JoNova

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Could early antibiotic use lead to lifelong weight gain?

For a weekend curiosity: this study caught my eye.

What if part of the modern obesity epidemic was due to antibiotic use? It may be that if we feed babies antibiotics during a certain window of development, their metabolism changes in ways that last for life (say hello to Syndrome X — sigh). For years, evidence has been gathering that the bacteria in our gut have major contracts and complicated deals going with our immune system. Now this study in lab mice suggests serious negotiations might be going on between bacteria and our developing metabolism too.

The quote of the day: “When we put mice on a high-calorie diet, they got fat. When we put mice on antibiotics, they got fat,” explains Dr. Blaser. “But when we put them on both antibiotics and a high-fat diet, they got very, very fat.”

The study showed that it was not the antibiotics per se that caused the change, but the microflora. Perhaps immediately restocking with the right bacteria might negate the side-effects of the antibiotics.

Our intestines have one to two kilograms of little critter inhabitants, so it is quite the ecosystem inside there. This study tantalizingly suggests we may yet find ways to prevent and treat obesity and insulin resistance. For humans, it’s a proof of concept type study, as mousy intestines and diet are quite different from ours (cardboard for dinner anyone?). Though there is some odd circumstantial support, and antibiotic use changes gut flora for longer than expected. Presumably probiotic trials will start soon.

Pay special attention if you are a pregnant or breast-feeding mouse. — Jo

—————————————————————–

Early antibiotic exposure leads to lifelong metabolic disturbances in mice

[Science Daily] August 14, 2014 — A new study published today in Cell suggests that antibiotic exposure during a critical window of early development disrupts the bacterial landscape of the gut, home to trillions of diverse microbes, and permanently reprograms the body’s metabolism, setting up a predisposition to obesity. Moreover, the study shows that it is altered gut bacteria, rather than the antibiotics, driving the metabolic effects.

The new study by NYU Langone Medical Center researchers reveals that mice given lifelong low doses of penicillin starting in the last week of pregnancy or during nursing were more susceptible to obesity and metabolic abnormalities than mice exposed to the antibiotic later in life.

Most intriguing, in a complementary group of experiments, mice given low doses of penicillin only during late pregnancy through nursing gained just as much weight as mice exposed to the antibiotic throughout their lives.

“We found that when you perturb gut microbes early in life among mice and then stop the antibiotics, the microbes normalize but the effects on host metabolism are permanent,” says senior author Martin Blaser, MD, the Muriel G. and George W. Singer Professor of Translational Medicine, director of the NYU Human Microbiome Program, and professor of microbiology at NYU School of Medicine. “This supports the idea of a developmental window in which microbes participate. It’s a novel concept, and we’re providing direct evidence for it.”

The researchers stress that more evidence is needed before it can be determined whether antibiotics lead to obesity in humans, and the present study should not deter doctors from prescribing antibiotics to children when they are necessary. “The antibiotic doses used in this study don’t mirror what children get,” says Laura M. Cox, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Blaser’s laboratory and the lead author of the study. “But it has identified an early window in which microbes can influence metabolism, and so further studies are clearly warranted.”

In one experiment in the study, Dr. Cox administered water with low doses of penicillin to three groups of mice. One group received antibiotics in the womb during the last week of pregnancy and continued the medication throughout life. The second group received the same dose of penicillin after weaning and, like the first group, continued it throughout life. The third received no antibiotics. “We saw increased fat mass in both penicillin groups, but it was higher in the mice who received penicillin starting in the womb,” Dr. Cox says. “This showed that mice are more metabolically vulnerable if they get antibiotics earlier in life.”

The treated mice also grew fatter than the untreated mice when both were fed a high-fat diet. “When we put mice on a high-calorie diet, they got fat. When we put mice on antibiotics, they got fat,” explains Dr. Blaser. “But when we put them on both antibiotics and a high-fat diet, they got very, very fat.” Normally, adult female mice carry three grams of fat. The animals in the study fed the high-fat diet had five grams of fat. By comparison, the mice who received antibiotics plus the high-fat chow packed on 10 grams of fat, accounting for a third of their body weight. The treated rodents were not only fatter but also suffered elevated levels of fasting insulin, and alterations in genes related to liver regeneration and detoxification—effects consistent with metabolic disorders in obese patients.

This work confirms and extends landmark research published by Dr. Blaser’s lab in 2012 in Nature. That research showed that mice on a normal diet who were exposed to low doses of antibiotics throughout life, similar to what occurs in commercial livestock, packed on 10 to 15 percent more fat than untreated mice and had a markedly altered metabolism in their liver.

Among the unanswered questions in that study was whether the metabolic changes were the result of altered bacteria or antibiotic exposure. This latest study addresses the question by transferring bacterial populations from penicillin-exposed mice to specially bred germ-free, antibiotic-free mice, starting at three weeks of age, which corresponds to infancy just after weaning. The researchers discovered that mice inoculated with bacteria from the antibiotic-treated donors were indeed fatter than the germ-free mice inoculated with bacteria from untreated donors. “This shows us that the altered microbes are driving the obesity effects, not the antibiotics,” says Dr. Cox.

Contrary to a longstanding hypothesis within the agricultural world that holds that antibiotics reduce total microbial numbers in the gut, therefore reducing competition for food and allowing the host organism to grow fatter, the team found that the penicillin did not, in fact, diminish bacterial abundance. It did, however, temporarily suppress four distinct organisms early in life during the critical window of microbial colonization: Lactobacillus, Allobaculum, Candidatus Arthromitus, and an unnamed member of the Rikenellaceae family, which may have important metabolic and immunological interactions. “We’re excited about this because not only do we want to understand why obesity is occurring, but we also want to develop solutions,” says Dr. Cox. “This gives us four potential new candidates that might be promising probiotic organisms. We might be able to give back these organisms after antibiotic treatments.”

The researchers worked with six different mouse models over five years to obtain their results. To identify bacteria, they used a powerful molecular method that involves extracting DNA and sequencing a subunit of genetic material called 16S ribosomal DNA. Altogether, the scientists evaluated 1,007 intestinal samples, which yielded more than 6 million sequences of bacterial ribosomal genes, the order of the nucleotides that spell out DNA. Studies like these are possible because of technological advances in high-throughput sequencing, which allows scientists to survey microbes in the gut and other parts of the body. The Genome Technology Center at NYU Langone Medical Center played a key role in identifying the genetic sequences in the study.

 

REFERENCE

Laura M. Cox, Shingo Yamanishi, Jiho Sohn, Alexander V. Alekseyenko, Jacqueline M. Leung, Ilseung Cho, Sungheon G. Kim, Huilin Li, Zhan Gao, Douglas Mahana, Jorge G. Zárate Rodriguez, Arlin B. Rogers, Nicolas Robine, P’ng Loke, Martin J. Blaser. Altering the Intestinal Microbiota during a Critical Developmental Window Has Lasting Metabolic Consequences. Cell, 2014; 158 (4): 705 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.05.052

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99 comments to Could early antibiotic use lead to lifelong weight gain?

  • #
    pat

    all i know is it is pretty much a waste of time and energy trying to tell people not to get antibiotics for their children when they have a cold or flu virus, because they are not only useless in such circumstances, they will lead to antibiotic resistance in the long run.

    for jo & david:

    16 Aug: The Australian: Graham Lloyd: Solar cycles linked to climate pause, assist in coastal planning
    LONG-TERM natural cycles linked to the sun could explain the pause in global average surface temperatures and offer a better guide for coastal planners to predict sea level rises, storm surges and natural disasters.
    Publication of the findings in Ocean and Coastal Management follows a decade-long struggle for the lead author, Australian scientist Robert Baker from the University of New England, whose work has challenged the orthodox ­climate science view that carbon dioxide is the dominant factor in climate change.
    Dr Baker, a former chair of the International Geographical Commission on Modelling Geographic Systems, said what had been a purely scientific debate on climate change until 2005 had become political. His latest paper with his PhD student faced a ­series of ­objections from scientists close to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change but was published after an 11-member peer review panel voted 8-3 to publish. An editorial that accompanied the paper said it was an “excellent ­example of how to approach these complex issues that are now vulnerable to often irrational and heated debate instead of the ­required proper scientific discussion”…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/solar-cycles-linked-to-climate-pause-assist-in-coastal-planning/story-e6frg6xf-1227026053386

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    • #
      handjive

      9 March 2009
      Lunar cycle affects cyclone strength

      “Over the last century, says Associate Professor Peter Yaukey of the University of New Orleans, a smattering of scientific research has hinted that the moon may influence rain patterns, thunderstorms and other meteorological events.

      There are a range of possibilities. Just as the moon pulls on earth’s oceans and creates the tides, it also tugs on the air above it.

      The moon’s gravity may also pull cosmic dust into earth’s atmosphere in a cyclical fashion, perhaps seeding cloud formation and precipitation.

      The most promising explanation is internal tides encouraged by the lunar cycle.

      The currents beneath the ocean surface could circulate warm water up underneath a storm, supplying it with the energy it needs to intensify.”

      http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/03/09/2510855.htm

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      • #
        sophocles

        Oh heck. Another Lunatic? Don’t encourage him. There’s enough of that from Ken Ring’s attempts at short, medium and long term weather forecasting and earthquake predictions using the lunar cycles.

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        • #
          NZPete

          You do yourself no credit, sophocles, with a statement like that. Ken Ring has quite a following, and is *intensely* disliked by many in the Met Service, simply because he does not conform to their orthodoxy, and has a prediction rate said to better theirs. Yes, he’s quirky, but I’m prepared to accept that the moon can influence events on earth, as evidenced by the sea tides, and that’s no small thing.

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      all i know is it is pretty much a waste of time and energy trying to tell people not to get antibiotics for their children when they have a cold or flu virus, because they are not only useless in such circumstances, they will lead to antibiotic resistance in the long run.

      Nay, not so! The doctor has to write the prescription and has both the power and the responsibility to say no. Let complaining parents complain. They may change doctors but all doctors need to be trained to ignore parents in such cases and say no.

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      • #
        Ted O'Brien.

        My mother (born 1918) was a nurse when penicillin arrived. She said all of a sudden their pneumonia patients stopped dying.

        In the 1950s she told me that antibiotics should be used sparingly and with care, because excessive use and indiscriminate use would allow the bugs to develop resistance to the antibiotics.

        Despite that, at least here in Australia, the doctors wrote the prescriptions. pat has grounds for his comment.

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        • #
          Roy Hogue

          They have been writing the prescriptions here also. My criticism was of the medical profession, not Pat.

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      • #
        Rereke Whakaaro

        But what about all the antibiotics that are used in intensive farming?

        Infections spread quickly through cattle held in feedlots. Pigs kept in styes or sheds also succumb to any infectious diseases, that might be introduced.

        Hens that are kept in battery cages are sitting ducks chickens.

        To protect these animals, and the farmers income, many are given proactive antibiotics as a matter of course.

        These antibiotics remain in the flesh, after slaughter, and are thus present in the food we eat. Most are benign, but their remains a question of intolerance development.

        10

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Rereke,

          Perhaps there is something to the complainer’s cry that animals should be raised roaming free. Or at least they should have a lot more space.

          I don’t know the solution but I do recognize that we feed more people now than ever in the past and their health is by and large better than it was in the past. So maybe the solution is to accept some disadvantage along with the advantage of all these drugs. The world is full of conflicting needs and the compromises that make them work out to everyone’s benefit.

          At the bare minimum I think we should not get so alarmed that we make ill advised changes. If you do that you end up with Obamacare.

          00

  • #
    janama

    I was on a permanent dose of Tetracycline from age 19 – 29. It successfully controlled my severe acne. My doctor, my father, put me on it and I carried an open ended prescription for the antibiotic. I never had any weight problems until my 60s when I gave up smoking.

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    • #

      Smoking bad. Nicotine good — as an appetite suppressant and apparently by reducing insulin sensitivity and thus a craving for sugary foods. There are also metabolic effects (research in rodents; keep in mind that people aren’t mice) such as increased energy consumption and conversion of fats.

      There’s a bunch of research on the possibility of cessation of smoking leading to type-2 diabetes.

      One of the reasons for the “popularity” of cigarettes is that smokers spend a lot less time feeling “hungry”, so they tend to eat less. The addictive nature of nicotine is the other significant factor.

      The down-side of smoking cigarettes has been known for a century. The term “coffin nails” to describe cigarettes dates back to (at least) 1888.

      10

  • #
    Richard111

    Bacteria is the oldest life form on this planet and has had time to learn a lot of tricks. Keep an eye on the news. Current population levels provide a massive, and increasing, resource for the little critters.

    10

  • #
    Debbie

    Oh no!
    Don’t tell me that the sun has some sort of dominant role in climate/weather?
    :-)
    Vince Whirlwind claimed on an earlier post that ‘real scientists’ (???????) say that ACO2 (human activity) FAR OUTWEIGHS the sun and further that other scientists (perhaps unreal?) are ‘utterly wrong’ if they claim otherwise.
    So sorry. . .Dr Baker. . .despite his science PhD and his university position and his participation in intergovernmental panels and his peer reviewed publications must be unreal and utterly wrong!!
    :-)
    On the antibiotic mice study. . .I think that any pregnant or nursing mum should always avoid taking any medication unless absolutely necessary.
    Antibiotics are hugely useful to fight infection. . .but normally healthy people should probably let their own immune systems have a crack first.
    But, as always, it’s usually the dose that makes the poison. . .including the doses of calories that people (and mice) consume.
    A certain amount is entirely necessary. ..over indulge and it becomes a problem. . .and even detrimental to health.

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  • #
    Ian

    Has an age related comparison been made of obesity levels in humans? As elderly humans are less likelY to have been exposed to antibiotics one might expect to see less obesity in the older group. Of course such a comparison might be confounded by age itself as humans may tend to lose weight in their 70s and 80s.

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    • #

      The problem is that any generational study is horribly confounded. Too many variables have changed. Even the antibiotic patterns are different as well as food, exercise, age of parents, additives in diets, macronutrients, and sleep. Obesity and syndrome X became a lot more common in the last 40 years and there have been scores of theories as to why. A lot of them might be right simultaneously. But we know that the low fat diets and long walks are not the answer for some people. Something else is going on.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Just thinking out loud here…..

        I m finding there are more and more hints at gut-body function that are cropping up. I read somewhere that a lot of our organs now seem to have neural cells in them, not just our brain ( a sort of distributed processing system if you like ) and people having memories or habits that didnt exist prior to an organ transplant etc.

        The Noble chappy who proved bacteria could cause ulcers also may be worth mentioning. Then the possibility of Wakefield and his virus-autism link then may start to take on a new form ( and before people yell at me, its only speculation…) – I think were starting to find there is a heck of lot more stuff about our bodies we just don’t know, but the more I learn, the more impressed I am, but also recognize there seems to be a much larger matrix of cause-effect that is not understood.

        If foods can also potentially modify immune response,w hat else can they do? The old adage of “you are what you eat” may take on a whole new meaning……

        I’m also fascinated about the fat-diet links. The whole Cholesterol-is-bad myth is another furphy that deserves rightful trashing , considering our bodies make & recycle 80% of our cholesterol in our bodies. I also think that depriving our bodies of cholesterol ( low fat diets ) can lead to aggressive behaviour ( increased social problems in recent years? ). Add to that the Green movement ( is there end to its list of crimes…. ) has pushed a low animal fat ( cholesterol ) diet for years.

        So link it together ( loosely ..) and we have our bodies programmed by wrong dietry choices which could also affect immune function and an uptick in many diseases. I gues sif you put diesel in car designed for petrol ( or worse that awful ethanol blend rubbish ) and little wonder we dont run right….

        I think as a society we’ll look back 50 years from now and wonder what the heck we were thinking and how could we be so easily lead…..

        20

        • #
          Richard111

          Just look at crowd scenes on TV, football matches etc., especially street scenes where people are going about their normal business. Keep an eye on fellow customers in the supermarket. There is a problem, make no mistake!

          00

        • #
          Byron

          depriving our bodies of cholesterol ( low fat diets ) can lead to aggressive behaviour

          I suspect this is half of a survival trigger present in most Carnivores/Omnivores , as in nature most of the best sources of fats and proteins tend to be things that aren’t at all co-operative about giving up said nutrients . The other half of the equation is the “throttling back” of the metabolism when fats and proteins aren’t available to repair damage from physical exertion . Hence the erratic , almost manic-depressive behaviour of some people with poor diets as their bodies ( and brains ) switch from conserving construction and repair materials (fats + proteins )to a sort of emergency boost mode whose purpose is to get the organism some of those precious resources .

          00

          • #
            Bris Vegas

            Our bodies produce all the fats and cholesterol we need from carbohydrate. The only exceptions are omega 3 and omega 6 fats which are needed in minute quantities (<<1g/day).

            Humans have extremely low protein needs of only ~60g per day. This can easily be obtained even by strict vegetarians. (eg a potato only diet will provide all the protein needed.)

            01

            • #
              byron

              No . The human body cannot synthesize phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine.

              A grain of truth in the potatoe story , a 75 kg person with a sedentary lifestyle can INGEST sufficient essential amino acids from 10 large ( 290grm+ ) potatoes daily , however with tubers being rated at a 0.7 on the availability/absorption scale You would need to eat 14 of them and if You’re physically active amino acid requirements can be almost 80% more than sedentary . Thats’s a lot of potatoes…..

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      • #
        markx

        Tis a complex world. Antibiotics change the bacterial makeup of the intestines, and that changes the mix of metabolic products which are produced by the bacteria.

        There is a lot of new research showing that those various bacterial metabolic products can have a direct effect on gene expression: essentially turning genes on or off. This may sometimes be an epigenetic effect – ie, it is passed from one generation to the next.

        Butyrate-Induced Transcriptional Changes in Human Colonic Mucosa Vanhoutvin etal PLoS Aug 2009 | Volume 4 | Issue 8 | e6759

        http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0006759

        Butyrate is a naturally occurring product of colonic microbial fermentation of dietary carbohydrates that escape hydrolysis in the small intestine. Butyrate plays a significant role in the maintenance of colonic tissue homeostasis by regulating the expression of genes associated with the processes of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Using microarray analysis, we assessed changes in the expression of 19,400 genes in response to butyrate in a human colonic epithelial cell line. Among these, we have identified 221 potentially butyrate- responsive genes specifically associated with the processes of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Of these genes, 59 are upregulated and 162 downregulated, in accordance with the known modes of action of butyrate. The changes in the expression levels (up- or downregulation) of many of these genes were found to be opposite to that reported in colon cancer tissue, where the intracellular concentration of butyrate would be reduced due to the decline in expression of the colonic butyrate transporter, MCT1. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/dna.2006.25.49

        00

  • #
    Ross

    I don’t know about the weight gain bit but I read of some research being done in the USA which linked the rise in cesarean births to increases in health issues in children. The reason is the bacteria in the birth canal are important to the child’s immune system development and as the cesarean birth is in a sterile environment those children lack that natural load of bugs.

    40

    • #
      Ceetee

      Why the rise in cesarean births?. Just wondering. On antibiotics I agree with the general gist of this article. It makes sense to me that we are too quick to use them making everyday infections more resistant to them not to mention the damage done to the beneficial ones we all have within us.
      Slightly off topic, just waiting for someone to link the upsurge in ebola to AGW. Tick tick tick…

      30

      • #
        NielsZoo

        My understanding from the few folks I know in the medical community is the Cesarean increase in the US is almost wholly attributed to lawsuit avoidance. Even a misplaced glimmer of a possible smidgen of a problem with a natural delivery will have them running for a knife. The non-practicing medical “specialists” and “experts” (whose examining rooms look suspiciously like law offices and courtrooms) have years to second guess as well as pick over every and any test and exam (performed or not) in order to “prove” to a jury that the evil OB/Gyn was medically incompetent in allowing a natural delivery from which there may/may not have been real complications. C-Section avoids that by replacing uncertainty with a “safer” procedure with fewer unknown risks. I don’t really get that part. Natural has to be better than anesthetic and knives, but I’m not a lawyer doctor. Don’t know how we managed to populate the species for 200k+ years before the lawyers got involved.

        70

        • #
          Glen Michel

          Hail Caesar!

          20

        • #

          Niels, nature here is fairly fine tuned but caught between a rock and hard place, so to speak, in project scope with human babies. It usually works out, but evolution produced a situation where big mature heads are good for babies, and not so for mums. Babies get born barely viable, and premature in the sense that human offspring are the most useless underdeveloped things around, but it’s as developed as mums can allow. The natural solution has a failure rate — a design tolerance — acceptable to evolutionary purposes. We humans just want it to be 0%.

          71

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            Babies get born barely viable, and premature in the sense that human offspring are the most useless underdeveloped things around, but it’s as developed as mums can allow.

            But nature’s solution to the plight of that helpless newborn is its mother, who will take care of it, nurture it and along with the father, see to it that it grows up to be a fine young adult, ready, willing and able to function in the world.

            We seem to fail more in that responsibility than we fail at giving birth to live, viable infants. But that’s another problem.

            30

          • #
            NielsZoo

            How true. We sacrificed mobility for that larger cranium. I always love the Hollywood depictions of Homo Erectus or some of the earlier bipeds walking stooped over like an extant gorilla would walk. They were better bipeds than we are. That pelvis spreading out allowed the larger brain but we sacrificed our gaits for it. When you go through the fossil record and look at those bone fragments it’s really obvious. I’ll be tagged as some kind of sexist for saying it, but I must admit that the resultant female gait due to geometry changing in the upper femur I have always found to be quite nice. Especially when said female is walking. Good ole Chuck Berry’s line “…wiggle in the walk” from Chantilly Lace comes to mind. We get that and a larger brain… not a bad deal from this male’s POV.

            The medicos have done really amazing things (at least in the industrialized world) when it comes to childbirth. Look at how really rare the loss of a child at birth is when the full weight of the medical field is brought to bear. Everyone forgets the reality. The price we pay for urbanization is that we lose respect for Mother Nature as well as casting aside the humility we should feel when we confront her. Every farm kid grows up knowing life and death are intertwined at the most basic level. Not so in our urban / suburban worlds with public education “filling in” the gaps… we all know how well that works out. Our technology has insulated most from the nuts and bolts of natural selection that ignorance now appears to rule supreme. It’s really bad with the ones that profess to be “environmentalists” but that’s a whole ‘nother rant of mine.

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            • #
              Roy Hogue

              I’ll be tagged as some kind of sexist for saying it, but I must admit that the resultant female gait due to geometry changing in the upper femur I have always found to be quite nice. Especially when said female is walking. Good ole Chuck Berry’s line “…wiggle in the walk” from Chantilly Lace comes to mind. We get that and a larger brain… not a bad deal from this male’s POV.

              I resisted saying this but it still sticks in my mind so…

              I don’t think you’re being sexist at all. I’ll even butt heads with anyone who thinks you are. The plain truth is that the male of our species is wired up intentionally to recognize the female, period, end of story. We can’t help it. They’re made to appear desirable just as you say. What might be sexist is what we do when we recognize a member of the opposite sex. Temptations is common to every man. The measure of the man is not that he recognizes the desirable woman or that he’s tempted but what he does when he recognizes the woman and is tempted.

              20

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          My understanding from the few folks I know in the medical community is the Cesarean increase in the US is almost wholly attributed to lawsuit avoidance.

          These days that’s probably true. The malpractice insurance for an OB-Gyn is more expensive than it is for any other specialty. It has literally threatened the viability of the specialty according to a friend whose son trained to become one.

          On the other hand, I know of no parent I can respect as a human being who would want a dead baby instead of a live one. So no one involved really wants to take any chance.

          In almost every birth a little instruction from someone who knows the ropes would suffice to see it through and it could be done at home. And it was done that way until well into the 20th century. But when something goes wrong the hospital and surgeon are beyond price. The doctor who can save the day can earn all the money ever paid to doctors over the history of medicine, sometimes in as little as a few minutes or even seconds.

          Since my wife was diabetic and diabetics tend to have large babies, the cesarean birth of our son was a practical necessity. That enabled us to know exactly the time because it could be scheduled in advance. He weighed in at a bit over 9 pounds. This could easily have been a tragedy if not for the surgeon’s skill.

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          • #
            NielsZoo

            I can relate, due to the work of two fantastic surgeons that worked on my wife after an accident. They are an amazing breed of people.

            … and here in the States we’re getting fewer doctors, far fewer surgeons and more lawyers. Something really wrong with that picture.

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            • #
              Roy Hogue

              They are an amazing breed of people.

              Yes they are.

              Yet some are screw-ups. Sadly, I’ve seen a couple of them too.

              10

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              I had forgotten this. But maybe it’s apropos. The surgeon who saved my first wife’s legs, not once but twice each with very time consuming and difficult procedures said to me after one of those operations that sewing blood vessels together end to end as he had to do, was like sewing strands of cooked spaghetti together end to end. That was something of a shock to hear because I’d never really considered what the problem would be like.

              I owe that man more than I could ever pay him.

              I benefitted much later from the same skill of a different surgeon when I had coronary artery bypass surgery.

              I only know this one thing — I could not make my hands do that kind of work and I probably could not hold up under the responsibility of taking someone’s life in my hands either. It’s a very special kind of person, a different breed of human who can do such things. And we shouldn’t take them for granted as we do. They are much too precious.

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          • #
            Geoff Sherrington

            Roy,
            My birth weight was 11lb 12 oz and no caesar.
            My Mum seemed to manage, though for most of her remaining life she called me a big head.
            It was 1941 and no antibiotics were easily available.
            Geoff

            20

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              Geoff,

              As long as she never called you a swelled head I think you’re probably doing fine. ;-)

              Medicine has only past experience to guide the present. And with my wife’s diabetes also a possible difficulty I suspect her doctor was quite happy to sidestep it all and avoid any danger. Surgery is also a risk but it’s probably a case of a well known risk that’s small vs. an unknown risk that could suddenly become an emergency. I think I would play it that way in his place.

              00

        • #
          Power Grab

          Meh. When I was pregnant, I remember reading that some said there are too many C-sections these days in the US. However, when the time came, it was the best solution. We induced 8 days after the due date, waited all day, dilated all day, pushed for an hour, then my OB said he thought it was time to do a C-section. I said, “OK.” I thought, but didn’t say, “Now you get to do the work!”

          My husband used to talk about having a big head. I never paid much attention. However, my baby’s head was like his…while I didn’t have comparably large hip structure.

          I have read since then that if you push for more than about an hour, you risk brain damage to the baby.

          My baby was 9 lbs. 3-1/2 oz, and 22-1/2 inches long…looked like a 3-month-old when delivered! But I would rather take home a big, healthy baby than have to leave it in the hospital for months!

          I would have done all again, but it wasn’t entirely up to me!

          My kid started college today. New adventures ahead….

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          • #
            Roy Hogue

            You are obviously very proud of your child. I hear and read complaints from women sometimes about what they go through and that the man doesn’t share that ordeal but just has all the fun. They seem to be mostly women who don’t have children because I’ve never met a mother who complained about giving birth in those terms.

            Life is always an adventure. My son is now 48 and while the economy was destroying their business and eventually forced them into bankruptcy he was landing on his feet. He learned the insurance business and is now doing well selling insurance. It was an ordeal for me as well as for them. But life has a way of rewarding us for the way we handle difficulty.

            You’ll have no end of adventures.

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            • #
              Power Grab

              Yeah, this is one proud mama! :-) Thanks for noticing!

              I’m glad to hear that your son was able to stay on his feet while the economy was crumbling around him. He sounds like a person who would be good to have for a neighbor.

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      • #
        tom0mason

        Of course the spread of ebola is linked to CAGW.
        As CO2 levels have cause a wider greening of the tropics, the geographical range of the bats (hosts of the ebola virus) have expanded closer to populated areas, and so the virus is more often coming into contact with humans. Thus CAGW has directly impacted on it’s spread.

        Where do I apply for the grant money for a wider study?

        /sarcoff?

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  • #
    Bris Vegas

    Antibiotics are routinely added to livestock feeds to increase weight gain. This should be no surprise at all.

    The problems is that modern researchers work in intellectual silos with very little interaction between disciplines.

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    • #

      Your dead right, Bris, though efforts are now being made to reduce this phenomenon. Seven years ago, a serious ankle infection caused me to take the strongest antibiotics for a few months, resulted in me putting on nearly 30kg. I am still trying to reduce this, nearly 20kg now, but I thought I had put the weight on due to inactivity. It was only the use of silver impregnated bandages that finally killed off the bug.
      I haven’t taken any antibiotics since, but been very careful with cuts and grazes.

      20

  • #
    Yonniestone

    Is there anything mice can’t explain in science?, what a wondrous creature.

    According to Google it seems the biggest issue with mice is determining their sex http://www.thefunmouse.com/info/sexing.cfm very interesting read and further down I swear they start to look like a Dr Seuss character.

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    • #

      Sexing mice is fun. We put two boys in a cage and ended up with 8 mice.

      80

      • #
        Jaymez

        I used to breed mice as a hobby as a kid. I sold them to Pet Shops who used them for reptile food and also sold them as pets. I had no trouble sexing them. In the first few days the nipples are visible on the does (females), bucks (males) don’t have nipples. I think mice and rats may be the only mammals where the males have no nipples.

        Also if you have a litter to compare, the gap between the anus and genitals is noticeably smaller in the does than bucks. It’s quite obvious when you have a bunch to check. By the time they are three or four weeks old the buck genitals are much more obvious.

        Knowing how to sex mice when you are breeding for a ‘business’ was pretty important. If you leave males in with the females they eat the pinkies (pups). At least that was my experience.

        –REPLY: James, I wish I knew you were such an expert! The youtube experts didn’t mention the nipples. :-( I have given up though now, even after the babies appeared we never figured out which daddy mouse was the mum. Catching wild-but-in-our-pantry-mice to be pets/biology lessons for kids is not something I’ll do again. For pets now — a cat- Jo

        50

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      According to Google it seems the biggest issue with mice is determining their sex…

      Never one to avoid the hard question, I suspect the bigger issue with mice is this. Do results in mice reliably translate into the same result in humans?

      If you want to know the sex just send them off to Jo. For safety, package them separately however. ;-)

      50

  • #
    Paul in Sweden

    Although not specifically stated in the Science Daily article; those with high cholesterol should of course consult with their physician before beginning the antibiotic enriched pregnant fat mouse diet.

    50

  • #
    ROM

    Ian @ # 5.

    That was also my first thought. Have the researchers run some comparisons between those born pre penicillin days which here in Australia dates from about the end of 1945.
    Some time ago I posted on the miraculous recovery of my second brother when penicillin was used for the first time in our local bush nursing hospital in Dimboola a town of the Western Highway in western Vic. He became ill in a matter of a few hours as the mastoid infection progressed rapidly and would have killed the about 8 or 9 months old infant when it reached his brain.
    The time would have been towards the end of 1946.

    So those who were at least young adults and there are still a lot around pre 1945 would be ideal comparisons to use as a comparative check against the later born for the effects, if any, of administration of antibiotics when infants.

    Antibiotics create some very big changes in the gut flora and fauna and in the longer term consequences for the human body, human health and diseases and even mental changes.

    In fact a brief googling turns up reams of research work on gut flora and fauna and the changes in health and even mental outlook and mental processes due to changes or concentrations of specific species of gut bacteria both good and bad

    Mice are not humans so count me skeptical in this particular case.

    I see every size in every age when I watch the locals going about their business including those of born well before the pre antibiotic eras before WW2.

    A lot of obesity today is purely genetic. The genes for obesity are inherent in some racial groups or place of origin groups within racial groups, mine included. And it takes some solid obstinacy on my part about NOT feeding myself whenever I am hungry to prevent the weight continuing to accumulate.
    It gets damn hard when you go browsing in the fridge as an almost automatic reaction when you feel hungry or bored or down a bit.

    I got down from just on 111 Kgs maximum, over about a year to 92 Kgs but couldn’t get lower, by simply eating less.
    Plus finding what food put the weight on. In my case bread. One slice is worth a half a kilogram some hours later and I would almost swear to that.

    For one of my brothers, he can’t eat fruit as his weight just goes ballistic if he has a feed of fruit.
    And going to bed feeling slightly hungry always seems to slowly and consistently pull the weight off if that practice is maintained very consistently.

    Exercise does sweet FA for serious long term weight loss. I have walked for a minimum of about 3 kilometres every evening for years, even after a long hours hard days work while still farming.
    At 76 I can still knock over 3.2 kms [ two miles ] in 32 to 34 minutes each evening. But weight loss from that walking?, None directly of any long term benefit in my experience and from anecdotal information.!

    All of the above included hence my skepticsm on the mice experiment outcomes and the associated claims.

    The problems of the current so called obesity epidemic is that those same obese individuals are now being kept alive for a couple of extra decades due to the miracles of modern medicine.

    My genes are northern Germany in origin. My ancestors arrived in Adelaide sometime around 1850.
    And those old germans of my youth were heavily built and what would be called obese today but was pretty normal for that older generation particularly considering the food they ate and the amounts as so much of what they did was just manual labour of a very hard kind..
    Lots of pork and other meats all heavily treated with all sorts of concoctions some of which no doubt the health stazi would ban on sight today.
    About the only thing wasted on the pig was the squeal.

    Plus the cabbages and loads of heavy home cooked bread and loads of vegies in season from the large home gardens which were always a pride for those old German hausfraus.
    Every wife had her favorite yeasts to make the bread rise in the big old brick old bread ovens, yeast which was carefully kept and passed on to daughters and friends for their bread making for their families

    Obesity didn’t kill those old germans.
    Heart attacks did and did so at 65 to 75 years old. My father, not a big man but heavily built as in muscle, died from a heart attack while in the doctor’s surgery table at 61 years old. And he walked into that surgery just feeling a bit off.
    The genetic analysis tells those of us of our north german origin group that we are now known to have a genetic trait that leads to heart attacks at quite young ages.

    Perhaps what I am trying to say is that there are a hell of a lot of other ways and things to die from than just blaming obeseness for being the cause of a lot of disease as seems to be the current “consensus” .
    And changes in the stomach and gut bacteria species is arguably a greater cause of death and disease through it’s effects on the other body systems than is generally recognised or thought of .

    [ About "consensuses"in this case Salt; Seems that they might have been wrong about the hoo haa of the dangers of salt and in doing away with salt as now it seems that some are running short of that very ancient much sought after, traded great distances, essential to human health and well being, that very ancient, very costly item called Salt! ]

    Now most have heard of the term “a shit sandwich”.

    Well it might not be quite a sandwich but they are getting some good outcomes from either taking your own stools before a major radiation or antibiotic treatment, removing the fecal matter and then reintroducing those gut bacteria from those stools back into your system later on to re-establish the good, adapted to you and you to them, your very own personal bacteria again.
    Or in some cases and it is about to get past the experimental research stage, gut bacteria from purified stools of healthy donors are introduced through stomach tubes into the stomach and bowel systems of the patient.

    You can read about this and maybe you should because it could well become a significant treatment for many bowel problems in the not so distant future.
    And you might preferably not blanch when the Doc suggests that you get a bowel bacteria transplant from some healthy donor stools, purified of course of fecal material you hope !

    Recurrent Clostridium difficile Colitis:Case Series Involving 18 Patients Treated with Donor Stool Administered via a Nasogastric Tube

    [ quoted from the Conclusions. / 2003 ]

    The beneficial effect of the stool transplantation
    was dramatic. In most instances, the patients felt much better
    within 12–24 h and reported marked resolution of symptoms.
    Only 1 of the patients experienced an additional episode of C.
    difficile colitis after undergoing stool transplantation. The cure
    rate for the 16 patients who survived was 94%; all surviving
    patients reported that bowel habits returned to the functional
    pattern that had preceded their first episode of C. difficile colitis.
    Five patients in this series (patients 5, 10–12, and 14) were
    hospitalized and debilitated at the time of the transplantation.
    The other 13 patients were in relatively stable health at the
    time of the transplantation, and they listed relapsing C. difficile
    colitis as their principal health problem. The benefits of stool
    transplantation are perhaps best illustrated in this second
    group. These patients were experiencing both frustration and
    risk associated with chronic diarrhea, and most reported sig-
    nificant debility during the periods of exacerbated C. difficile
    colitis. Even the most robust of the patients in this series felt
    chronically ill, with periods of diarrhea, bloating, abdominal
    discomfort, weight loss, and malaise alternating with periods
    of relatively improved symptoms while receiving antimicro-
    bial therapy.

    [ / ]

    &

    Science Daily; June 2014

    Fecal transplants restore healthy bacteria and gut functions

    [quoted]
    Fecal microbiota transplantation — the process of delivering stool bacteria from a healthy donor to a patient suffering from intestinal infection with the bacterium Clostridium difficile — works by restoring healthy bacteria and functioning to the recipient’s gut, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

    The study provides insight into the structural and potential metabolic changes that occur following fecal transplant, says senior author Vincent B. Young, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases and the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The transplants, which have been successful at curing more than 90 percent of recipients, have been used successfully since the 1950s, he says, though it hasn’t been clear how they work to recover gut function.
    “The bottom line is fecal transplants work, and not by just supplying a missing bug but a missing function being carried out by multiple organisms in the transplanted feces,” Young says. “By restoring this function, C. difficile isn’t allowed to grow unchecked, and the whole ecosystem is able to recover.

    [ / ]

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    • #
      Spotted Reptile

      ROM, walking 3 kilometres is sadly not going to burn off many calories. Maybe 100 or so. That’s about 1/6 of a meal. Unless you’re hill climbing it isn’t going to do squat.

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      • #
        tom0mason

        It is not that you will ‘burn’ off a number of calories for this much or that much exercise, the human body is not a machine. It is when you have pushed your metabolic rate up, and then maintained it there, for at lease 20 minutes (preferably twice a day). That will make the difference, as most people’s metabolic rate is quickly up, slowly down.

        Darn I wish I could find the right references on google …

        Sorry computer says “No”.

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      • #
        ROM

        Spotted Reptile @ #10.1

        Completely agree which is why I mentioned that but many think that doing something like walking a few kilometers every day will take off all that good sized meal they had last night.
        But it does keep the blood circulation going and the muscles are being exercised and used and even gets some mental stimulation as I think a lot about the world, life and the “Restaurant at the end of the Universe” while walking on the back block river bank tracks around Horsham that are almost completely free of other traffic.
        And it gets to be a darn good indication that one is carrying too much weight if the joints and muscles start to ache and you are having a hard time doing your regular distance in your usual time.

        My moment of truth was when I picked up a twenty litre drum of water ie 20 kgs and thought ” bloody h**l, this is heavy” even though I had been handling that sort of weight all my working life and much more but my year of birth is now having a say in all that and I ain’t what I use to be unfortunately and it shows.

        My next thought was, This drum of water is what I’m carting around in flab these days! I’ve got to be bloody stupid to keep doing this!
        And I knew I was starting to pay for all that surplus flab in increasing bone and joint aching.

        So my Doc told me just eat a lot less.
        Nothing more than that and he was right.

        A year and a bit later I was down from very close to 111 kgs to 92 kgs

        It really is hard to just train yourself to eat less particularly if you like your tucker but snacks and etc were right out.
        Two meals a day beginning with a big cooked meal sized breakfast and then nothing until a moderate sized evening meal.
        Not eating after about 8 PM.
        Going to bed feeling just a tad hungry.
        Weighing every morning immediately on getting up and under the same circumstances. It is remarkable how your weight swings by anything up to close to a kilogram between the highs and low points from day to day but most days stay within a few tenths of a kilogram.

        The big occasional swings in daily weight seem to be related to the amount of fluid I retain or expel over the previous 24 hour period which is why I have real problems with the supposed “correct” manner of weighing only once a week or so.
        Seeing those daily swings in weight and only weighing weekly, you are just as likely to get an extreme from the weekly weighing giving a very false impression on your current weight.
        Watching the overall trend by daily weighings I know how I am traveling in weight loss or gain.

        I learn’t to go without a midday meal in the mid 1980′s when I was a long way up the Field and Flight Operation’s totem pole in the running of the World Gliding Championships at Benalla in the mid 1980′s and we were launching 105 gliders around midday, each day. So a big breakfast, no midday meal or even time for a snack as in such circumstances it is all go until quite late in the day and then a reasonable sized evening meal.

        No diabetes although came close when I bought a deep fryer and thoroughly enjoyed it until my blood sugar levels accelerated on up and I got a rap over the knuckles from my Doc.
        So I figured the problem and why and no more deep fryer and down came the sugar count back to the usual.. Sigh!!

        Thats what has worked for me but others will have very different experiences and outcomes as we, each one of us, are all very different to each other.

        20

        • #

          Congrats. You’ve done well.
          Yes, daily weighing breaks all the fat-police rules, but it works.

          On exercise the latest research is that long slow exercise needs to be very long to be equal to short peak intervals. Some health zealots are experimenting with exercise “snacks” of 6 one minute sprints before meals, and getting better blood sugar control across the whole day. The trend in the published literature is more towards peak intensity on an intermittent basis. Pushing your heart rate, lung capacity and muscle strength to max causes biological markers to shift, whereas staying in the comfort zone and being able to “talk while you walk”, is bare maintenance.

          Obviously there are many factors to consider, and peak exercise has risks.

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          • #

            If I could come in here from a personal perspective.

            I had a horrendous lower back problem in November of last year, now 8 Months ago, an occluded disk, just on the one side, a problem recurring at ever increasing and more debilitating frequency since the origin of the injury in early 2005.

            It had gotten to the stage where literally everything was painful, as it just would not go back in this last time. There was just no relief whatsoever.

            There was a medical solution, an injection of steroids into the facet joints of the spine, done under the guidance of a CatScan to see that the injections were in the correct place. Two treatments literally solved the problem, albeit with still a tiny amount of pain.

            Back at my GP after this treatment, he was pleased, and as a parting gesture, as I left his rooms, he mentioned, almost in an offhand manner that walking would help with this.

            I used to run in my time during the RAAF, 7.2Km five days a week. the RAAF Wagga Airfield track. Now 24 years on, my running days are long over, as the stress on my knees is just too much, after 25 years early on as a pace bowler playing Cricket.

            This ‘walking’ comment from my GP spurred me to actually go out and walk, so I started the very next morning.

            Funny, weight loss now that I’m aging was a sort of spur, but, hey, you know, I could never get around to it.

            This time, the memory of that incredible pain was indeed the spur.

            I started with a polite 2 Km, (2 days) then 3Km, (2 days) then 4Km, (3 days) then 5Km, (3 days) and then 6Km, (4 days) those first walks every day for that first 14 days. Then a days rest, and then back to the 6Km, at first 6 days a week, and now down to 5 Km three or four days a week, with the 6Km on Saturdays and Sundays, when the traffic is a lot less, well, here in Rockhampton, and my streets virtually nothing at at all on weekends.

            I started off at around 10 minutes per Km, and now I’m down to my ‘go for it’ day (Saturday) at every Km under 8 Minutes, and the five or 6 other days at around 8.15 to 8.30 per Km. If I was going to do this, then I wanted to work hard at it, even for a 63 year old, so I wanted my heart rate up to the 85% mark, which it is at the end of the walk. The hardest part was getting my breathing correct to maintain a good pace, and I think they refer to that as cadence, not sure. The slower I take those paces, then the slower the time, all down to breathing. I tried in for four paces, out for 4 paces, and I’ve settle on three paces. The first Km is always the slowest, and the last is always the fastest, which is actually opposite to what it was when I was running. I had blisters early on, but solved that with Coolmax socks, just great. After finally wearing out my original (Adidas) joggers, already half way through their life, I am now on my second pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS, comfortable as all get out, and so light, you barely notice them at all.

            So, having kept at it now for those 8 Months, I’ve found that there are side benefits that have come with it.

            My breathing is better, my knees are actually stronger, and the single most important thing I do it for, my back, well, I’ve had just the one twinge, very slight, when I lifted a box that was too heavy, that twinge vanishing the next morning after my walk. For a recurring problem of say once every three or four weeks, and getting more frequent and painful has gone. I know there is still the problem, but as long as I do this, I lessen the chance of it happening again.

            Now comes the thing I was not really expecting, weight loss. I had an idea it might happen, but that I would really need to combine it with diet if I wanted to lose weight, and I was reluctant to alter my diet in any way, love my food, and anyway, I was only doing this for my back pain resolution.

            In 8 Months, 37 weeks now, I’ve gone from 96Kg down to 83 Kg.

            Now, I know 13Kg is not all that much, and it’s only less than a Pound a week, but hey, it even surprised me.

            The weight is something that is only an added bonus here, if it can be called that, because I only did this for my back.

            So, I don’t know if exercise alone brings down weight, or diet, or a mixture of both, but I’m thankful that my GP gave me a spur which I am forever thankful for.

            Probably a classic case of patient, heal yourself.

            Tony.

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            • #
              Yonniestone

              Tony congratulations really well done, you achieved this in the best way possible gradual and methodical just how the body likes it.

              As for diet you have simply altered the ratio of energy in vs energy out so with more energy spent you will use/burn more calories from your usual food intake, 13kgs is nothing to sneeze at try carrying that weight now on a walk, you’ll wonder how you managed to get around pre weight loss.

              If you feel like losing more weight simply cut down the amount or portion sizes of meals/snacks but only slightly just like your walking routine and see the results, notice I didn’t say to stop eating certain things :) again well done and good luck.

              10

            • #
              sophocles

              Once we’re over 55, it’s literally `use it or lose it.’

              I stopped exercising for six weeks a year or so ago for some reason. When I got back into it, it felt as though I was starting all over again. Darn!

              10

              • #

                Before this time round, earlier on, whenever it came to exercising, in my case walking, even the slightest niggling muscle pain or soreness in my knees or ankles, then I just wouldn’t go out at all.

                This time, since I started in November, I only have to even slightly think of that horrendous back pain, and I’ll walk through any of those minor niggles that kept me from doing it earlier.

                I just go a little slower, and usually part way through the walk, probably as I warm up even more, those niggles all but disappear. Previously, those small niggles might have lasted days, and now they virtually vanish during the walk itself.

                I thought the real cold of Winter might stop me, and there’s been a few mornings now in low single figures (C) and I really haven’t even noticed it. The worst is Summer with high humidity. It was like walking on the spot, even at 7AM, and in Summer, it was sometimes 30C at 7AM here in Rockhampton, and sometimes really ‘sticky’. Sweat like a pig those times.

                I have a small hand held el cheapo Dick Smith stop watch and I carefully measured out each of the Kilometres, so I can check for time at each interval, and do my heart rate at the immediate end of the walk.

                There’s a hill in the middle, so it’s up and down, and then back over the hill on the way back. A long gentle down slope on the way out, around 700 metres is a long gentle up slope on the way back, and the odd thing is, the up direction is nearly always faster than walking down that slope.

                I concentrate on the little things, breathing, three paces in, three paces out, bringing my feet straight through instead of the usual 30% toe out, push off with the toes, keeping my head up instead of looking down, and trying to ease the stress in my neck and shoulders.

                Funny thing is, as soon as I think of other things, I can actually feel myself slowing down, so I just concentrate on the actual walking itself.

                I’ve never really been one much for exercise, well, like I’m doing now anyway, being I suppose typically naturally lazy, as we all are in things like this, but the single motivation of that back pain is my spur in this case, and if truth be told, it might even be psychosomatic in nature, but when I was getting this problem every few weeks, and getting worse, I now find it’s been 8 Months without the slightest twinge, so I guess it probably is the movement associated with the walking process.

                Either way, I feel better all over.

                Tony.

                00

  • #
    robert wykoff

    At least in America, I am sure it is all antibiotics. It can’t possibly have anything to do with lazy parents feeding their children fast and or frozen high fat foods. Also nothing to do with the fact that you can drive by just about any park any time of day and see no children, much less children biking anywhere, or playing in the street.

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  • #
    Tim

    “It is this steady production of cortisol in response to inflammation that is so problematic. Individuals who suffer from this often tend to develop inflammation-related diseases like type-2 diabetes. They also tend to be obese and suffer from various symptoms of metabolic syndrome, demonstrating how a vaccine-induced immune response can ultimately trigger these and other diseases.”

    http://www.naturalnews.com/045351_vaccines_immune_overload_childrens_health.html#ixzz3AYaNcvPs

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    • #
      Roy Hogue

      Tim,

      I really appreciate your posting this link.

      Thanks

      Roy

      20

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      One theory I saw was that if a vaccine contained RNA particles similar to your own body, then in theory if the body learned to attack these, then it could logically set up an autoimmune response.
      Seems reasonable to me.

      10

  • #
    tom0mason

    Considering that there are at lease as many symbiotic bacterial cells within and on our bodies as there are our own cells. Many medical authorities believe that baterial cells and viruses in and on our bodies out number our own.
    Many of these symbiotics full life cycle is unknown, IMO it is crass stupidity to just poison billions of them with anibiotics for anthing less than a major medical emergency, prescribing these powerful antibiotic drugs for trivial infections is just dumb.
    Once antibiotic resistance has built up in common invasive bateria generally, then we will have to return to the sulfa drugs (a.k.a. sulfonamides). Sulfa drugs were used widely in the mid-1930s, and were the first medicines specifically used for the treatment of many particular bacterial infections. Their effectiveness are not as good as antibiotics and they often had serious side effects (most common side effects are nausea, vomiting, and skin rashes but also some life threatening allergies or blood, skin, or bone function and formation changes.)

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    First let me say that I’m not in agreement with a lot of the antibiotic use going on today. The use of any drug when the condition it treats isn’t present is improper medicine to me. Use of antibiotics in animals when not needed to fight infection is also in that category,

    With that said, I see in this “evidence of something” presentation to the public, something akin to climate change. Medicine is supposed to be an objective science. Yet so much of what we’re told now about how to stay healthy, how to avoid this or that problem, comes from sources about as reliable to a skeptical person as climate change — evidence shows… is about all they can say. Doesn’t anyone notice that probiotics are being pushed by organizations selling something at a price that’s all the traffic will bear.

    I’m willing to let the research go on — I couldn’t stop it anyway. But I have to tell you that my own experience with probiotics tells me they didn’t do a thing, not even the one my doctor said I should use because “it’s the best” and had a price more appropriate for a bottle of gold than a bottle of pills.

    Antibiotics are misused. Whose fault is that? Doctor, fix your problem. Farmer, fix your problem They also quickly go out of use because the bugs they kill off learn how to outwit them. In the meantime, evidence from mice isn’t impressive and personal experience trumps “evidence shows…” for me.

    You can make of this what you will but I prefer treatment backed up be real experience with humans.

    At least in the U.S. medical insurers all changed their product from medical insurance (which it is) to health insurance (which it is not). That allowed them to start selling all sorts of preventive services, most of dubious real value and all of them aimed at letting the insurance company dictate what your doctor does. Did no one notice? In every doctor’s office there’s a TV pushing this or that. There are ads on my TV screen for every drug under the sun. Give me a break!

    When I was a kid growing up I saw a doctor maybe twice and because I actually needed one. There was no such thing as a well baby checkup. What the heck is that? Now if you don’t have your baby to the doctor every 6 months you’re possibly risking child abuse charges. We are out of control! Yes, please, give me a break!

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    • #
      NielsZoo

      You should try to wade through some of the “studies.” Most of the commenters I see here (as well as the other “skeptic” sites) could manage quite well. The science may be hard to get your head around when it isn’t your field, but methodology is the killer. Just like the climate clowns you will see skewed samples, statistics used in wildly inappropriate ways and conclusions used to either sell something or control someone. It appears to be rarer and rarer to see good science done.

      31

    • #

      Of course, there are vested interests on both sides – which won’t help us solve the scientific questions.

      Note the timing of the probiotic use they are discussing is during pregnancy (other studies show internal flora appear to change the interleukins expressed in pregnant women) and breastfeeding. Just because they didn’t help an adult is not relevant. (BTW – Did your gold mix include Reuteri, and especially the rare Rhamnoses?)

      I particularly liked the experimental design here which narrowed down the cause:

      The researchers discovered that mice inoculated with bacteria from the antibiotic-treated donors were indeed fatter than the germ-free mice inoculated with bacteria from untreated donors. “This shows us that the altered microbes are driving the obesity effects, not the antibiotics,” says Dr. Cox.

      Yes, these are mice, not humans, but doing this experiment in humans in a controlled way may take decades as we wait for babies to grow and age. The mice experiments may save us time by narrowing down the factors we need to test for. Doctors ought to be trialling combined prescriptions with anti-biotic and then pro-biotic use. I presume someone is doing this already.

      For those who are beyond the nursing stage, I hope research can isolate the factor (eg interleukins and cytokines or ? ) that is causative and different in the relevant particular category of obese folk, so we can offer something sooner rather than later.

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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Jo,

        I’m glad you’re a sane voice looking at things as objectively as possible. That and the fact that you put up with me and my crazy sense of humor are probably the compelling reasons I keep reading your blog.

        But when it comes to so many things we’re bombarded with that we better eat or take out of a bottle and some we better not eat — probiotics among them — I’m always left wondering how I could go through the majority of my life doing just fine without those things and the advice that goes along with them. That question puts a different perspective on a whole lot of things.

        I have some problems now at age 75 but those are age related. What I really need — and can’t find — is a better way to treat some of those problems instead of having to hear from my doctors that there is no cure and no treatment, especially for the problem that has me getting around using a cane. I’d rather be square dancing.

        If this research can lead to something I’m all for it. And the only way to find out is to go on and complete the research, move it to humans and then wait long enough to find out. Like our knowledge of aviation safety, the human race has paid pretty dearly for what it knows about medicine. We should be more interested in getting it right than pleasing the vested interests.

        10

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          Actually having some vested interests isn’t all that bad. The modern hospital is a marvel of technology doing everything from keeping patient records to monitoring patients during surgery and critical patients in the intensive care unit. We all benefit from this. And it was all developed by private enterprise with an eye to being able to sell it profitably because there was a definite need for it.

          But here’s the problem. Now, all that technology is used on every patient, whether there’s even the slightest medical indication that it might be useful or not. Why? To cover your behind against any possible liability. It makes medicine more expensive than it needs to be because medicine is also supporting a large part of the legal profession. We need to learn the difference between real malpractice and a simple bad outcome because that’s the way the case was in the first place.

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    Jaymez

    This makes sense and also fits in with the recent Catalyst program which indicated a lack of bacteria in the gut is potentially responsible for anything from food allergies to being overweight. http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4067184.htm

    Part 2 on this subject is next Thursday.

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    lemiere jacques

    beyond this case or the case of allergy , the role of instestine bacteria is a very intersting and promising issue for science and health .

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    This is totally off-topic but it’s of interest to readers of this site because it’s about redefining peer-review: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/aug/16/flores-hobbit-human-downs-syndrome-claim-homo-floresiensis

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    Roy Hogue

    From comments I see it looks like damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Antibiotics, immunizations, every miracle of modern medicine has a hidden catch (doesn’t everything?).

    Is my son’s frequent need for antibiotics as a child responsible for his diabetes now? Or is it that his mother was diabetic and there is a known genetic link from diabetic parent to diabetic child? I know not the answer. But I thank God for the discovery of antibiotics because without them he would almost certainly be deaf now.

    Polio, a devastating disease, is now a thing of the past thanks to a lot of patient and expensive work by Jonas Salk. Would we have failed to immunize against Polio then if the downside of immuniization suspected today had been known back then?

    I think, as the carnival pitch man says — and I’m not trying to be flippant or sarcastic — you pays your money and you takes your chance. Life is like that.

    We don’t all get the same hand to play but we all need to make the most of the hand we’re dealt. That includes to use or not to use some aspect of medicine in our lives.

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    the Griss

    Don’t know if I mentioned, but a few weeks ago I had a gall bladder infection, no stones, thank goodness !!

    Darn horse size antibiotic tablets they had me on made it difficult to be too far from the loo for a week or two.

    Tummy has now settled down mostly, still getting twinges in the gall bladder region.

    They are planning to remove the gall bladder, and I’m on “the list”.. so probably just in time for christmas :-(

    I should be ok until then so long as I avoid all those yummy hot spicy and oily foods. :-(

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    old44

    Yeah – antibiotics – I’ll buy that.

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    I think a sedentary lifestyle and eating too much are the main problem.

    These days I’m a middle aged fat b*gger – I’m well overweight. But at times when I was younger, and partying too much, and not eating enough, I got really really thin.

    If I exercised more I think I would lose the weight.

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    scaper...

    Yeah, it’s all about the fatties! What about us skinnies?

    Hey, I pig out all Winter, put on two kilos at best and it’s all gone in the first month of Spring. Before the fatties here say I’m lucky, what happens if I ever get sick? Got no fat reserves to carry me through.

    The last time I was sick was 1997 and I don’t swallow antibiotics when injured, I break open a capsule and pour it into the wound. Sliced my thumb once whilst tiling. Wouldn’t stop bleeding so I cauterised it.

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      Its the food you eat :-) – if you eat a lot of meat, and not much carb (pizza and pasta and bread), then you stay thin. If you want to put on weight, and keep it, eat a couple of pizzas a week.

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      ROM

      Scaper @ # 22

      Scaper, you are of the type that survives when the biggies and the fatties are long gone.

      In the worst of the POW camps of WW2 it was well known that the big strong guys were the first to die and it was the little skinny guys who survived best if the japanese didn’t kill them.
      The reasons being that it takes less energy to maintain the smaller slimmer body than a large body which is why women generally are the tougher and better survivors than the male of the species.

      Just for interest and this took some finding as I didn’t know the correct term to use for googling; For recovery from starvation just google Refeeding

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        sophocles

        My uncle was a POW during WWII. His and my metabolisms appear similar: smell anything fatty and we put on a kilo, without having to eat it. He came out of his imprisonment in fine shape. The skinny guys had real problems with the starvation diet they were on.

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    Geoff Sherrington

    Re mouse studies,
    “The Apocalyptics” by Edith Efron ca. 1985 is an impressive tome of 600 pages that does not yet seem to be an e-book, unfortunately.
    It is about the USA medical/government Establishment promoting an hypothesis that there would be a cancer epidemic caused by man-made chemicals.
    There was no such epidemic. Much misinformation came from extrapolation of mouse trials.
    The book is hugely relevant to global warming, where similar Establishment deception happens. The book has the added interest that the end game is described for the false cancer scare. One signal was increasing defection of ‘leading scientists’ like Bruce Ames, one of the mouse test masters.

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    john robertson

    Sure blame the antibiotics for us living long enough to get fat.
    Most likely our obesity is due to living off of the fat of many lands.
    There has been no famine in 5 generations for most of us.
    The sure cure for obese and stupid academics.. a pink slip followed by having to work for welfare.

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    tom0mason

    I remember a great weight loss program from years ago that relied on eating high volumes of bran.

    I liked their advertizing slogan -

    Has the bottom fallen out of your world?

    Eat BRAN and let the world fall out of your bottom!

    :)

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    If you are smart enough to figure out what the top racehorse and greyhound trainers have been feeding their best performers since the English first came to Tasmania then you are smart enough to figure out how to stay lean and fit with a healthy gut flora.

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    sophocles

    Makes me wonder about sulphonamide use at a very young age. I have an allergy to that group of drugs from being dosed when only six months old, just before penicillin et al arrived.

    I survived. I discovered in my late teens I can’t drink much alcohol. Whether this is a side-effect or not, I don’t know. It has saved me a lot of money, though. :-)
    And I never have to worry about road-side breath-testing! :-) :-) :-)

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    ROM

    This subject of Gut Bacteria must be the flavour of the month;

    From; Science Daily Aug 15th

    Do gut bacteria rule our minds? In an ecosystem within us, microbes evolved to sway food choices

    [quoted ]
    It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us — which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold — may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.

    Bacterial species vary in the nutrients they need. Some prefer fat, and others sugar, for instance. But they not only vie with each other for food and to retain a niche within their ecosystem — our digestive tracts — they also often have different aims than we do when it comes to our own actions, according to senior author Athena Aktipis, PhD, co-founder of the Center for Evolution and Cancer with the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF.

    While it is unclear exactly how this occurs, the authors believe this diverse community of microbes, collectively known as the gut microbiome, may influence our decisions by releasing signaling molecules into our gut. Because the gut is linked to the immune system, the endocrine system and the nervous system, those signals could influence our physiologic and behavioral responses.

    “Bacteria within the gut are manipulative,” said Carlo Maley, PhD, director of the UCSF Center for Evolution and Cancer and corresponding author on the paper.” “There is a diversity of interests represented in the microbiome, some aligned with our own dietary goals, and others not.”
    Fortunately, it’s a two-way street. We can influence the compatibility of these microscopic, single-celled houseguests by deliberating altering what we ingest, Maley said, with measurable changes in the microbiome within 24 hours of diet change.
    “Our diets have a huge impact on microbial populations in the gut,” Maley said. “It’s a whole ecosystem, and it’s evolving on the time scale of minutes.”
    There are even specialized bacteria that digest seaweed, found in humans in Japan, where seaweed is popular in the diet.

    Research suggests that gut bacteria may be affecting our eating decisions in part by acting through the vagus nerve, which connects 100 million nerve cells from the digestive tract to the base of the brain.
    “Microbes have the capacity to manipulate behavior and mood through altering the neural signals in the vagus nerve, changing taste receptors, producing toxins to make us feel bad, and releasing chemical rewards to make us feel good,” said Aktipis, who is currently in the Arizona State University Department of Psychology.

    In mice, certain strains of bacteria increase anxious behavior. In humans, one clinical trial found that drinking a probiotic containing Lactobacillus casei improved mood in those who were feeling the lowest.

    [ more ]

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    John Knowles

    Nexus magazine carried an article by M A Baker years ago in which he theorised that bacteria evolve/develop according to their environs so a dose of pneumococci was an indicator that you had a lung problem. His suggestion was that the bacteria were feeding-on or encapsulating toxins that your body couldn’t deal with. The resultant bacterial package is processable by the body. If this scenario where correct, a dose of antibiotics might clear up the bacteria but leave you with some form of lung pollution incompletely removed.
    I was one the lucky ones who had a mother (and grandmother) who did not believe in running to the local GP until they’d exhausted all possible home remedies and my daughters very first visit to a hospital or doctor was not until she was nine. Wholesome food, fresh air and exercise and plenty of sleep go a long way. To read about gut bacteria affecting health, weight and also your psychological disposition, comes as no surprize to me.

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    John Knowles

    We get fresh milk from a Jersey cow and make our own yogurt, butter and cheese when possible. The calf slurps away at the often quite grubby teats and must get a healthy dose of micro-flora with every suckle but we humans have become quite paranoic about “infection”. I wonder if this sterility obsession is part of our western illness paradigm?
    That ABC TV Catalyst program on Thurday night, mentioned the odd proximity of the anus to the birth canal and then went on to suggest that the thin skin bacterial population might be helping seed suckling infants’ guts with useful bacteria. (for non Au readers, Catalyst is the dumbed-down TV science show for the plebs) The suggestion was that Ceasarian birthed children miss out to some degree and go on to have a variety of health issues but as others have pointed out here, there are so many variables affecting health and weight that it would be difficult to study objectively.

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    John Knowles

    Drs S. Kaali & W Lyman were awarded a US Patent in 1993 (No. 5,188,738) for a blood cleaning device which applied pulses of electricity to the blood. In the 90s I built a simplified DC version of their AC apperatus by following Dr Hulda Clark’s instructions. Mine runs off a single 9 V battery at ~ 28,000 Hz so you receive a positive off-set stepped square-wave but at very low current. I’m guessing I need to make one from an 18V battery from my cordless drill to get more amps to achieve effective penetration into the skin.

    The late Dr Bob Beck reports that he sent blood samples off to Pathology and they wrote back asking where he got such “clean” blood from. His design uses 3 x 9V batteries (27V at 4Hz AC). I’m left in a quandary because in a healthy person a cubic cm of blood normally carries ~100 different micro-organisms but they are kept in check by immune function. I tend to only use mine when all else has failed.

    The zapper idea seems to work but is it over-kill ? One feature of the process is that the gut wall tends to be the pathway of least electrical resistance so the intestinal flora are somewhat protected. I say it “seems to work” because a building client of mine is a GP and he comments that a third of his patients would likely get better even if they didn’t visit his clinic however my impression over years of testing on my family and horse, is that the electrical pulsing does work and is therefore a reasonable alternative to anti-biotics.

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    And there is also the cow’s milk problem. In summary:

    The health implications of A1 beta–casein relative to A2 beta-casein are controversial. At times the scientific debate has become clouded by the reality that cow’s milk is a bulk commercial product. Conversion of all herds so as to replace A1 beta-casein with A2 beta-casein over one to two cow generations (4 – 12 years) is technically straight forward. Accordingly, the beta-casein issue can be presented as either a threat to, or an opportunity for, the mainstream milk products industry, with elements of each perspective being valid.

    Key Science:

    All bovine beta-casein was originally of the A2 type. A1 beta-casein is now produced by a considerable proportion of cows that have European bloodlines. In contrast, goats, sheep, buffalo, camels and humans produce beta-casein of the A2 type.
    On digestion, A1 beta-casein releases the peptide beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM7) which has opioid characteristics. This is scientifically proven and is no longer controversial. The level of release has been shown to be consistent with pharmacological effects (Boutrou et al 2013)
    A1 beta-casein has been implicated in a range of human health conditions, many of which have an auto-immune element to them. The health conditions include Type 1 diabetes, heart disease, mental health conditions, behaviour, child development, sudden infant death syndrome, and milk intolerances.
    The evidence in humans is largely epidemiological (population studies, cohort studies, case-control) and observational, plus in vitro for human tissues, and randomised trials with animals.
    New research with rats (Barnett et al 2014) has shown, with major and statistically significant effect sizes, that A1 beta-casein inhibits gastric transit of food relative to A2 beta casein, that the enzyme DPP4 is up-regulated in the small intestine, and that in the colon there is an increase in the inflammatory marker myeloperoxidase (MPO).
    A recent study with mice (Haq et al 2013) found that in response to A1 beta-casein ingestion there were major effects (both size and statistical significance) in immune responses (antibodies and Th2 cell production) and intestinal myeloperoxidase (MPO). These effects did not occur with A2 beta-casein.
    This recent research can help provide theoretical underpinnings for the prior epidemiological findings and further justify the revisiting thereof.
    It is feasible for all dairy herds to be bred to remove the A1 allele relating to the specific gene that produces A1 beta-casein. Total herd conversion can take anywhere from four years to about twelve years, depending on the breeding strategy.

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    Tom Moran

    Breastfeed mice! Lol

    My money’s on inactivity and lack of discipline. They don’t have an antibiotic problem, they have a chewing problem!

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