This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Plant Paradox" by Steven R. Gundry. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.
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What are the dangers of broad-spectrum antibiotics? How does their use hurt you in the long run?
Broad-spectrum antibiotics are powerful medications used to kill infections. But they also kill good bacteria.
Broad-spectrum antibiotics are used to treat infections. But they can be a harsh tool that disrupts your microbiome.
What Are the Dangers of Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics
Broad-spectrum antibiotics kill your microbiome along with the illness-causing bacteria. Your microbiome is a complex ecosystem, and when it gets altered or destroyed it affects how everything functions; it can take up to two years for your microbes to grow back, and some may never return.
With your natural microbes wiped out, bad microbes—that your holobiome would normally keep in check—can take over and make you sick. In addition, overuse of antibiotics has made certain bacteria resistant to antibiotics, creating superbugs.
Antibiotics don’t just come through the drugs you take; most chicken and beef are fed antibiotics, and you consume the residue in their meat and milk. This has two harmful effects:
- Exposure to antibiotics in meat can make you immune to similar antibiotics used to treat diseases. If you get sick, the resistance you’ve built up can prevent the drugs from working. The dangers of broad-spectrum antibiotics compound with more use.
- Broad-spectrum antibiotics make livestock fatter, and have the same effect on your body; the antibiotics change your microbiome, which communicates with your immune system, making your body go into attack mode. Your body then increases fat storage, assuming your cells will need the energy to fight off the invaders.
Offset the Damage to Your Microbiome
One of the rules of the Plant Paradox Program is take care of your gut microbes and they’ll take care of you. Your microbes are key to keeping you healthy; they help you digest and get nutrients from food, they assist your immune system, they help control hormones and appetite, and they keep bad microbes at bay. To allow them to do their jobs, you need to eliminate the broad-spectrum antibiotics, antacids, NSAIDs, and processed foods that kill off your ecosystem of microbes.
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Here's what you'll find in our full The Plant Paradox summary :
- Why eating more vegetables isn't enough, and why some vegetables are toxic to your body
- The science behind lectins and how they tear apart your body, making you fat and sick
- The 6-week program to get your body back on healthy grack