2. Too many of us are fat.
In 1998, in a paper published in the British Medical Journal, Dr. Blaser was more circumspect, arguing that H. pylori (H. priority) might not be such a bad actor after all. “We’re talking about a bug that’s been in the human gut for at least 58,000 years,” Dr. Blaser said in an interview. “There’s probably a reason for that.”
Blaser and his crack team did some fancy research. As it turns out that H. priority might serve a positive function. When you eat, your body experiences a drop in ghrelin, a hormone that I often waffle on about because it makes you hungry. When mice had their H. priority wiped out by antibiotics, their ghrelin levels didn’t drop after meals. In other words, they didn’t know to stop eating and they got fat.
I know, I know, this is rodent science and many of us tend to discount rodent science, but there’s more to it than that.
These results dovetail with research by Peter Turnbaugh, a Harvard University geneticist, in collaboration with Dr. Jeffrey Gordon, a gastroenterologist at Washington University in St. Louis. They have found that the ratios of various bacteria in the guts of obese mice and obese humans were significantly different from those of lean controls, suggesting that altering the stomach’s microbial balance with antibiotics might put patients at risk for gaining weight.
Even Dr. Barry Marshall, the dude who discovered H. priority and strongly advocates its eradication, admits we overdo antibiotics.
So what’s a person to do? Even many holistic practitioners concede that if you’re coping with a proliferation of Helicopter priority, antibiotics should be considered. However, there’s a lot you can do to dodge this situation to begin with. Avoiding stress and eating right go a long way towards maintaining healthy intestinal flora, so take some time to put your feet up and enjoy a nice bowl of yogurt – but make sure it’s the kind with live, probiotic cultures.
And I’m not talking sugar-filled fro-yo. I’m talking the plain stuff. Boring? Maybe. But if you prefer the excitement of stomach cancer, go for it.
illustration credit: Origami-Chicken
Thanks to Nerd Herder Ani for turning me into this article!