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Or as another example - what if you touch a surface that's contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria (like the ones at http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2008/05/study-keyboards-make-excellent-homes-for-nasty-bacteria.ars) and introduce those bacteria into your body and don't get sick. Then could there be some other damage that the bacteria could do your body? Like, at the very least, maybe promote a not-particularly-noticeable increase in inflammation in the regions where the immune system decides to fight the bacteria? Inflammation only starts to get noticeable when some really high threshold gets crossed.
By "sick", I mean, that the symptoms of the infection become noticeable enough to cross the threshold of being unpleasant to the person carrying the infection. I'm sure that there may be some sub-threshold effects that come in first.
And why is this important? We have to establish some sort of balance between using too much soap/other cleaning agents and not using enough of it. If we use too much, the bacteria could develop antibiotic resistance. And if we use too little, there could be an increase in the types of bacteria that cause chronic infections that don't get noticed, even though some of us might not even get physically sick more.
It really depends on what you consume, how much of it you consume, and the state of your immune system. Let me give you some examples. Yogourt is full of bacteria, and yet we can eat it without issue. The bacteria likely don't survive digestion, but if they do, they will quite happily live in our intestines contributing to the already existing population of good bacteria.
Streptococcus is a genus of bacteria that contains some species that live all over us. They are on our skin, in our upper respiratory tract and intestine. If the species, S. pneumoniae makes it into our lungs, this can cause a bacterial pneumonia. There are likely few bacteria making it into our lungs on a regular basis, and normally our immune system can fight this off without concern. If we some how become immune depressed or compromised (for a number of medical reasons) then that's when we become symptomatic and ill.
On a more extreme side, if we have a bacteremia it is called a bacteremia. There are benign cases of this every time your brush your teeth and bacteria are able to enter tiny cuts in your gums from the brushing action. A healthy person fights this off. If a bacteremia is left unchecked, because of a lack of immune response or trauma, this can develop into a sepetcemia, a toxic infection of the blood. This can be very life threatening and is quite serious.
In general, we always have bacteria all over our hands which we likely transmit to our food or otherwise ingest. This is normally not a problem, but there is an appreciable risk of getting some kinds of viral or bacterial infection (eg, strep throat or a cold). Washing with soap (and to a lesser degree, using hand sanitizers) minimizes this risk.
Some bacteria produce toxins when alive. The infamous Clostridium botulinum produces botulinum, a very powerful toxin that can cause total body paralysis in very small amounts.
C. botulinum cannot survive the acids in the stomach, but the toxin and the spores can pass through and still affect (kill) you. This is an example of a bacteria that you cannot get physically sick from just eating, but from its by-products.
I had the bacteria in my gut analysed. And this may be the future of medicine
W e are all familiar with "gut feelings", "gut reactions" and "gut instincts", but how much do we really know or care about our guts? As we become increasingly more aware of what we put in our stomachs, it's striking how ignorant we remain of what takes place in our intestines. And it turns out there is an awful lot going on down there.
Microbiologists have made some startling advances in revealing our innermost secrets. It turns out that there is a complex ecosystem deep within us that is home to a fantastic diversity of life – of which very little belongs to our species.
For most of us, suspicious of foreign bodies, it's a struggle to comprehend that at our very core we are less than – or rather much more than – human. But, the fact is, there are about 100 trillion organisms living in the gut. If you put them all together they would be about the size of a football. In terms of cells, the microbial kind outnumber their human counterparts by about three to one. And in terms of genes, the microbial advantage is more like 300 to one.
That means there is a tremendous amount of us that is not, so to speak, us. This raises a whole range of interesting philosophical and anatomical questions, of which the most urgent might be: should we be worried?
Well, I wasn't much concerned about bacteria before I got the contents of my gut tested. I took a fairly relaxed view that as long as the lavatory was regularly bleached, I brushed my teeth and kept the kitchen surfaces reasonably clean then I didn't have to think too much about what goes on at the microbial level. But there's nothing like spooning your own faecal matter into a Perspex container to make you stop and contemplate just what it is that we're full of. That unpleasant task is precisely what I found myself doing last October, as I gathered a stool sample to send off, cold-packed to the BioSciences Institute at University College Cork in Ireland.
The institute is one of Europe's leading centres for the study of what is now referred to as the microbiome – that is all the bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea and eukaryotes that inhabit the human body, inside and out. The simplistic view of these guests has traditionally centred on their parasitic or pathogenic aspects. Either they were fairly harmlessly hitching a free ride or were a direct threat to their host.
But the latest thinking presents this vast army of microbes as a vital component in furnishing and maintaining human health. Such is the microbiome's importance that it is now viewed by scientists as a separate organ with its own dynamic metabolic activity. But what precisely is that activity and is it all going to plan with me?
Paul O'Toole is a professor at the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, which is part of the BioSciences Institute at Cork. A keen marathon runner, he looks like he knows a thing or two about intestinal fortitude. He co-ordinated a government-funded study – fortuitously launched just before the Irish economy collapsed – entitled Eldermet, which was aimed at helping the Irish food industry develop food products for old people. To do that, they needed a knowledge base of the gut microbiota. So O'Toole began examining how diet affects the microbiota of Ireland's elderly population.
There is an element of poacher-turned-gamekeeper to his career because he started out as something of a bacterial enemy. "I spent about 15 years working on pathogens where you're trying to kill them," he tells me in his office. "I did my PhD in staphylococcus. One organism, one gene. I worked on a condition called scalded skin syndrome syndrome where staphylococci infect the umbilical stump and if they produce a toxin all the baby's skin peels off."
From combatting staphylococci, he moved into probiotics – the organisms that are supposed to be good for us – which in commercial form have been decanted into capsules and yoghurts and advertised to the public as "friendly bacteria". But he discovered that he couldn't effectively study probiotics in isolation because their benefits were often indirect.
"I realised I needed to study the whole canvas," he says. And that was how he came to find himself involved with the microbiome, just when it was starting to become the subject of intensive biomedical research.
There are two labs, O'Toole explains, that processed my sample. The first was the wet lab, where, through various molecular assaults, DNA was extracted, 95% of which was bacterial. This was then sent to an external company to be sequenced – there were over 30,000 sequences – and then a huge file of data was crunched by what O'Toole called "a bunch of computer nerds who sit around all day generating stats" in the institute's data lab.
Just a year ago, that process cost upwards of £400. Now it can done for as little as £15. What you get are a couple of pie charts that list the microbiota found in the gut at different phylogenetic levels and a narrative explanation as to what their significance is. Phylogentic levels in this instance simply refer to different levels of resolution.
At the broadest level, the phylum level, my microbiota, in common with everyone else's, was dominated by two types: firmicutes and bacteroidetes. The western diet, by which we tend to mean the North American diet, is high in fat and protein. In this diet bacteroidetes usually make up more than 55% of the gut microbiota, and sometimes, in North America itself, as much as 80%. In Europe, the average numbers vary from country to country. In my case I had 34%.
The opposite to a North American diet is what O'Toole calls a "natural diet". "Our antecedents on the plains of Africa weren't chewing on burgers," he explains. "They were running around eating plant foods and leaves and occasionally eating a squirrel if they were lucky."
On a plant-based diet, the microbiota is tipped in favour of the other major phylum, firmicutes. Some of the complex carbohydrates in plants cannot be digested by our bodies alone. They have to be broken down by the gut microbiota, which produce enzymes to chop up the long chains and ferment them into short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate – which is made exclusively by bacteria – acetate and propionate.
These fatty acids are beneficial to the body. Butyrate, for example, provides an energy source that the cells lining our intestines can directly access. It also controls the proliferation of cells in the intestine and is thought to possess anti-carcinogenic properties. All of which meant that my score of 51% firmicutes was a healthy sign.
Zooming into the genus level, which offers a more detailed look at my microbial composition, the good news continued. I had three times as much of the butyrate-producing roseburia than the healthy cohort used in O'Toole's study. Many more lachnospira than normal but many fewer bacteroides (not to be confused with bacteroidetes) and alistipes – as O'Toole put it, in more scientific terms, "bugger all".
Again these were positive results. Lachnospira degrade pectins and ferment dietary fibres and I have three times more than typical. And bacteroides are often associated with meat-based, high-protein, high-fat diets, just as alistipes tend to be more present in people who eat less plant-based food. In sum that meant my gut – the lack of six-pack notwithstanding – was probably in good shape. Of course, it's not the sort of thing you can boast about at dinner parties. "I've got significantly higher than average amounts of lachnospira," is unlikely to be a conversational gambit that will impress non-microbiologists, even if you do manage to pronounce the word correctly. But just as we now know that high cholesterol is something to be avoided, so too might we soon begin to become aware of the sorts of bacteria counts that are markers for good health, especially as the price of testing comes down.
There were, however, one or two results that O'Toole struggled to make sense of. In particular my high levels of natranaerobius, a genus of bacteria that thrive in high-salt, highly alkaline environments. Did I eat a lot of sushi? No, while I love fish, I tend to prefer it cooked. Did I prepare a lot of fish? No more than once a week.
Although he found nothing sinister in the natranaerobius, it perturbed him that he couldn't quite put his finger on the cause of its abundance in my gut. But by then he had managed to make a blind prediction of my diet that was uncannily accurate. He saw very little evidence of meat-eating – I haven't eaten meat for 30 years. But there was plenty of evidence of high fibre, which is good because bacteria feed on fibre. If we don't feed bacteria, they feed off us – specifically the mucus lining in our large intestine. There was also evidence of lots of fish and a large range of vegetables. All of which exactly represents my diet.
I suggest that it must be satisfying to get his prediction so right.
"It's a bit spooky all right," he agrees. "But it made me think about the utility of it. I mean, it's not particularly useful to tell people what they eat."
O'Toole is interested in the diagnostic potential of the microbiome. "We could probably guess what your inflammatory parameters are," he says, fixing me with one of those expressions in which GP's specialise when looking up from studying your medical notes: neutral, unyielding, and anxiety-inducing. Not only do I not know what my inflammatory parameters are, I don't know what inflammatory parameters means.
O'Toole explains that significant links have been established between gut microbiota and inflammation, sarcopenia and cognitive function.
"Inflammation," he says, "is not a swollen thumb. Inflammation means how activated your immune system is. I would guess that your inflammatory markers are baseline. Flat. In old people they're not. In old people, the immune system is typically turned on and that's not good, because if it's turned on, when they get a winter flu all their energies are expended chasing ghosts. So you want to turn down the inflammation."
Sarcopenia means loss of muscle mass. It happens as we get older because the body becomes less efficient at turning protein into muscle, which is why older people need to have more protein. "We think that the narrowing of gut bacteria in old people is making the intestine less efficient at absorbing proteins," says O'Toole.
Cognitive function is partly related to what's known as the brain-gut axis. As all those phrases like "gut wrenching" and "gut feeling" suggest, there is indeed an intimate link between the brain and the gut. Our intestines are acutely responsive to shifts in our emotions and mental states. But it's a two-way street: studies suggest that our brains and emotions are also sensitive to what's going on in our guts.
T ypically, cognitive function is only slowly diminished as we get older, but in some cases it can quickly accelerate.
"There are physiological reasons like Alzheimer's and senile dementia that explain rapid cognitive impairment," O'Toole says. "But the rate of loss could also be affected by compounds made by bacteria, and that's what we're targeting. Bacteria produce chemicals which are analogues – in other words they look identical to normal human transmitters. What we hope is that we can improve the ability of old people to process data."
Common to all these issues, particularly among the aged, is the narrowing of the gut microbiota which, in turn, is usually the result of a narrowing of diet. This is a point that O'Toole repeatedly emphasises.
"Diversity is the key. What we see with people on narrow diversity diets is that the microbiota collapses. A good analogy would be an ecosystem like a rainforest, where you've got loads of plants and animals interacting. It's evolved over tens of thousands of years, then one of the key species, a tree, gets cut down and you get ecological collapse.
"And if you had a gentleman whose wife died and she had done all the cooking, and then he's suddenly eating toast and marmalade, the diversity of gut microbiota will collapse – because diversity of diet correlates with diversity of microbiota – and you will get a range of health problems associated with that."
He goes on to tell me that my microbial diversity is impressively wide and that, by way of summary, he would suggest that my diet is "pretty bloody good". Forget the 5-2 diet, I suddenly feel like writing a bestselling diet book entitled Guts: The Microbial Guide to Healthy Eating. In one sense, of course, it's no great achievement. Studies show that it only takes a short time of a changed diet to dramatically change the microbiota, although it changes back just as quickly as soon as the diet is dropped.
But this apparently superficial relationship between food and microbes is in reality rather profound because first it speaks of a co-evolution with the human body over tens of thousands of years. Like all organisms and species, humans have evolved to have a particular relationship with a particular set of microbes.
There are hundreds of thousands of kinds of microbes on Earth but only about a thousand enjoy an association with humans. Thus, secondly it suggests that we need to stop thinking of ourselves as separate entities from the microbes that have colonised our bodies.
"We came through the period of medicine in which we developed antibiotics," says O'Toole. "Until the second world war we were dying from stupid things like pneumonia and galloping septicemia from a small wound. So antibiotics were a major success. Then we've had the backlash where we've prescribed them too much and can't control the pathogens. But now we have a more intelligent understanding of humans as chimeras."
A germ-free existence would be an unhappy one. Tests have shown that a mouse raised in a lab devoid of bacteria fails to develop a proper immune system or an effective digestive system. It has to consume a lot more food to extract calories. Humans are first colonised by microbes during birth. Then through breast milk, which contains both probiotics (beneficial microbes) and prebiotics (compounds that foster the growth of probiotics).
"There is strengthening evidence," says O'Toole, "that the explosion of auto-immune diseases and immune disregulation diseases in western society may be due to suppression of gut bacteria from infancy onwards.
"The immune system in babies is probably taught to distinguish between self and non-self in the context of bacteria. There are two recent papers in the publication Nature showing that butyrate is important in enlisting regulatory T-cells, a branch of immune cells that control the processes involved in inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome."
It takes about two years from birth through a process of selection for a child to attain a mature microbiome. There are several phenomena that may contribute to childhood microbial diminishment. One is the increase in caesarian sections.
"Babies who were previously colonised in the birth canal with their mother's microbiota now have a gut microbiota that is more like the walls of the hospital than it is mum's vaginal microbiota."
Another is lack of breast milk, and a third is the increased use of antibiotics. O'Toole says that one study suggests that repeated use of antibiotics tips the microbiota towards one that promotes obesity. In fact there are many studies around the globe that are still in their infancy but which point up connections between the microbiota and diseases and complaints as diverse as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, type-two diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, autism, depression, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.
But so far none of it is conclusive and much is highly speculative. After the initial claims about the potential health benefits of microbiome research – the kind that tend to help funding – there has been a bit of a sceptical backlash.
Several articles have pointed out that there has been plenty of hyperbole but not enough substance. And as yet the medical profession isn't rushing to produce microbiome specialists.
"Medicine is notoriously slow to adopt new ideas," says O'Toole. He cites the case of Barry Marshall, an Australian doctor whose claim to have established a bacterial cause of peptic ulcers and gastric cancer was comprehensively ridiculed by the medical establishment in the 1980s. "About 20 years later he got the Nobel prize."
The problem, he says, is that microbiologists have been very good at discovering gut bacteria and identifying what roles they might play, but they have been slow to develop mechanisms to establish firm causal links and practical applications.
"I personally hope it doesn't become the solution for everything because it's not going to be credible, it's simply not true. There's plenty of evidence that most human major diseases have a physiological or lifestyle basis, but it's probable in some of those that the gut microbiota is a modulating factor that contributes to the overall risk."
Right now, O'Toole would like to like to reduce the lower diversity microbiota in the elderly by means of dietary supplements. "But we worry that, as the World Wildlife Fund says, extinction may be forever. That if a particularly good bacterium is missing from an elderly person, we may not be able to get it back by diet alone."
The solution in that case might be fecal microbiota transplantation, which O'Toole helpfully clarifies, "is the idea of transplanting someone else's poo into a recipient". Which neatly brings us back to where I started. If collecting your own excrement is counter-intuitive, then injecting it into someone else runs against every decent human instinct.
But it's already happening in North America and O'Toole suggests that such transplants may help prevent ulceration of the colon – a condition that nearly killed my father some years back.In the end, it's all comes back to what you put in and take out. And in that tireless cycle of life, we shouldn't be appalled if not even our waste need go to waste.
Please note: the BioSciences Institute is not able to offer individual analysis, and did so for the purposes of this piece only.
What should you eat while taking antibiotics?
Antibiotics are a type of medication that fight bacteria. They work either by killing bacteria or by stopping it from reproducing.
These drugs often cause gastrointestinal side effects, such as:
These side effects may be uncomfortable, but they tend to pass quickly.
Eating the right foods can help to prevent bothersome side effects and encourage healing. In this article, learn which foods to eat and which to avoid while taking antibiotics.
Share on Pinterest Certain foods or drinks may affect antibiotics.
A person has trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms living in their gut. The medical community refers to these organisms, collectively, as the gut microbiome.
Antibiotics fight bacteria, and they can upset the balance of bacteria in the microbiome.
The gut microbiome keeps the digestive system functioning and helps the immune system to defend against viral infection.
When antibiotics upset the bacterial balance, a person may experience side effects, such as nausea or diarrhea. Consuming probiotics and prebiotics during and after a course of antibiotics can help to restore the balance of bacteria in the gut.
Probiotics are live microorganisms commonly known as “healthy bacteria.”
They can help to reduce some of the side effects of antibiotics, such as bloating and diarrhea.
While research about probiotics and antibiotics is still inconclusive, studies suggest that taking probiotics is a safe way to prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea.
Antibiotics can kill the beneficial bacteria in probiotics, so it is advisable to take the two a few hours apart.
After finishing a course of antibiotics, taking a mixture of probiotics can also help to restore balance in the microbiome.
Prebiotics are food for the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut microbiome.
Feeding the beneficial bacteria before and after taking antibiotics can help to bring balance back to the gut.
Some foods contain low levels of prebiotics, such as:
Manufacturers sometimes add prebiotics to foods, such as:
Prebiotics may appear on food labels as:
- galactooligosaccharides, or GOS
- fructooligosaccharides, or FOS
- oligofructose, or OF
- chicory fiber
Most prebiotics are dietary fibers. If a person consumes large quantities, they may experience gas or bloating.
Anyone who is considering adding prebiotics to their diet should do so slowly to allow their gut to adapt.
Fermented foods are good sources of beneficial bacteria. All fermented foods contain microorganisms, but some heat or filtration processes can kill the beneficial bacteria.
Fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut or pickles in jars and stored at room temperature, do not contain live cultures.
Microorganisms do not survive any baking processes, so they will not be present in foods such as sourdough bread.
Foods that contain these organisms often have “live and active cultures” on their labels.
- traditional salami
- some cheeses
- fresh, sour dill pickles
Share on Pinterest Kale is high in vitamin K.
Antibiotics fight all kinds of bacteria, even those that help the body. Some bacteria produce vitamin K, which the body needs to make the blood clot.
To reduce the impact of antibiotics on vitamin K levels, people can eat:
Fiber may stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
People should avoid high-fiber foods while taking antibiotics, as they may affect how the stomach absorbs the medicine.
However, once a person finishes the full course of antibiotics, eating fiber can help to restore the beneficial bacteria and promote proper digestion.
Foods that are rich in fiber include:
- whole grains
Some foods interfere with the effectiveness of antibiotics.
These include grapefruits and grapefruit juice, which can stop the body from breaking down and correctly absorbing the medication.
Also, some research indicates that foods fortified with high doses of calcium, such as some orange juices, can interfere with the absorption of certain antibiotics.
It is sensible to avoid alcohol while taking any medication. In most cases, moderate drinking will not interfere with antibiotics, but it may make the side effects worse.
A doctor will advise a person not to drink any alcohol if they are taking one of the following antibiotics:
- Metronidazole, which can treat dental infections, vaginal infections, infected leg ulcers, and pressure sores.
- Tinidazole, which also treats dental infections, vaginal infections, infected leg ulcers, and pressure sores, and clears bacteria called Helicobacter pylori from the gut.
Drinking alcohol while on one of these antibiotics can cause a serious reaction and the following symptoms:
- abdominal pain
- hot flashes
- a fast or irregular heartbeat
People should avoid alcohol for a further 48 hours after finishing a course of metronidazole and for 72 hours after finishing a course of tinidazole.
When considering the use of herbal supplements, seek the advice of your doctor. You may also consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.
If you choose to use lactobacillus acidophilus, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not use more of this product than is recommended on the label.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is available in capsule and tablet form, or as a vaginal suppository. Powder or liquid forms may also be available. Some dairy products, especially yogurt, also contain lactobacillus acidophilus.
The chewable tablet must be chewed before you swallow it.
Do not use different forms of lactobacillus acidophilus at the same time without medical advice. Using different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose.
Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with lactobacillus acidophilus does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this product.
Store lactobacillus acidophilus in a sealed container as directed on the product label, away from moisture, heat, and light.
1. Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap.
2. Avoid shaking hands and kissing. Especially with a person showing symptoms like coughing, sneezing, or they have a sore throat.
3. Use hand wipes continuously when you're out touching things in unfamiliar places, so you can avoid transferring the bacteria to your hands.
4. Use your elbows instead of your hands when opening doors in restaurants or public bathrooms.
5. Stop touching your face too much, so that the bacteria does not spread from your hands to your face.
6. Always have a hand sanitizer in your bag, and use it often.
7. Avoid touching walls and handles in public transportation.
8. Don't touch water taps in public places with your hands. Instead, use a tissue or glove.
9. Always make sure your nails are clean, bacteria hides under them.
10. Keep a good enough distance between you and those around you, so that you don't catch something
11. Try to stay in well ventilated open spaces.
13. Do not use other people's personal belongings.
14. Wash your dishes, cups, water bottles and any utensils really well and disinfect them.
15. Clean any surfaces in your home really well. Viruses are concentrated on glass, plastic, metal, paper and carpets.
16. Make sure to wash to your clothes and bed sheets constantly.
17. Avoid staying up too late and try to keep a healthy sleeping pattern. Sleep strengthens the immune system.
18. Exercise continuously, but be careful of the gym equipment you use, make sure to clean them to use gloves.
19. Eat food rich in probiotics, 'healthy bacteria' which help maintain a strong digestive and immune system. Like milk, garlic and dark chocolate.
20. Make sure to include onions in your diet. It helps produce nitric oxide in the cells of the immune system.
21. Avoid smoking. It weakens the body's immune system.
22. Ask your doctor if you can take zinc tablets for they are known to help the immune system as well.
24. Avoid fast food and an unhealthy diet.
25. Don't consume too much sugar and salt for both can have a negative effect on our immunity.
26. Eat healthy food a daily basis, like vegetables and fruits.
27. Make sure to take one Tbsp of natural honey everyday, to boost the immunity.
28. Avoid stress and anxiety triggering situations as they can strongly affect your physical health and body's strength.
29. Go for regular checkups to make sure you're sustaining your body's health and aware of any deficiencies that can affect your resistance to infections.
30. Finally, if you notice any symptoms, even if they're mild, you should always follow up with your doctor immediately.
Prepping Eggs Properly
Before and after you handle raw eggs, you want to wash your hands, utensils and work surfaces with hot, soapy water, recommends the FDA.
Once you're done using the carton, toss the shells and put your eggs back in the fridge immediately.
Whether you take your eggs scrambled, poached or in an omelet, it's safest that you cook the egg until both the whites and yolks are firm, per the FDA. However, if you like a runny yolk, buy eggs that have been pasteurized or otherwise treated to destroy Salmonella.
Serve egg dishes immediately after they're finished cooking and avoid leaving cooked eggs or dishes out of the fridge for longer than two hours. The longer eggs stay out in warm temperatures, the more subject they are to bacteria.
If you're making deviled eggs for a later time, for instance, refrigerate the eggs immediately after preparation and serve them on small plates so they don't sit out.
Or, if you're packing hard-boiled eggs for lunch, make sure to transport them with an ice pack or in a cooler, the FDA suggests.
How do antibiotics help fight infections?
Antibiotics can be used to help your child's immune system fight infections by bacteria. However, antibiotics don’t work for infections caused by viruses. Antibiotics were developed to kill or disable specific bacteria. That means that an antibiotic that works for a skin infection may not work to cure diarrhea caused by bacteria. Using antibiotics for viral infections or using the wrong antibiotic to treat a bacterial infection can help bacteria become resistant to the antibiotic so it won't work as well in the future. It is important that antibiotics are taken as prescribed and for the right amount of time. If antibiotics are stopped early, the bacteria may develop a resistance to the antibiotics and the infection may come back again.
Note: Most colds and acute bronchitis infections will not respond to antibiotics. You can help decrease the spread of more aggressive bacteria by not asking your child’s healthcare provider for antibiotics in these cases.
Drinking Diet Coke every day can cause hypertension
Though high blood pressure, or hypertension as it is also known, may be common — over 100 million Americans suffer from hypertension, according to the American Heart Association — that doesn't mean it isn't dangerous. As the Mayo Clinic explained, "High blood pressure is a common condition in which the long-term force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease." As if that weren't scary enough, drinking a Diet Coke every day may actually cause high blood pressure.
A 2016 study from the Department of Food and Nutrition at Kyung Hee University in South Korea found that "high SSB [sugar-sweetened beverages] and ASB [artificially sweetened beverages] consumption is associated with an increased risk of hypertension." Additional studies have also found that drinking artificially-sweetened beverages such as Diet Coke can lead to hypertension.
If you have "excess candida - which can cause you to crave more sugar and sweets than usual," you might have bad bacteria in your gut, explains nutritional expert Liana Werner-Gray over email with Bustle. If so, going on a better diet to get rid of candida can help re-balance the body.
"You will see red dots or lumps on the side of your tongue or back of your tongue," says Werner-Gray. "Or if you wake up with a white film layering your tongue," Werner-Gray adds, it could also be a clear signal of having harmful bacteria in your gut and an urgent need for a digestive reboot.
You're more likely to suffer from a horrible hangover if you drink whiskey every night
We all know that indulging in too much alcohol each evening can have us waking up with a nasty hangover. Unfortunately, whiskey drinkers have some of the worst hangovers compared to those who enjoy other kinds of alcohol.
The high alcohol content in whiskey is one reason for this. Another big reason is that whiskey contains more congeners compared to other alcohols. A study published in 2008 in Alcohol and Alcoholism studied this effect, and researchers found that drinks with more congeners led to even more horrible hangovers. And given that drinking alcohol can also dehydrate the body, it's no wonder whiskey can leave us all feeling yucky the day after.
"The simplest of ways to beat the hangover goes to the heart of what makes whisky so sought after: less is more," Stephen Marshall, an ambassador for the whiskey Dewar's, recommended to CNN. "Don't drink too much because after a point you're not going to enjoy it and when you wake up the morning." Moderation is always key when it comes to enjoying whiskey.