Antibiotics and Weight Gain

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Just as a side note today, I want to mention that, in spite of steadily and joyfully losing weight on the THM diet, I have experienced a two-week setback, due to a urinary tract infection and taking the antibiotic ciprofloxacin.

Antibiotics kill the bad bacteria that cause infection, so sometimes you need to take them. However, those same antibiotics kill a lot of the good bacteria in the gut, as well. Studies show that a deficit of healthy, probiotic flora in the intestinal tract causes or leads to weight gain. (See http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265434.php) The short version: Taking antibiotics can cause weight gain if you don’t keep pouring in the probiotics as a countermeasure.

To make matters worse, some antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin) can increase the prostaglandin ghrelin in the body as much as six times. Ghrelin increases hunger, which leads to overeating. Ghrelin also increases abdominal fat. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090520055519.htm)

Any way you slice it, antibiotics make you fat. So, do what you have to do to heal your body if you have to take antibiotics. All the while, keep up your probiotic intake. (Make sure you don’t take probiotics within two hours of taking your antibiotic or you’ll waste your efforts.)

Then, when you’re all well again and off the antibiotics, keep taking lots of probiotics and eat probiotic-rich foods, like kimchi, real fermented sauerkraut, real fermented dill pickles, miso, yogurt, kefir, etc. You’ll soon be back to losing that temporary excess weight and abdominal fat.

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New study: Amish prove raw milk promotes health in children (from food freedom group)

This article is so interesting on its own, I am just copying and pasting the bulk of it here in my blog for you to read. You can find the article in its entirety at http://foodfreedomgroup.com/2012/05/09/raw-milk-promotes-health/
09May2012
By Rady Ananda
An international team of researchers recently confirmed that children who drink fresh milk – unprocessed and unpasteurized – have a better immune response to allergens and are far less likely to develop asthma.
This comes amidst a concerted state and federal effort to criminalize raw milk in the US, with a Minnesota trial and protest scheduled for Monday, May 14.
Researchers from Indiana, Switzerland, and Germany ran surveys and tests on Swiss and US children aged 6-12 years and submitted their results to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology last month. [1]
Because the Amish emigrated from Switzerland, and are thus genetically similar, the team compared Northern Indiana Amish farm children with today’s Swiss kids. Though rural kids are known to be healthier than city kids, the team found that the Amish have a superior immune response to allergens and asthma than even Swiss farm kids have.
“Finally a health professional in America conducted research into the low incidence of allergies among farm kids,” said Kimberly Hartke, publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation in an email to Food Freedom News. “This research validates what European researchers have already discovered: Raw milk is health-promoting.”
Over the past century, the US and Europe have seen a spike in “allergic sensitization” reaching more than half the population of both regions, says lead researcher Mark Holbreich.Concurrently, studies in the last decade continue to demonstrate “that certain populations have a significantly lower prevalence of allergic sensitization and a lower prevalence of asthma.”

“In one study, certain whey proteins in farm milk were inversely associated with asthma,” said researchers, referring to a 2011 study, which asserted:
“Exposure to farm milk in early life and consumption of raw farm milk have been associated with a reduced asthma and atopy risk, and it has been suggested that this protection might be mediated through receptors of the innate immune system.” [2]
Atopy is “a genetic predisposition toward the development of immediate hypersensitivity reactions against common environmental antigens,” explains one dictionary.
Holbreich’s team ran a skin prick test on Amish children, most of whom drink raw milk, finding that only 7% of them showed an allergic reaction. They compared this to parental surveys of Swiss kids, both urban and rural. Over 44% of the Swiss non-farm kids suffered from allergies, the parents reported, while 25% of the Swiss farm kids did.
This led the team to conclude that the Amish have additional protective factors, suggesting larger family size may play a role. With 5 or 6 siblings, each child will be exposed to that many more enviro-pathogens, thus gaining the opportunity to develop resistance while the immune system is still developing.
That’s not so for most urbanites who are mostly only exposed to industrial pollutants (rather than microbial pathogens), and denied access to fresh milk beyond their nursing years.
Most US cows are fed a daily regimen of pharmaceuticals, a practice linked directly to antibiotic resistance in humans. The Food & Drug Administration has refused to ban the practice.
Of note, one of the researchers admitted to being funded by the pharmaceutical industry, naming Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.
Ninety-seven percent of US milk is heated and processed to the point that all probiotics are destroyed, while some pathogens remain.
One probiotic found only in unpasteurized, fresh milk from free-range cows, Lactococcus lactis, became Wisconsin’s state microbe after legislators hailed its unique features which enable the development of cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack cheese. In fact, when making these cheeses from pasteurized milk, the live bacterium must be added back into the mix to curdle the milk and produce the whey. [3]
As with natural L. lactis, even a genetically reengineered form of it has been shown to break down lactose, allowing those who are lactose intolerant to drink raw milk without ill effects. [4]

Notes:
[1] Mark Holbreich, et al. “Amish children living in Northern Indiana have a very low prevalence of allergic sensitization,” 19 April 2012. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Available at http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0091-6749/PIIS0091674912005192.pdf
[2] Georg Loss, et al. “The protective effect of farm milk consumption on childhood asthma and atopy,” 16 July 2011. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Available at http://www.mnhlrp.org/images/RawMilkStudy.pdf
[3] Kenneth Todar, “Lactococcus lactis: nominated as the Wisconsin State Microbe,” n.d. (ca. Dec. 2009) http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/featured_microbe.html
[4] Zhang W, et al. “Construction and expression of food-grade β-galactosidase gene in Lactococcus Lactis,” 17 Jan. 2011. Current Microbiology, 62(2): 639-44. Abstract at http://lactoseintolerance.researchtoday.net/archive/7/1/671.htm

The Case Against Non-Organic Foods

Photo: Freshly harvested organic produce from my garden, July 2012
Organic means foods without antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives (like nitrates and trans fats), and other additives like high fructose corn syrup. It also means foods that are not genetically modified (GMO).
1.       ANTIBIOTICS: There is some concern that antibiotics fed to animals remains in the meat ingested by humans. The antibiotics get into the human intestinal tract and cause intestinal flora imbalance, which leads to candida, which then leads to suppressed immune system and then disease. However, the good news is that studies show very little or any antibiotics from animals ends up in the human body, so this is the least of our concerns.
2.       HORMONES: Growth hormones in foods (such as rBGH) have been shown to cause cancer  of the prostate, breast and colon.
3.       PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES: When we eat foods sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, our bodies recognize them as foreign toxins and store them as fat. Pesticides are found in the milk, butter and cream of cows that eat grass sprayed with the stuff. More and more studies show that pesticides are accumulate in human fat cells, because the body does not know what else to do with the toxins. Pesticides not only cause fat/weight gain, but they cause pesticide poisoning deaths, memory loss, mood swings, the reduction of the brain’s capacity for abstract thought, increase cancer risk, and other health problems.
4.       PRESERVATIVES: Preservatives in foods are added to make foods last longer. The most common preservative is trans fat. People who eat foods with preservatives get fat and can’t lose it easily, because trans fats are not easily broken down by the human body. People who eat them just get fatter and fatter—especially in the abdomen (where I store the most fat). Trans fats are also linked to heart disease and strokes.
5.       HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP: Additives like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) cause weight gain and other health issues. HFCS is in almost every processed food (catsup, juice, soda, salad dressing, desserts, meats, etc.)
6.       GENETICALLY MODIFIED (GMO): Genetically Modified (GMO) foods cause weight gain. A 2009 study found that GMO corn fed to mice led to an increase in overall body weight of about 3.7 percent, while also increasing the weight of the liver by up to 11 percent. Hungary, France, Peru and other countries have banned the growing of GMO foods.
7.       NOTE: When I moved to Europe and lived there for over a year, I ate more high-fat foods, lost fat, and gained muscle. (I didn’t lose weight because I was already skinny.) There are numerous other such similar testimonials of Americans moving to Europe and having the same thing happen. Europeans did not have preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, or HFCS in their foods. Their foods are mostly non-GMO. The people in Europe are slowly losing the good health and low fat body weight they once had as they eat more processed foods imported from America.
My Sources:

http://bodyecology.com/articles/bone-broth#.UB36D6AkBR0
Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions”