A Canadian Solution to a Widespread Problem
As we have covered before, antibiotic overuse is reaching critical mass in North America–both in the food supply and in prescriptions. In the US alone, 80 percent of the antibiotics produced are used in meat and poultry production to promote faster growth and prevent disease in crowded or unsanitary conditions.
Even if concerns such as these are put aside, the underlying, persistent concern over antibiotics is that due to overuse, they are losing effectiveness. A gene called MCR-1 is resistant to the “last resort antibiotic,” colistin, and this gene has been cropping up more and more in the US and Canada. The fear of reaching the end of the line for antibiotics has prompted WHO to declare antibiotic resistance a global crisis.
However, some uniquely Canadian research coming out of Laval, QC may be a good first step towards a solution. Scientists from McGill University found that when removing the sugar and water from maple syrup, the leftover phenolic compounds boosted the power of common antibiotics. The improvement in potency was so great that the antibiotic dosage administered could be reduced by up to 90 per cent. Researchers theorize that the maple syrup compound is effective because it makes bacterial cell walls more permeable, enabling antibiotics to access the interior of the cells. Another theory is that the compound disables the bacterial “pump” that would normally remove antibiotics from the cells. More research is planned, but this intriguing proposition is certainly a good start. And, it shows once again that natural compounds have enormous “untapped potential” just waiting to be explored. It seems fitting that such a Canadian solution to such an intimidating problem would be unearthed during the country’s 150th anniversary year. While other Canadian staples, such as poutine, may not have such promising health benefits, we are excited to see Canada offering unique solutions to global problems such as antibiotic ineffectiveness.
Still, this does not address the problem beneath the problem, which is that the general public still turns to antibiotics more quickly than they should. Until people stop seeing antibiotics as their first line of defense, the ineffectiveness problem will continue to crop up. We can continue to play Whac-A-Mole with the problem, or we can unplug the game.
Instead of relying on antibiotics for immunity, try natural solutions like Thymus Gland, Zinc Picolinate, and Colloidal Silver. And, if you must use an antibiotic, be sure to follow it up with a high quality probiotic, like our Laktokhan® probiotic complex. Probiotics can be useful for boosting the immune system and restoring it after a course of antibiotics.