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Missing Microbes - How Killing Bacteria Creates Modern Plagues (2014)

by Martin J. Blaser(Favorite Author)
4.17 of 5 Votes: 4
Oneworld Publications
review 1: The author, an M.D. in the area of microbes and a CDC adviser, did a great service in providing this information for those who are interested in why people are fatter, have more allergies and cancers, and why fertility problems are so common. The cause seems to be the antibiotics in the foods, especially meats and dairy, that we eat. In the U.S., all non-organic meats have antibiotics in them because food animals are fed low level antibiotics so that they will gain weight quickly. Unfortunately the antibiotics pass to humans in the meat and add to antibiotics that many of us take frequently for various conditions that may not benefit from antibiotics because those conditions are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Since the 1990's, Europe and Sweden (1986) have banned th... moree use of antibiotics as growth stimulants in food animals. However, the U.S. has not done so. Therefore organically raised meats are the best way to avoid antibiotics meat products. U.S. milk can legally contain up to 100 mg of tetracycline per kilogram. A child who drinks 2 cups of conventional milk daily will thereby ingest approximately 50 mg of tetracycline per day. Water purification reduces harmful bacteria but not antibiotics. All ground water in Michigan and Ohio contains antibiotics. Most (80%) of conventional pork contains antibiotic resistant bacteria that was enabled by antibiotics given during growth of the hogs for market. Farm raised shellfish, salmon and talapia receive high doses of antibiotics to combat diseases from crowded fish farms. Wild caught seafood does not have the antibiotic exposure.Humans exposed to salmonella within one month after taking a course of antibiotics are 5 1/2 times more likely to become ill with salmonella. Sixty-five percent of conventional (non-organic) chicken contains salmonella. Eggs shells should be washed before they are cracked for cooking. All U.S. born babies receive their first antibiotics at birth via the eye drops automatically placed in their eyes to prevent gonorrhea, a disease that is rarely a problem now. Mothers are automatically given antibiotics, generally without their knowledge, during the birth process to prevent POSSIBLE development of strep. Those antibiotics also pass to the baby via milk if the baby is breast fed or given cow's milk.
review 2: The premise of this book is that the overuse of antibiotics and the increasing prevalence of Cesarean births may possibly be contributing to the growth of modern maladies ranging from asthma and Type I diabetes to food allergies and childhood obesity. Blaser presents his case in a way that even a person without a strong science background can comprehend. First, he delves into how we came to enter the situation we are in now where antibiotics are over-prescribed. I was surprised to find that 70 to 80% of antibiotics sold in the US are used in factory farms where they are given to animals in order to help fatten them up for our consumption. Blaser also discusses microbiomes and how the relationships and interactions between our various gut microbes may actually prevent certain ailments and serve as protection. Another aspect I found fascinating was that Cesarean births essentially prevent a vital transfer of bacteria from mother to child which research is now suggesting is leading to problems further down the line. Blaser has studied and researched connections between the delicate balances of our microbiomes as they relate to various illnesses and conditions. He cannot conclusively prove causal relations for everything that he brings up, but he does succeed in presenting a very plausible connection. I'm certainly convinced that more research is indicated in all of these areas. less
Reviews (see all)
If you're interested in health and wellness I'd say that this is required reading.
Interesting read, a fair bit of compelling data and observations
very sensible book from a guy who's been there and done that
A must read for anyone interested in health and science.
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