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Sherlock Holmes Discovers How to Make a Pig Fat

Animals use antibiotics, but not necessarily to cure illnesses. Feeding antibiotics to pigs, chickens, and cows saves the meat industry a lot of money. After using our Sherlock Holmes skills, we discover a lot about how the meat industry uses antibiotics and how it affects us.

The antibiotics the meat industry feeds to animals can end up in human bodies.

Even a small use of antibiotics seems to change our ability to digest food properly, leading to increased weight gain and body fat percentage. That is why antibiotics are used for the animals we eat – they get the animals up to market weight quickly.

Unfortunately, antibiotics can take our children up to “market weight” quickly as well. Since childhood infections, like ear infections, usually respond well to antibiotics, antibiotics tend to be used often. Though they are important for curing infections, they are also part of the massive obesity epidemic that is worsening every day throughout most of the industrialized world.

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 in 2010 due to high body mass. Comparatively, approximately 860,000 children and a smaller number of adults have died due to being underweight worldwide. So, hunger is a problem we need to take care of, but obesity is also a big problem in our society.

The thing is, when we take in meat or milk from the animals that are getting antibiotics, we are transferring the antibiotics from the animals into our own systems.

Antibiotics are a vital part of our arsenal against deadly diseases, and we should be thankful for their life-saving nature. We should use them when necessary. But we should also know that antibiotic-fed animals are adding to our fat.

How could antibiotics possibly affect weight gain?

First, antibiotics change the way we digest foods because they kill the normal, healthy bacteria in our gut. These bacteria are responsible for breaking down many of our proteins, carbs, fats, and cholesterol, as well as turning what we eat into vitamins and healthy sugars. As we already know from the last article, 90% of the cells in the human body are bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. The enzymes humans actually produce can only break down some of the foods we eat. It is the good bacteria that do the rest.

Second, like turning the key to start a car, the bacteria in the stomach start a sequence of powerful messages. Eating gets the normal bacteria in your stomach roaring into life. Their presence ensures that a stomach hormone called leptin is built up and sends messages to your brain to stop you from eating when you have gotten enough energy from your food to work or play. Without enough leptin, you don’t stop eating and you gain weight. And not only that, but the percentage of fat in your body increases. You are now at risk of being a part of the obesity epidemic, all because antibiotics are killing your good bacteria.

What can you do?

Here is one word for you: probiotics. Now, don’t go rushing off helter-skelter and filling your body with any old probiotic you find on the shelf or on the internet. Like antibiotics, different probiotics are specific to different needs.

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? We can also test to see what substances we already have in our bodies and determine what’s missing.

The wonderful result of doing this is that we find specific natural substances that are often the very best things we can put in our bodies to ward off disease and strengthen our immune systems, not to mention make sure we have the right bacteria in our bodies. Go to you MD for antibiotics when they are needed, but do not hesitate to come to the Health Center of Hillsborough if and when you believe natural substances may be beneficial. Like Sherlock Holmes, our Health Center can study carefully to determine which probiotic is the best for you.

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