According to a sound bite from the Prime Minister we could all be heading back into the ‘Dark Ages’. This conjures up images in the mind of dark, dank castles, boiled cabbage for dinner and less than chivalrous Knights. But what David Cameron was actually referring to is potentially more serious: a shortage of new drugs to combat increasingly resistant bacterial strains, posing a real threat to the future of the world’s health.
The fact is that no new antibiotics have been introduced to the world in the last 25 years and those that we do have date back as far as 1928 (Penicillin). Taking into account the growth in world travel, it’s not surprising that virulent bacterial strains are spreading and becoming increasingly difficult to treat. Even the most common infections now require drugs with increased levels of toxicity and prolonged courses.
Where are all the new Antibiotics?
With all these new ‘super-bugs’ emerging it would be fair to ask why the pharmaceutical companies have not been hard at work to save humanity. After all, we have known as early as 1945 that antibiotics can lose their effectiveness over time, as foretold by Alexander Fleming (the man credited with the discovery of Penicillin). The answer of course boils down to money: the research and development of new antibiotics is a costly business and the economic downturn has pinched the purse-strings tight.
But perhaps the blame really lies with us all. The shocking truth is that our society is guilty of antibiotic abuse; we visit our GP with the expectation they can cure us and, sure enough, are written a prescription. Sometimes we even receive a prescription ‘just in case’. We live in a culture of instant gratification and when it comes to illness, antibiotics are seen as a ‘magic bullet’. It is arguably this approach which has led us so quickly to where we are now. We have been over-exposed to the drugs and they have lost effectiveness- like an army that knows its enemy, the bacteria have changed their armour.
Eat Well, Move Well, Think Well
So are we doomed? Not if we help ourselves by ending our over-dependence on drugs. We need to bolster the natural defences within our own bodies to see off minor infections by following three steps:
1. Eat Well- less processed, sugary, fatty foods, more antioxidant rich foods such as dark berries (blueberries or blackberries), oily fish rich in Omega 3 (mackerel) and sweet potato to name but a few.
2. Move Well- just 30 minutes exercise a day (at a reasonable intensity) has been shown by studies to be effective over time in promoting health and lowering the risk of disease.
3. Think Well- The power of positive thinking cannot be ignored; ironically the effect of placebo pills is evidence of this!
There are also plenty of natural supplements and essential oils which we can use daily, or during times of vulnerability, to give our bodies a boost. If you are interested in learning more please do get in touch by email or telephone. We feel strongly about this issue at R&I and have plenty of advice to give- we want to help you stay out of the ‘dark ages’!