Antibiotics – Less is More

posted in: Health and Nutrition | 49

I’m going to talk about something completely different than the usual obesity, insulin and type 2 diabetes stuff – antibiotics. This is another area where current medical teaching is completely logic-free. In many ways it reminds me of the entire ‘Type 2 diabetic patients have too much insulin. So, let’s give them more insulin and see if it helps’ argument. Logically it makes no sense. So, instead the medical establishment adopts a ‘I’m the expert so don’t bother trying to talk sense into me. Just do what I say’ attitude.Pills

Antibiotic treatment regimens are largely the same. Suppose you go to your physician for a bacterial infection. Viruses, like most common colds, are not affected by antibiotics, so therefore should not be prescribed. However, because many bacterial infections have the same symptoms, antibiotics are often prescribed ‘just in case’. This leads to antibiotic overuse.

Exposure creates resistance. High persistent levels of antibiotics lead to antibiotic resistance. In this case, the antibiotics kill off most of the bacteria, but there will always be a few that are resistant. Since everybody else is dead, these bacteria, which used to be very rare, are able to multiply, propagate and pass on their resistance to other bacteria.

These are transmitted by something called plasmids. Inside the bacteria, plasmids help the bacteria develop resistance. But these plasmids can be transmitted to other bacteria which means that resistance spreads much, much faster than otherwise. But the basic formula remains the same. Persistently high levels of antibiotic use leads to antibiotic resistance, just as high levels of insulin leads to insulin resistance.Plasmids

Knowing this, the key would be to use less antibiotics. (Obesity is caused by too much insulin, so the key is to lower insulin). In many hospitals in the United States, antibiotic resistant ‘super-bugs’ have become a huge issue. Doctors in America love to use the latest and greatest medicine, and antibiotics are no different. Heavy handed dosing of the latest antibiotics has eventually led to tremendous problems with antibiotic resistance.

For example, MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus) rates doubled in academic American hospitals between 2003 and 2008. There are tuberculosis that are multi drug resistant. This has led to calls from the Infectious Disease Society to call for more antibiotics in their idiotic 10×20 plan. They want 10 new antibiotics approved by 2020.

Why do I call it idiotic? Let’s back up and think about their reasoning. Too many antibiotics causes resistance. Obvious answer is to use less antibiotics. Instead, the answer, according to these highly paid infectious disease specialists is to create even more antibiotics? Am I the only one who sees a problem? The problem is not the we don’t have antibiotics. We have lots of them. The problem is that we use them too much. If we simply create more antibiotics, but continue to use them heavily, then we will only get more antibiotic resistance. All that hard work of creating new antibiotics will have been wasted.

So the answer is not to create more antibiotics. That’s like giving insulin to patients with high insulin levels. The cause of the resistance is overuse of the antibiotics that we already have. So the answer is wary – use LESS antibiotics, not create MORE.

Alcoholism should not be treated by giving more alcohol. Cocaine dependence should not be treated by giving cocaine. It’s idiotic.

News story abound about huge funding for battling the ‘superbug’ problem. Here’s one, for example, about Harvard’s Dr. Grad researching new ways to ‘defend the wonder drugs’. Of course, millions of dollars are being spent for ‘new’ research into the tracking and treating antimicrobial resistance. He receives support from charitable organizations to do this work. Of course, since we already know the cause, the solution is bloody obvious. Heavy use of antibiotics creates resistance. Use less antibiotics. Case closed. Mischief managed.

So, when you go to your doctor for antibiotics, what happens? A typical prescription is ‘Take amoxicillin 500 mg three times a day for 14 days’ The question is this. How does the doctor know how long you should take antibiotics for? You might imagine that there are all sorts of studies that have compared short duration and long duration antibiotics. You would also be wrong.

Mostly, doctors follow an eminence based medicine standard. That is, somebody made up a regimen 14 days and that’s why they gave you 14 days. There are, in fact, virtually no studies to guide the proper length of treatment. It’s basically the WAG method (wild-assed-guessing). Most of medicine follows the WAG methodology, although doctors will try to convince you otherwise. It is standard to treat infections in 7 day increments – 7 days or 14 days. Why? Because somebody said so. In the year 1695!

Usually, with the antibiotics will come with the admonition that you should take all 14 days, even if you are feeling better by day 2. You might ask the question ‘Why should I take another 13 days of antibiotics if I’m feeling well?’ To which the only answer is ‘Because I said so’.

Mostly the reason given that you need to complete the full course even if you are feeling well is because you don’t want to cause resistance. Huh? Too much antibiotics creates resistance. So, we should take another 13 days of useless antibiotics to prevent resistance when we know that it will actually CREATE resistance? WTF?

WTF???
WTF???

Again, let’s consider this logically. If you are otherwise healthy, you have an immune system to deal with infections. It gets overwhelmed, so you need antibiotics. Within 2 days of antibiotic reinforcements, the war on bacteria has turned in your favor. Most of the enemy is dead, and the remaining bacteria are beating a hasty retreat. We can stop using the nuclear arsenal and let the immune system mop up. Is there any harm? No. What’s the worst that will happen? If the bacteria start to mount a comeback, then you can take more antibiotics.

But what happens if you slavishly take all 14 days? You will suffer much higher rates of resistance and future battles against bacteria will not go as easily. The risk of side effects is much higher. Any benefits? Not that I can see. The problem of resistance cannot be underestimated. It doesn’t simply affect you, it affects the entire health care system. A problem created for nobody’s benefit.

In my hospital, as with many others, there are Antibiotic Stewardship Programs (ASP) to accomplish this. They are specially trained pharmacists and doctors that will review antibiotic orders by physicians and make suggestions. Certain antibiotics are deliberately restricted from wide usage to prevent resistance. That way, when a truly horrible infection comes along, those antibiotics are still effective.ABX duration

A recent paper published in JAMA makes the point that less is more. This paper reviews all the recent clinical trials in which virtually every single time, the shorter course of antibiotics is as effective as the longer one. In almost all cases, you can use 1/3 to 1/2 the dose of antibiotic and get the same result. That’s 1/2 to 2/3 less resistance, baby!

Which is kind of, obvious. Suppose you are washing your car. You wash for 10 minutes and it’s clean. Should you continue to wash for another 60 minutes and assume it will be more clean? Of course not. Well, if the bacteria are mostly dead (leaving the rest for the immune system to mop up), then what’s the point of taking more medications? None.

So, what’s the logical way to use antibiotics? Well, it’s pretty simple. If you don’t need them, don’t take them (viruses). If you need them, then take them. But you should take them only until you feel better. After that, you can rely on your body (assuming that you are otherwise healthy) to take care of the rest. If you need 3 days of antibiotics, then take 3 days. If you need 2 weeks then take two weeks. But don’t take 2 weeks of antibiotics if you only need 3 days.

Sometimes, I assume that the only place in medicine where there are obvious logical gaps is nutrition. Sadly, no.

49 Responses

  1. Dan Donnelly

    My experience in the UK is that it is VERY difficult to get an antibiotic prescription from a GP … I think the message is well understood here.

    • Steve Summers

      But when they are prescribed you are told to finish the 7 day course to prevent resistance.

  2. Dr Fung,

    I know all of this to be true. I NEVER gave my children antibiotics unless I absolutely had to, which was few and far between. My “kids” are 27 and and 25 now and thank the good Lord above are in great health! When my kids were young I would see that many of their friends were constantly on some drug but they were constantly sick!!! I know that I was blessed with healthy babies and don’t take that for granted, but I do believe nursing, feeding them good and wholesome food and using antibiotics and all drugs as sparingly as possible contributed to their well-being as children into adulthood. Thank you again for all of your hard work and dedication Dr. Fung.

    Tony and Sue

  3. your point make so much sense – scary to think there are no guides or studies on dosage + duration and we have been blindly following protocols with no basis. OMG!

  4. I was on antibiotics for 2 years (about age 24 to 26) to fight acne on my upper back. I think it was 100 mg/day of minocycline, might have been doxycycline. I worry that it was a mistake for my overall health.

    I’ve had more success fighting acne lately with weight loss, adapalene, benzoic acid, salicyclic acid, and a zinc oxide + castor oil cream, the ageing process … some combination of the above.

    • To add:

      1) In my anecdotal observation, it didn’t help much.
      2) Subsequent doctors suggested it as well but I opted against it.
      3) I wish the natural stuff like castor oil, coconut oil, et cetera got a proper clinical trial at some point. There’s no money in properly evaluating herbal medicine.

  5. I don’t know if this is related or not, but as a child, I had frequent strep throat infections, and they were always treated with an intramuscular injection of penicillin (this was in the 1960s). Sometime since then, they stopped doing that, and everything was administered orally, over 7 or 14-day periods. Layman’s guess here, but I can’t help thinking that the shots were easier on my gut flora as well as being a very short course of medication.

  6. Some people have said antibiotic treatment is half a treatment by which they mean after the antibiotics there should be a course of probiotics to rebalance gut flora.

    Last Saturday I finished a two week period of consuming 150 grams of sugar in 1 litre of water per day. This equated to 600 calories per day.

    Somebody asked me what was the point of doing this because it was obvious I was going to lose weight and have many favourable outcomes.

    Here are my reasons not in any particular order-
    1. Although it was obvious to that person what was going to happen not everyone would know what would happen.
    2. People are starting to treat sugar the same way they treated fat for many years which had us all going in the wrong direction for many years.
    3. Although low carb high fat is a great boon to many with great results in health and wellbeing it is not a panacea which works for everyone.
    4. I wanted to give people who have stalled on HFLC something which was completely different and to stop blaming themselves when they stalled.
    5. I did not set out to claim sugar was some sort of wonder health food, I just wanted to see if eating it would raise insulin levels to the point where I would not lose any weight or if it would have adverse effects on energy and blood sugar levels although I suspected it would not, but the proof of the pudding would come in the eating.
    6. I believe flour fortification is great mistake foisted on some populations and since there is no fortification in sugar I was convinced any bad effects on me would be minimal.

    So the results after 14 days are as follows-
    1. Weight loss down from 212.6 lb to 199 lb
    2. Fasting blood sugar from 8.3 to 6.6 however the blood sugars in the day went as low as 4.6. It was not long enough for the dawn phenomenon to go away.

    So despite eating a crap ton of fructose weight loss and blood sugar trended downwards.
    Another feature was losing weight slower and steadier which minimised the deflated balloon face look which is so in vogue with low carbers.
    I am pretty sure I went into ketosis while doing it and the dizzy spells of water fasting were non-existant while on it.
    You can pm me [email protected]

    • Just remembered the main thing concerning me was sugar causing me to have uncontrollable hunger pangs, didn’t happen.
      I had pain in my right side upper and lower jaw which faded away.
      I had pain in my right ear which slowly faded away.
      I had no adverse effects on my teeth which was another concern to me.
      My skin is the softest it has ever been my entire adult life.
      I had improved eyesight.
      I drank the solution heated up, it was like drinking highly sweetened tea.

      • I don’t know how to put this politely, so i won’t. The “study” you did on yourself was completely and utterly useless. When y;ou design a study, you design it to change the fewest number of variables possible. Otherwise, it’s impossible to know what caused the effects. For instance, assume you design a study trying to prove that olive oil is good. You eat more olive oil. However, if you eat the same amount of calories, that means you eat less of something else. Are the results you got from eating olive oil or NOT eating whatever it was the olive oil replaced, or both? You CANNOT tell.

        In your case, you changed so many variables, it’s impossible to draw any conclusions. You ate less overall (and a level well below maintenance, which has its own set of problems); you changed the amount and type protein you ate; you changed the amount and type of fiber you ate; you changed the amount and type of fat you ate; you were eating a ton of different foods before and you changed that to eating one; I could go on and on. This test you did has so many changed variables, it’s impossible to tell what did or did not lead to whatever you think the benefits were. Furthermore, you ate so few calories that it really did not matter what you ate — you could’ve eaten all fat or all protein or freaking horse manure, and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Your test of 600 calories a day of sugar for two weeks is completely inane and useless. It tells no one anything. It’s impossible to draw any conclusions from it. It’s worthless.

        • Hello Bob,
          Your post is a refreshing change from the “I eat low carb, I fast five days, I get diarrhoea” rubbish post you make every chance you get.
          In case you hadn’t noticed this is not somewhere filled to the rafters with scientists who are experts at doing studies, its full of lay people who want to learn different strategies for fasting and losing weight.
          Was it the eating of the sugar which gave me those results or was it the exclusion of something else that got those results? Who cares? The fact of the matter is some nice results were had in a not too hard to follow way.
          You said I ate at a level well below maintenance which has its own problems. Well I got news for you buddy, the main theme of this site is fasting for better health.
          The whole point of my experiment was to see if sugar deserved to be treated like fat was before its comeback. I am satisfied that sugar does not deserve so much negativity.
          Perhaps you could show one of your studies on here seeing as you are an expert on them. I would be particularly interested in the one where you ate 600 calories of horse manure.
          If this study has shown us anything, it has shown us the type of person you are.
          No offense buddy.

          • Determined

            No need to insult people personally. Stick to the issues.

      • Hi Jin,

        Thanks for sharing your experience. I, for one, appreciate your openness and I think we can learn from indivudual experiments.

        May I ask, how was your hunger during the experiment? Were you more or less bothered by hunger than during a water fast?

        • Hello Valerie,
          Thank you for your kind comment, I can report I was less bothered by hunger. I would generally heat up a cupful whenever I normally drank tea. This would be four times per day.
          On three separate days I mixed a teaspoon of salt into the water as “insurance” against low electrolytes.
          Hunger was not really a problem. When I was on a water fast I would experience dizziness but no dizziness on the sugar water.

      • Jin, I appreciate your sharing your results with us. I share the concerns of others about the usefulness of the data, but you’re sharing it in good faith and I presume as accurately as you can, so we can all draw our conclusions on what it means.

        I have done two 14-day water-only fasts in the past year, plus one 9-day water-only fast. On each occasion I had similar results to what you describe with your sugar-water fast. I maintained some weight loss each time I fasted, though there was a significant rebound effect each time. I’m going to do another 14-day fast next month, and I’m hoping this time to do a better job of maintaining my LCHF/IF regimen, as one of the deleterious effects I found from the 14-day fast is that I tend to have a long-term reduction in ability to follow my usual LCHF/IF regimen (though I did better on that score each time).

        My point in sharing this here is that I think a more useful test of your “sugar is not so bad” thesis would be to compare your results with a water-only fast, if you;re willing to do that. If both diets have similar benefits, then it argues against any interpretation wrt the merits of sugar.

    • Determined

      This is a website dedicated to those people who are helped by a low carb high fat diet combined with intermittent fasting. I am happy that you lost weight on 600 cal per day.
      That, of course, is a natural consequence of eating fewer calories than required for weight maintenance.
      We have no need nor do we want you to proselytize your POV on this site. I hope that the moderators of this blog will block you from any further posts!

      • Hello Determined,
        Can you show me where it says this site dedicated to low carb high fat diet intermittent fasters?
        From my understanding Dr Fung recommends HFLC but he doesn’t think it’s the only way.

        • Jin,

          Even though Dr. Fung has said other “diets” can work, he clearly feels, for diabetes and weight loss LCHF + IF is the way to go. And Determined is correct, this site is really about supporting each other in embarking on this way of eating and living. As Dr. Fung said, all diets work, all diets fail. What is key is losing weight and keeping it off over a lifetime in a healthy and good way! There is no doubt in my mind that LCHF +IF is your best bet for life time success. And it’s not even just good for diabetes and weight loss. If you Google LCHF and cancer and LCHF and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease you will see such good results.

          • Hello Sue,
            You know I cheer for people who have success with HFLC. I have no issues with HFLC at all as long as its working.
            Some people can do HFLC for years and thrive, others have great success initially but then the benefits start wearing off and others for whom HFLC does nothing.
            Things always evolve nothing stays the same, HFLC will evolve as well.
            As Dr Fung himself said its good to shake things up once in a while if things are stagnating and that is all I have done, a way to shake things up if you’re stuck in a rut.

    • Christopher Chadrick Hamilton

      That’s an interesting experiment, but I wonder if your conclusions are valid?
      The real issue with eating sugar is hormone imbalance, not weight loss. Theoretically you could fast six days a week and eat nothing but twinkies on the seventh day and end up with many health benefits including weight loss, but not nearly as many benefits as eating high quality food on that seventh day.
      A week of experimenting is not enough time to find out if something works as a dietary regimen. You can lose weight on a reduced calorie diet for nearly a month before your metabolism slows enough to stop the weight loss, the real test of any eating regimen is what happens two, three, four months after beginning it. I started 16/8 IF in February and consistently lost 2lbs per week until July, middle of July (4 weeks ago) I started 60 hours twice per week (8pm Sun to 8am Wed, 8pm Wed to 8am Sat, eating for 12 hours Wednesday and 36 hours Saturday – Sunday) and have lost 4.75lbs per week. I went from 397lbs in February to 357lbs in mid July and 338lbs Saturday morning. My blood pressure went from 190/120 in February to 122/79 this past Thursday. My temperature is also up from an average of 97.4 to 99.2 (wbc is normal, Dr. thought it might be an infection, but no, it seems to be my metabolism is up) and my energy levels are through the roof. I feel as good as I did in high school. I had blood drawn Thursday and sent off to have cholesterol levels checked, so I’ll know the results soon…
      The whole point of telling you this is to reinforce the fact that a week of testing is not enough time for any real results. I have had short term results my entire life, up and down and up and down, I didn’t call this a success until I broke the 350lb window (I haven’t been sub-350lbs in about 7 years… Until now) and I am holding off on celebrating until I brake the 300lb mark. So far this is promising, I am cautiously optimistic, but until this works for an extended period of time, it would be irresponsible to claim victory.

      • Thanks for sharing Christopher! And you are correct. Until you have long term success then you really can’t claim victory. I will say however, LCHF + IF has worked in every capacity for myself and my husband and I have a friend who has been on this “diet” for 10 years and continues to have great success. Enjoy the journey! Cheers!

      • Hello Christopher,
        First of all congratulations on taking charge of your health and moving it in the right direction.
        One minor correction, I did it for 14 days not 7. I did eat 150 grams of sugar everyday not just at the end.
        You are right about the real issue being hormonal imbalance. Millions of people are under the impression sugar is the root cause of diabesity.
        From what I have read lately on various blogs I had serious doubts about this and I wondered how I could convey those doubts to others.
        In the UK we had tv show called Supersize versus Superskinny. Every week we had one enormous person pitted against a stick thin person to see who could make the most positive changes to their health. I was an avid low carber then and I used to be aghast at the healthy meals the supersize people would have compared to the superskinny people who would invariably live on chocolate and sweets.
        I thought the idea of a diabetic eating nothing but sugar lowering his fbg and weight would start people talking.
        After two weeks I concluded sugar did not give me a ravenous appetite, it did not elevate insulin levels to where weight loss was blocked and it did not keep blood glucose elevated.
        If sugar is not causing those things and we know it’s not fat then what is?
        My opinion is that it is added iron and food enriched with vitamins.
        IDM was a big influence on me because of the fasting process. Another big influence was Roy Taylor of Newcastle Diet fame, that is where the 600 calories came from. Yet another influence was the Denise Minger video Lessons from the Vegans. In this video she talks about therapeutic effects of food when you either consume more than 60% calories of fat on HFLC or less than 10% calories from fat on HCLF. Others included Duck Dodger’s articles on iron fortification and vitamin enrichment and articles on sugar from Ray Peat’s blog.

    • Your results makes sense. I’ve done the master cleanse for 14 days on 2 different occasions. It involves drinking a lemonade concoction that has a lot of sugar (from pure maple syrup), though I don’t know the calorie content. I lost ~12 pounds both times.

      • Just curious, have you kept the 24 pounds off?

        • I went back to my prior unhealthy eating habits both times and gained the weight back. Now I believe if I had done IF afterwards I wouldn’t have gained it back.

      • Thanks Erin, I just wanted to focus in on sugar.

        • Elaine in Big D

          Hi, Jin, thanks for posting your n=1. Very interesting. Don’t let the alligators get you down, as they say. The truth is not afraid of questions. We are all so individual in metabolism, your ideas could spark additional ideas that help someone down the road.

          • Jin’s experiment is very telling. I would wonder at years down the line if such a thing was followed regularly, even a few times a year.
            Consequences appear after a life of toxic eating, not saying Jin’s experience would do that. Just wondering. But, Dr. Fung’s wisdom to shake things up are well taken.

  7. Over and over again in my research on health related issues I find bad pharma as the cause. The answer is simple as to what is going wrong: Bad Pharma has taken over the production of information fed the doctors and public, through their KOLs (Key Opinion leaders). Think like a CEO of a pharmaceutical company who is fulfilling his fiduciary duty of maximizing profits: thus longer and higher dose is better, and of course new is better than older off patent. Claiming antibiotic resistance helps with sales thus its incidence is inflated. It is as Dr. Ben Goldacre writes in Bad Pharma: “A perverse system produces perverse results.” Blame should be heaped upon the fundamental cause. On point I have an essay “Why Doctors Give Junk Treatments” at http://healthfully.org/rep/id11.html. We blame tobacco corps for creating the market for cigarettes, the food manufacturers for pushing a high fructose diet that causes the diabesity pandemic, and we should blame bad pharma for the overuse of antibiotics and much worse.

  8. Dear Dr. Fung – I love all of your posts! I find them very inspiring. I love your common sense approach to these issues that seem to plague virtually every doctor I have ever seen. We have been bamboozled by the medical profession and the media about our health. We get bombarded with conflicting messages all of the time which leads to people feeling totally helpless about our own bodies and health. How did you manage to go through medical school and still come out with COMMON SENSE! I hope future doctors will be able to think for themselves with a little help from Doctors like you.

  9. Dr. Fung, did you come up with “eminence based medicine”? It is a fantastic way of describing it!

  10. I always thought that taking the full 14 day course was important to prevent resistance. The logic being taking only a few days exposed the bacteria to the medicine and allowed the survivors to adapt and propogate. By taking the full course, you ensure that there is not any around to propagate the adaptation. This seems logical to me. So you are saying this is not how it actually works?

  11. Jason, I think that you will find that there are a lot of “logical gaps” in medicine, especially in the areas of degenerative diseases.

  12. It seems to me that over use of antibiotics may also contribute to the obesity problem in that we destroy a number of good things, not just the bad guys – rather like a scorched earth policy. Like many things, we seem to look for a simple, single factor, zoom in on it and then wonder why it didn’t pan out the way that we were hoping. Plenty of flaws to go around in any discipline.

  13. I also love “eminence based medicine” instead of “evidence based medicine”. It is sort of like Robert Mendelssohn’s (I think) “edifice complex” (Having impressive pieces of paper from impressive institutions of higher learning) on one’s wall.

  14. Hi Dr. Fung,

    Thank you for this timely article. Right now I am on antibiotics (Cipro) and am having a difficult time with them.

    I have a problem with recurrent ear infections. Interestingly, the doctor at the medicenter told me that recurrent ear infections are common with diabetics. I was shocked, since this was the first doctor who ever told me this. He told me that diabetics have particular problems with fungal infections.

    Anyway, the culture that he took does warrant antibiotics in my case.

    Because I didn’t start “feeling better” in two days, I went back hoping that the doctor would switch me to another antibiotic. He wanted me to stay on the one he prescribed for a minimum of 72 hours, so that I did not develop antibiotic resistance down the road.

    This is now my fifth day of antibiotics and I am finally starting to feel a bit better. Now I am wondering if it was actually the infection that was making me feel so sick and not the antibiotics.

    I find that doctors are reluctant to prescribe antibiotics, even when you need them. I have a senseless and needless hearing loss because one doctor refused to give me antibiotics for an ear infection. (After my eardrum perforated, I was given antibiotics by another doctor who told me “this isn’t supposed to happen.”)

    Because doctors are so reluctant to give out antibiotics, I now find that I am reluctant to go in to see the doctor. I now try over the counter products. So now with my current infection, my other eardrum perforated, because I waited too long.

    Interestingly, I was able to go a number of years without ear infections. I am now wondering if it wasn’t due to daily dose of Vitamin D3 that I was taking. I was taking D3 5000 IU daily because I have a chronic illness. (Unfortunately, I ran out of some of my supplements because I am care giving for my aged mom and was unable to get to a health food store for a couple of months.)

    https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/vitamin-d-news/vitamin-d-helps-prevent-ear-infections-according-to-new-trial/

    I’m getting back on my D3!

    …I really do think that prevention is always best. 🙂

  15. Wenchypoo

    So when are doctors going to realize that PRObiotics (much more positive-sounding, right?) can do the same job as ANTIbiotics? I recently had a go-round with my vet concerning my female cat’s pancreatitis. The cat threw up the prescribed antibiotic, and it was the one favored for her condition. A co-worker vet prescribed a course of probiotics, a prescription cat food, and a week later, the cat was back on the road to wellness. Probiotics and the right diet win again!!

    I seem to learn most of my health info through cat happenings, and usually end up resolving them with human interventions–I’m the one who suggested probiotics to the second vet. I’m too lazy (and don’t want to hear the hypocrisy) to go to medical school for human or animal health, and am wondering if it’s even really necessary for anything beyond diagnosis. If a housewife can help solve the health problems of a cat, as well as her husband, why bother? I got dishes to do! 🙂

    • Hi Wenchypoo,

      Thank you for this reminder of probiotics. Over the years, I have tried so many different probiotic supplements, but have not had a lot of success with them. Do you know of any brand that actually works? I was trying daily yogurt for awhile; however, that only lasted for a bit. I’m wondering if there is a yogurt brand that is better for medicinal properties. This is something I would like to add to my daily diet on a regular basis.

      I, too, have found that I learn a lot for my own health in helping sick cats. Have you heard of a book called “The Natural Cat” by Anitra Frazier?

      http://www.amazon.ca/The-Natural-Cat-Comprehensive-Optimum/dp/0452289750

      My sister rescued a sick cat and this book helped us immensely and was quite literally a life saver.

      About a month ago, a stray cat started hanging around my sister’s house. The cat’s hair was so oily. We immediately started adding wheat bran and nutritional yeast to the cat food and experienced the same wonderful results that Anitra Frazier talks about in her book. The only thing was the cat still had bald patches of skin that were quite unsightly and weren’t improving. I remembered a vet on the Internet talking about coconut oil for skin conditions for cats. Within one week of adding the coconut oil to the cat food, hair started growing back in the bald patches. Within two weeks you couldn’t even tell where the bald patches had been. Coconut oil is amazing!

      I have eczema and recently a specialist recommended coconut oil. Apparently coconut oil has anti viral, anti bacteria and anti fungal properties. I will have to get back on that again.

      • Wenchypoo

        Yogurt, unfortunately (in America, anyway), is loaded with sugar, so it’s no wonder it didn’t work for you. Try straight probiotic supplements from a health food store–yes, they’re capsules that may or may not have to be refrigerated,and yes, you have to take them first thing in the morning, and again 30 mins. before dinner, but you’ll find you have no gas, no bloating, and no more sickness (or so it seems).

        Yogurt in America is more a junk food than a medicine–turn a carton around to look at the hideously low fat content and high carbage (even the so-called “plain” flavors are this way). True yogurt is very tart, absent of fruit, loaded with fat, and is very low in carbs (Europe sells it).

        As for straight probiotic supplements , I recommend the refrigerated kind of probiotic supplements–at least you have the knowledge that the microorganisms were kept cool and alive. If you really need the shelf-stable kind, the go-to there would be Primal Probiotics (https://www.primalblueprint.com/supplements/primal-probiotics/)–because they’re shelf-stable, they can be shipped without worry of ending up stuck sitting in a hot mail truck somewhere, or roasting alive in your mailbox all day. If you’re going to get the refrigerated kind, stick to local sources–the shipping costs of a refrigerated product are ASTRONOMICAL!

        If anybody out there has problems with dairy, there are non-dairy probiotics available in health food stores–they DO NOT contain acidophillus or other dairy organisms. I use them myself.

      • Hi Wenchypoo,

        Yesterday I went to my local health food store and picked up a product by Renew Life called “Ultimate Flora”. It says it is ultra potent with 100 billion active cultures.

        I also picked up a new yogurt by Bles Wold that I have not seen before. On the lid it says that it is all natural farm yogurt. On the front of the container it says that it has active probiotic cultures.

        I will give these two products a try and see how it goes.

        I really think that I need to start thinking of my Vitamin D3 supplement as a required supplement just like I would one of the pharmaceutical medicines that I am on. I was thinking some more about this and realized that I have not had any problems with chronic bronchitis or ear infections since I was taking the Vitamin D3. When I ran out at my mom’s I thought that I would get enough D3 from the sunshine, but clearly I didn’t.

        Thank you for reminding me about the probiotics. I’m certain I would have forgot if you didn’t mention it. I do know the importance of getting good flora after you have taken a course of antibiotics.

    • So true about vets. I avoid them unless its a traumatic situation. Every animal i ever adopted had issues I believe due to all the vaccines and medicines given, not to mention the wheat , corn based diet they wean them on. In contrast I aquired a kitten who had no intervention and was healthy as a horse his whole life and beautifully built to boot. He was kept inside all his life in case your wondering so away from others. I always intervene naturally whenever possible.

  16. Hello everyone! – I’m from Brazil, I follow Dr. Jason Fung blog a long time and use of all the valuable information that he places here.

    I am not diabetic but had severe obesity, 127 kg in two years I with 104 kg and losing weight slowly but much health, making fasting and also removed all industrialized, gluten- and sugar.

    I had an accident and hurt his head with deep cuts and back injury had in the basin, made many points in my head.

    The doctor prescribed me antibiotics and recommended to take without fail for 7 days, I did not buy … believing that my body would have enough immunity, because after I started fasting I feel I am stronger and resistant, do not make more use of any medicine.

    There are 12 days of my accident, my head completely healed, I’m almost fully restored.

    My husband was cured of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, ulcers and various stomach broblemas.

    By coincidence the post this week speaks of antibiotics, we should use them only in extreme necessity,

    Very good!

    A hug!

    • Hello Ana,
      Dr Fung has posted about the autophagy effect of fasting on this very blog. Type the word in the search box, it is a very interesting article

  17. honeycomb

    Dr Fung .. thought you might find this interesting ..

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/well/2016/08/12/light-pollution-may-take-toll-on-muscles-and-bones/?_r=0&referer=http://www.drudgereport.com/

    I know .. I know .. in rats ..

    “During the study, the rats exposed to continuous light had less muscle strength and developed signs of early-stage osteoporosis. They also got fatter and had higher blood glucose levels. Several markers of immune system health also worsened, according to the report published in the medical journal Current Biology.”

  18. Dorothée

    It’s funny you use “less is more” as a title to talk about something else than fasting… As this is exactly the title of a book from Otto Buchinger, who was one of the physicians who developped fasting as a therapeutic method in Germany.

  19. 80% of antibiotics sold in the US are sold to the farming industry, what doctors prescribe is a nothing by comparison, this needs to be addressed as well as we are eating the antibiotics when we eat meat and they are probably also to be found in the environment

  20. Could you people limit your comments to Dr Fung’s post. Enough with the unrelated hobby horse posts!

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