Antibiotics in Our Food

HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.


Nearly 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used in meat and poultry production. The vast majority are given to healthy animals to promote growth or prevent disease in unsanitary conditions. The meat and poultry production industries argue there is no harm in this practice and insist they are in compliance with that policy from the past century.


The critical question is whether antibiotic use in animals promotes the development of hard-to-treat antibiotic-resistant superbugs that make people sick. Could current usage in animals pose a serious threat to human health? The Consumers Union has concluded the threat to public health from the overuse of antibiotics in food animals is real and growing. Humans are at risk both due to the potential presence of superbugs in meat and poultry and to the general migration of

ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

superbugs into the environment, where they can transmit their genetic immunity to antibiotics to bacteria for which there are currently no immune capabilities.


Several health organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the Infectious Disease Society of America and the World Health Organization, have called for significant reductions in the use of antibiotics for animal food production.


Sources and Resources


DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller