antibiotics make it into our food supply.

Thankfully, biologists are searching the rain forests, oceans and ice shelves for plants, fungi and insects that harbor natural antibiotic compounds. Of course, scientists can also learn from generations of indigenous healers around the world. These healers were keenly aware of their natural environments. And the new cures for infections will come from these sources, as I have been writing in my medical textbooks for the past 25 years.

Strengthen your immune system

Remember, even when they do work, antibiotics only slow down bacterial reproduction long enough to give your immune system time to catch up and clear the infection. They don’t wipe out the infection themselves. Your body does most of the heavy lifting.

So taking steps to keep your immune system healthy and active is another very good approach to fighting infection. Make sure you have optimal intake of B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. I’ll give you all the details in an upcoming issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started so you don’t miss this important report.


“Could ancient remedies hold the answer to the looming antibiotic crisis?” New York Times Magazine (www.nytimes.com) 9/14/2016