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How to Make a Pig Fat

By Dr. Paul Aaron, DC

Part 2 of the series, “Bacteria—We Can’t Live Without Them”

The meat industry saves a lot of money by feeding antibiotics to pigs, chickens and cows.
Even the minimal use of antibiotics appears to change the ability for the animals, or for the humans who eat them, to digest food properly—leading to increased weight gain and body fat percentage. These antibiotics are used to get the animals (and, and of course, the humans) up to market weight quickly.

Of course, antibiotics take our children up to ‘market weight’ quickly as well. Childhood ear infections and other awful infections usually respond well to antibiotics. Antibiotic use is very important. But the antibiotics are also part of the massive obesity epidemic and childhood obesity epidemic, which is worsening every day throughout most of the **industrialized world. More

Sleuthing, Sherlock Holmes investigates how the murderer poisoned his victim. In the case of meat on our dinner plate, the murderer may be the one using antibiotics to fatten animals. Health care practitioners examine every piece of evidence, including bacteria, to assure our wellness. When we take in meat or milk from animals who are filled with antibiotics, we get the antibiotics from the animals into our systems. We get fat. Obesity kills.

Antibiotics are a vital part of our armamentarium against deadly diseases, and we should be thankful for the life-saving nature of antibiotics. We should use them when appropriate. But eating these artificially fattened animals adds to our fat.

Obesity has been a greater risk factor for death than children being underweight worldwide since as early as 2005, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. An estimated 3.4 million people died due to high body mass in 2010. Approximately 860,000 children and a smaller number of adults died due to being underweight worldwide.

How could antibiotics possibly affect weight gain?

  1. Antibiotics change the way we digest foods because they kill the normal bacteria in our gut, which are vital to breaking down many of our proteins, carbs, fats and even cholesterol, turning what we eat into vitamins and healthy sugars. The amazing fact is that only about 10% of the trillions of cells in a human body are actually human! 90% of the cells in the human body are bacteria, viruses and other microbes. The enzymes humans produce can only break down some of the foods we eat.
  2. Antibiotic use also affects our appetite by destroying certain normal bacteria in the stomach. Like turning the key to start your car, the bacteria in the stomach start a sequence of powerful messages. Turning the key starts the messages for your car engine to roar into life. Eating gets the normal bacteria in your stomach to roar into life. Their presence ensures that a stomach hormone, leptin, is built up and sends messages to your brain to stop eating—that you have eaten enough to have the energy to work or play. Without enough leptin, you don’t stop eating. You gain weight. Not only do you gain weight, but the percentage of fat in your body increases. You are now at risk of being a part of the epidemic of obesity.

What to do?

There are helpful substances called probiotics. Now don’t go rushing off helter-skelter and filling your body with any probiotic you find on the shelf or on the Internet. In the same way as antibiotics, different probiotics are specific to different conditions.

Remember in “Star Wars” how the Jedi Knights tested young Luke for exactly what substances he had in his body, and exactly what he needed to become masterful? At the Health Center of Hillsborough, we can test many of the substances we have in our bodies and determine what we need.

The wonderful result of doing this is that we find specific natural substances that often are the very best things we can put in our bodies to ward off disease and strengthen our immune systems. Go to your MD for antibiotics when they are needed, but do not hesitate to approach the Health Center if and when you believe natural substances may be beneficial. Like Sherlock Holmes, we study carefully to determine which probiotic is appropriate for your use. Our registered dietician, our chiropractors and Sherlock Holmes will spring into life to stand by your side.

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