Feb, 16

Avoiding Antibiotics


Antibiotics were arguably one of the more important inventions of the 20th century. With the advent of antibiotics, simple infections that were once fatal now had a cure. However, what was once hailed as one of mankind’s greatest inventions has proven to have a many darker sides.

"When the pharmaceutical industry runs out of people to sell antibiotics to, they often turn to farmers"

Sometimes, antibiotics are necessary, and thankfully, they are a part of every doctor’s arsenal against disease. However, they perhaps should not be the first line of defense as they have been for decades. For years, doctors have wantonly prescribed antibiotics, often when they were neither necessary nor useful. The result has been antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, so called “super-bugs” that are unstoppable with modern medicine; many of these infections prove fatal for those unlucky enough to contract them.

When the pharmaceutical industry runs out of people to sell antibiotics to, they often turn to farmers; antibiotics are routinely added to the feed of animals. The reason for this is partially as a prophylactic measure; part of it is likely because antibiotics help animals put on weight. (One should consider the human implications of this…) Antibiotic use in animals is so rampant that now the drugs show up in the food those animals yield, which means part of the problem with antibiotics is that we get exposed to them via food without our knowledge. That is, at least until recent years.


Now, it is possible to buy meat and other animal products from animals not treated with antibiotics or hormones. You would think that animals free from pharmaceutical drugs should be the exception, not the rule, but the purveyors of our enormous, industrialized food system feel otherwise. Unfortunately, as consumers, vigilance is required.

Is there a natural alternative?

When you are on The Kaufmann Phase One Diet, you are encouraged to avoid antibiotics as much as possible. Surely, there are times when they are necessary, and we never advise you to go against your doctor’s orders. If you feel sick, with your doctor’s permission, perhaps try natural antibiotics, such as garlic, oil of oregano or olive leaf extract. Antibiotics are an excellent line of defense when they are necessary, but their wanton use is perhaps not worth the risk.

The encouragement to avoid antibiotics extends to the meat that you buy too, as those drugs can contaminate the meat of animals treated with them. Look for varieties of meat that are organic, preferably grass-fed or pastured for the duration of their lives.

What should i do after taking Antibiotics?

If you must take an antibiotic, please remember to follow it with probiotics, beneficial bacteria whose job is to replace the healthy terrain of bacteria in the gut. These are available supplementally, but they are also found in organic plain yogurt, as well. Probiotics are likely a good, regular addition to your supplement cabinet, regardless of whether you’ve recently taken antibiotics; maintaining healthy gut flora is key to good health.