Antibiotics in Your Dinner?

Dear Health Conscious Reader,

You’re in the “meats” section of your local grocery store, doing just what modern diet advice advises. You’re looking for the leanest cut of meat you can find to feed your family for dinner.

Unfortunately, even though you are trying to do the right thing, it doesn’t matter which cut you choose. You’re still going to get an overdose of hormones and antibiotics.

Ever since 1946, commercial farmers have been adding antibiotics to their livestock feed. In fact, over 70 percent of antibiotics in the United States are used on healthy farm animals.1

Farmers also discovered that if they gave their livestock hormones, the animals would grow and get fatter much faster.

They’re still doing this today – increasing their profits by artificially causing the animals to grow beyond their natural capacity and using antibiotics to keep them alive long enough to become steak and chops.

And when antibiotics are overused, they lose their effectiveness against bacteria. These bacteria can evolve in what’s often referred to as a “superbug,” or bacteria that are unresponsive to antibiotics.

So when you eat this meat, you’re ingesting the same antibiotics that were fed to the animal. This can suppress your immune system and your body can become antibiotic-resistant as well.

1. Eat grass-fed meats. The meat from animals raised on grass has three distinct advantages over grain-fed meat in addition to the benefits of it having more B vitamins, vitamin E and zinc, which all aid your immunity:

CLA – Grass-fed beef has two to five times more CLA than the grain-fed variety.2 CLA is conjugated linoleic acid, a newly discovered “good fat” that does two things for you. First, it helps offset the effects of antibiotics in your food.3 But it also helps reduce your total body fat.4

Selenium – A study from the University of Nebraska found that grass-fed buffalo had four times the selenium of grain-fed buffalo.5 Why is selenium important? Because selenium deficiency suppresses your immune system, interfering with its ability to fight infection and lowering your resistance to disease. And you won’t get enough from grain-fed animals because they get it from eating grass.

Carotenoids – You don’t have to eat carrots all day to get enough of this nutrient that promotes eye and macular health. Grass-fed beef has up to four times more beta-carotene than grain-fed beef.6

2. Eat foods to boost your immunity. Your stomach is where the food goes after you eat it, so taking care of your gut is one of the best ways to improve your immunity. You can help your stomach with:

Spirulina – This is just one of many green foods that keep your stomach healthy. But Spirulina also has chelation activity that binds to toxins in your body to help rid yourself of impurities. You can get spirulina in green drinks or capsules.

Onion and Garlic – There are a lot of good cleansing foods, but two powerful ones are onion and garlic, which are from the same family. They have a compound called allicin, which is antimicrobial.

Sweet Potatoes –
Not only are they delicious, sweet potatoes also contain manganese. And if you want to supercharge your immune system, you want to make sure you get enough of this mineral. That’s because it’s required for your body to make its most powerful antioxidant, superoxide dismutase (SOD). It’s your body’s “master” antioxidant, and its power to fight off free radicals is second to none. Compared to vitamin C, this nutrient is 3,500 times stronger.7

3. Take live probiotics – Antibiotics were designed to wipe out harmful bacteria. But you also have good bacteria in your stomach that help you digest food. The problem is, antibiotics destroy ALL bacteria, good and bad. Probiotics are live “good guy” bacteria that restore balance in your stomach. Probiotics also prevent the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in your digestive system. But not all probiotics are made equally. Poor-quality probiotics have such a short shelf life that the majority of the “live” organisms are dead before you ever open the bottle. And any that do survive will be destroyed by your stomach acid, bile salts, pepsin and pancreatin before they actually make it to your stomach. But the good ones, like my Primal Force probiotics, are made for long shelf life. And they’re designed to survive and make it into your system. Take at least one a day.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

1 Peak, N., Knapp, C., Yang, R., “Abundance of six tetracycline resistance genes in wastewater lagoons at cattle feedlots with different antibiotic use strategies,” Environmental Biology 2007; V9, 143-151
2 French, P. et al, “Fatty Acid Composition, Including Conjugated Linolenic Acid, of Intramuscular Fat from Steers Offered Grazed Grass, Grass Silage, or Concentrate-Based Diets,” J. Anim. Sci. 2003; 78, (11): 2849-55
3 Weber, T.E., Schinckel, A.P., Houseknecht, K.L., et al, “Evaluation of conjugated linoleic acid and dietary antibiotics…” J. Anim. Sci. 2001; 79:2542-2549
4 Wadstein, Thom. E, Gudmundsen J., “Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat in healthy exercising humans,” J. Int. Med. Res. Sep-Oct 2001; 29(5):392-6
5 Marchello, Martin, “Nutrient Composition of Grass- and Grain-Finished Bison,” Great Plains Research 2001
6 Prache, S., Priolo, A., et al, “Persistence of carotenoid pigments in the blood of concentrate-finished grazing sheep: its significance for the traceability of grass-feeding,” J. Anim. Sci. 2003; 81(2): 360-7
7 Colman, J., “Life Span-Increasing Effects of Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD),” LEM Winter 2005/2006

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