Since World War II, we’ve been in a battle with an enemy that’s growing in strength each year. Devastatingly, approximately 700,000 people die from antibiotic-resistant bacteria infections, or superbugs, every year worldwide. This includes 35,000 Americans (1). It’s an astounding number.
Unfortunately, the current trend suggests it will only get worse especially if we continue to weaken our immune defenses on a personal basis and allow these infectious superbugs to spread throughout communities.
What can be done?
We can each invest in the health of our bodies and support our immune systems. Here’s how superbugs came to be, why their threat is growing, and what you can do specifically to bolster your immune defenses.
Soon after antibiotics became available and throughout World War II, scientists began to realize that antibiotic resistance could become a problem. Both British and American troops were given penicillin to fight infections during the war. To meet the demand, pharmaceutical companies ramped up production.
About a year after the war ended, many experts began warning that penicillin could become useless if it continued to be over-used. Alexander Fleming, the physician-scientist who was recognized for discovering penicillin (2), warned that using non-lethal amounts of penicillin may allow bacteria to become resistant to it.
In other words, bacteria may become stronger and adapt to antibiotics. If a low dose is taken, the antibiotics kill the weak bacteria, leaving only the strongest as survivors. Over time, new types of resistant bacteria could emerge and multiply. Once these bacteria infect a host, newer, different, and/or stronger antibiotics would be needed.
At the time, scientists did not worry too much about the resistant bacteria. New strains of antibiotics were being produced, and they were optimistic they would be able to kill any bacterial threat with a different antibiotic.
Unfortunately, Flemming’s warning was not heeded.
Even now, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are not talked about much outside scientific circles. And, our lifestyles continue to enable the emergence of new strains and threats. Our overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial products allows the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In addition, our consumption of foods from livestock in which antibiotics have been used further destroys our own immune defenses and allows antibiotic-resistant bacteria to proliferate.
Now, the World Health Organization projects as many as 10 million people per year may die from antibiotic-resistant by 2050 if current trends are sustained (3).
In your own life, it may seem like your immune defenses are under attack from all sides. We have viruses, bacteria, and intolerances to contend with, and this is nothing new. Mankind has dealt with threats throughout human history.
The difference with superbugs is that we may not have medications to fight them, and unlike many viruses, they don’t always just run their course. What can you do?
It’s essential to stay as healthy as possible with lifestyle choices and habits. This can put your body in a position to fight microbes.
There are 3 primary ways you can support your immune function. You can:
Do you know what harms your immune system? Specific foods such as sugars, refined carbohydrates, modern gluten, those that cause intolerance and inflammation, processed fats, and more can harm your immune system. Sedentary lifestyles can reduce your immune response. Inadequate sleep and high levels of stress are detrimental to immune function. And, as described above, any overuse of antibiotics can harm your immune defenses and reduce your own healthy bacteria’s ability to fight for you.
Unfortunately, overweight individuals are at a higher risk of abnormal blood sugars and cardiovascular issues. Both of these situations can increase the risk of infection and decrease the strength of immune defenses. It’s crucial to make lifestyle choices to support a healthy weight including reinforcing for the health of your digestive tract, cutting down on carbohydrates and sugars, and engaging in regular exercise.
There are specific organs and systems responsible for healthy immune function. Your digestive tract is vitally important to immune function. Your kidneys, liver, lungs, and lymph system are crucial. How can you keep them healthy? You can give them the nutrients they need like fibers, probiotics and prebiotics, antioxidants, anti-inflammations, and more to stay strong. Then, cut out the foods and habits that harm them like drinking alcohol, eating inflammatory fats, overusing antibiotics, and more.
One great step to supporting all your immune system organs is joining Dr. Colbert’s 21 Day Detox and Fast. You can learn everything you need to remove the toxins that build up in our bodies and damage it while giving it the nutrients that support health.
This is not intended to be a fear-inducing article, but timely information to encourage you to take charge of your health.
We will have trouble in this world; we know that. There are many things that can attack us physically, spiritually, and mentally. However, we were not given a spirit of fear. We know we can meet challenges head-on, and that God has given us amazing bodies that can overcome the threats. He’s given us tools to keep our bodies healthy, and the desire to do so.
You can do it. It’s time to work towards a healthy lifestyle, a healthy weight, and strong immune defenses.
Superbugs and antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a real threat. They are nothing new, but with modern lifestyles they are becoming more powerful and more abundant. It’s vital to take control of your health and immune defenses. Join us in Dr. Colbert’s 21 Day Detox and Fast to learn what you can do to stay healthy, support immune health, and be ready for any microbial threat that comes your way.