Scientifically proven – Gut Bacteria have conversations about antibiotics
Millions of people worldwide are needlessly administered antibiotics— “antibioticized” seems a more apt term since antibiotics are designer killer molecules. Surprise! Yes, antibiotics are designed to kill life, albeit of microbes initially. This is not cheap dramatization. Let us take the case of Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori), a bacterium that is considered to be a cause of stomach ulcers. Indeed, a Nobel Prize was awarded to two Australians, Robin Warren and Barry Marshall—a poor choice, in my opinion—for this discovery. Not unexpectedly, the power of the Prize coerced doctors to regularly prescribe antibiotics to kill the bug, even for patients without any symptoms.
Doctors happily claimed that they had eradicated the microbe, as evidenced by negative lab tests after antibiotic treatment. So the myth of curing H. Pylori with antibiotics became etched in the marble of medical thinking. My first doubts about this success story arose in the early 1980s when I started using special stain to identify H. Pylori microbes under the microscope in stomach biopsy tissues.
In 1980, I published a monograph entitled “Altered States of Bowel Ecology,” in which I focused on ecologic relationships among the various segments of the alimentary tract, using the word “bowel” for the entire tract. I summarized my microscopic observations of several thousand stomach and colon biopsies and argued that a narrow focus on areas of inflammations, infections, and ulceration in the various segments of the tract led to a poor understanding of the changes affecting the whole tract. I also pointed out the poor clinical results obtained with such an approach.
Now doctors are saying that the good bacteria of the gut have a survival mechanism from antibiotic damage – communication and coversation! Read this amazing article.
A research team led by Karina Xavier at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC, Portugal) has shown that bacteria living in the intestine both talk and listen to each other.
Using small molecules in place of words, these microbial conversations changed the numbers of certain species of bacteria in the gut and started to restore the huge damage caused by lasting antibiotic treatment. These findings, to be published in the next issue of the scientific journal Cell Reports and highlighted on the journal’s cover, show the potential to be gained from using bacteria-s own language to communicate with, control and exploit the multitude of microbes that live inside of the human gut.
Bacteria were long seen as predominantly harmful organisms, responsible for many illnesses across the world. This picture has been changing over the last ten years. Scientists are now reporting many beneficial characteristics of certain bacterial species, particularly those living inside human bodies, in particular in the intestine.These microbes can be seen as tiny lodgers in the gut, helping the body to get the most out of ingested food and protecting from opportunistic invaders that cause disease. “When we lose some of these lodgers: by taking antibiotics or changing our diet, for example, the resulting imbalance in the community of bacteria can leave us at risk of infection, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, or cancer”, explains Karina Xavier. Therefore, scientists like Karina Xavier are keen to understand how these bacteria interact, and then use this knowledge to benefit human health.