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Discover the top 14 things you’re doing that are damaging your bones.

Can Antibiotics Damage Your Bones?

antibiotics-osteoporosis

When antibiotics were first discovered in the 1940s, it marked the beginning of a new era that seemed to signal the end of infectious disease. Doctors became quick to prescribe these germ-killing drugs to stop and even prevent infections.

But the golden era of antibiotics has come to an end. Not only does this indiscriminate prescribing contribute to the formation of scary “superbugs” (antibiotic-resistant bacteria); it also poses other health dangers including harm to your bones.

Unfortunately, the Medical Establishment seems to blatantly ignore this. According to a recently published study…

Antibiotics are Still Prescribed Unnecessarily

It turns out that most sore throats and bronchitis will resolve on their own with plenty of rest and fluids. Yet a recent study shows that most patients with sore throats or bronchitis are still walking out of the hospital or doctor’s office with a prescription for an antibiotic (more on the study later).

“We know that antibiotic prescribing, particularly to patients who are not likely to benefit from it, increases the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a growing concern both here in the United States and around the world,”1 says Dr. Jeffrey A. Linder, a physician, researcher and study author on the persistence of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions.

What Sorts of “Adverse Effects” Do Antibiotics Cause?

It’s worth pointing out that “antibiotic” means “anti-life.” Scientists and consumers heretofore thought that antibiotic drugs kill only the “bad” germs, leaving human tissue intact. But this is not the case.

First, the medical community figured out that antibiotics were killing off healthy intestinal bacteria in addition to killing pathogens. Now, as a study just published this past summer shows, we are coming to realize that antibiotics damage “life” on more alarming levels.

New Study: Antibiotics Cause Oxidative Stress in Human Cells, Which Accelerates Bone Loss

Over the years, reports of side effects in those taking antibiotics have accumulated enough for scientists to take notice. From tendonitis to hearing loss to kidney dysfunction, some alarming effects of indiscriminate antibiotic use have surfaced.

A study conducted by researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute, published in October of this year, built on their previous research and showed that antibiotics kill bacteria by triggering oxidative stress. They discovered that antibiotics trigger oxidative stress in mitochondria as well.

Mitochondria are organelles, tiny organ-like structures that reside within your cells and produce energy. Mitochondria are not unlike bacteria, which may be why antibiotics can damage them.

In the study, human cells were exposed to 3 antibiotic levels: ciprofloxacin, ampicillin, and kanamycin. For the first 6 hours of exposure, there was no harmful effect observed. But after approximately 4 days, the researchers discovered something disturbing: the antibiotics had actually damaged the cells’ DNA via oxidative stress.2

“Doctors should only prescribe antibiotics when they’re called for,” comments study leader Jim Collins, PhD, “and patients should only ask for antibiotics when they have a serious bacterial infection.”2

Antibiotics Cause Harm to Your Body and Your Bones

This same group of researchers studied the effects of long-term antibiotic use in mice, giving them doses comparable to the average prescribed human dose. Sure enough, the mice’s levels of glutathione – sometimes called the “Master Antioxidant” – dropped significantly, signifying oxidative stress.

Antioxidants to the Rescue

The Harvard scientists discovered what Savers already know: antioxidants prevent the oxidative damage that is so harmful to human cells and DNA. Glutathione is of particular importance among antioxidants, and here’s why.

Oxidative damage is caused by free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules which are by-products of cellular respiration. They are highly unstable because they’re missing an electron in their molecular structure.

Glutathione (or GSH) is called the Master Antioxidant because it has an amazing ability to “donate” an electron to unstable molecules like free radicals without becoming unstable itself, thereby neutralizing the free radical and stopping the cycle.

As the research above shows, when GSH levels get low, oxidative toxicity occurs.

How to get More GSH

You may be wondering if you should try to find GSH supplements to boost your levels of this Master Antioxidant. But a better idea is to eat foods that contain the building blocks of GSH. I’ll explain.

GSH is a tripeptide, a protein chain consisting of 3 amino acids: glutamic acid, glycine, and cysteine. Your body makes its own GSH from these components, so it makes sense to give it the “building materials” it needs. Here are some foods that boost production of GSH in the body:

  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Apples
  • Lemons
  • Foods high in Vitamin C (Vitamin C itself promotes GSH production)
  • Whey (we’ll discuss whey in more detail below)

Warning: Popular Antibiotics Contain Fluoride

One of the most commonly prescribed forms of antibiotics, fluoroquinolones, contain fluoride. Two popular fluoroquinolones, Cipro and Levaquin, became well-known shortly after 9/11/2001, when many people were afraid of anthrax. Others include ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and other “floxacins.”

Fluoroquinolones should only be used for serious, potentially deadly bacterial infections, because they can really cause harm. You see, these antibiotics can pass through the blood-brain barrier where they can cause direct damage to your nervous system. They also cause widespread side effects such as retinal detachment and resulting blindness, hallucinations, kidney failure, malaise, anxiety, and depression (to name a few). In fact, these drugs are so toxic that their boxes are festooned with black box warnings.

Fluoride is very harmful to bones. Extensive studies, such as those cited in The Missing Link which is part of the Save Our Bones Program, make a clear case for fluoride’s role in increased fracture risk. In addition, ingesting fluoride can negatively affect kidney and liver function. There is also research suggesting that fluoride inhibits the immune system. So that’s a double whammy, because…

All Antibiotics Suppress and Damage the Immune System

This is so ironic – the very drugs that are supposed to help the body fight off infection in fact compromise the body’s own defenses. But it makes sense when you consider that 80% of the human immune system is located in the digestive tract, and is composed of millions of “good” bacteria. When antibiotics kill off the good microbes, they leave your immune system weakened and imbalanced.

Are All Antibiotics Equally Bad?

In the Wyss Institute study, the researchers discovered not only the power of antioxidants in preventing antibiotic-induced damage; they also found that a certain class of antibiotics known as bacteriostatics are the least harmful.

The reason is because bacteriostatics don’t kill bacteria; they just stop them from multiplying. Bacteriostatics include the following:

  • Sulphonamides
  • Tetracyclines
  • Chloramphenicol
  • Erthryomycin
  • Trimethoprim

You Should Only Take Antibiotics if Absolutely Necessary

It only makes sense for informed consumers to cut back on antibiotic use, even if doctors won’t decrease their prescriptions. If your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, find out the name and avoid fluoroquinolones as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for bacteriostatic options.

Another question you can ask your doctor is just how urgent it is that you start the antibiotics right away. If possible, see if you can wait and try some natural solutions first, such as bee propolis.

Prevention is best, of course. Here are some tips for strengthening your immune system so you don’t end up in the doctor’s office to begin with.

Natural Immune-Strengthening Strategies

As you might expect, what you eat has a lot to do with the health of your immune system (remember, most of our immune system is in the digestive tract). There are other important proactive steps you can take to keep your “fighter cells” going strong. Such as…

  1. Avoid sugar – it not only harms your bones, but it suppresses your immune system, too.
  2. Take Vitamin C and Vitamin D, which are both Foundation Supplements as described in the Save Our Bones Program. These vitamins work together, so if you’re taking more Vitamin C, you’re helping your body metabolize Vitamin D as well.
  3. Consider drinking whey protein – it contains the amino acids that build glutiathone (especially cysteine), as well as lactoferrin. Lactoferrin reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, and protects against pathogens.
  4. Eat Immune-boosting foods, such as mushrooms, asparagus, and apples.
  5. Exercise regularly to boost immunity. Recent research has shown a striking connection between exercise and the immune system. And you don’t have to exercise with a hardcore workout. You can actually improve your immunity and strengthen your bones in just 15 minutes a day with an exercise program such as Densercise™.

‘Till next time,

References

1 Barnett, Michael L. and Linder, Jeffrey A. “Antibiotic Prescribing to Adults With Sore Throat in the United States, 1997-2010.” JAMA Internal Medicine. 3 October 2013; DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.11673.
2 Kalghatgi, Sameer, Collins et al. “Bactericidal Antibiotics Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Damage in Mammalian Cells.” Science Translational Medicine. 3 July 2013 DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3006055

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23 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. grandmasagoody@yahoo.com November 14, 2013, 1:24 am

    Sherrill read this. It makes sense.

  2. elsa November 12, 2013, 7:38 pm

    dear Vivian,
    i read your articles,i been through severe elbow fracture at the age of 12.i almost lost my right ,cause my artery also broken and it was major bad time of my life ,but God amazingly rescued me.i was on strong antibiotics for almost a year and in later life i suffered so much other gut connected problem .but today i am blessed with good health and good bones.
    thank you for you articles,
    may God bless you
    elsa.

  3. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel) November 12, 2013, 6:37 pm

    Hi! Vivian,

    This Was A Great Article. You Really Did Your Research.
    Keep Up The Wonderful Work You Are Doing!

    LOVE, LESLIE (MS. L. CARMEL)

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA November 12, 2013, 7:24 pm

      Thank you for your encouragement, Leslie! :)

  4. Shirley November 12, 2013, 3:53 pm

    Good article. Thanks Vivian, Enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and the answers.
    My question. About 5 years ago, I had a hip replacement. Since than, I,ve been told to take antibiotics before having dental work done as any infection that could be introduced by the dental work could affect the hip area. Should I keep listening to the dentist and the bone doctor? The dentist would probably refuse to do any work if I refuse the medication.
    Shirley

  5. Jennifer November 12, 2013, 3:16 am

    Antibiotic overuse and misuse is just one more reason to stay away from vaccines. Most vaccines have antibiotics added to the long list of other toxic ingredients.

    Thank you for this and all your articles!

  6. Mickie Claxton November 12, 2013, 1:49 am

    I was wondering about doxycycline, while we’re on the subject

  7. Judy November 11, 2013, 8:37 pm

    I was reading last night on another site about the need to use alkaline water for your health. Just what is it and is distilled water better or the same? I couldn’t fine any real answer to that question.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA November 12, 2013, 1:18 am

      Hi Judy,
      In my opinion, drinking alkaline water is futile. Water does not go through the digestive process and it gets mixed with stomach acid. Many of the alkalizing machines are good products, but you can achieve the same results without buying expensive water by drinking steam distilled water with a few drops of lemon juice. The lemon juice is alkalizing and anionic, (negatively charged), and thus helps drag the positively charged acidic residue molecules out of your body. :)

  8. Pam Chaney November 11, 2013, 2:19 pm

    I’ve been on the diet you have discussed, and have performed some of the exs daily, and my osteoporosis after 2 yrs has stayed basically the same. I am very frustrated. I am a PT. My weight bearing has been decreased, because I am in the pool with patients approx 2-4 hrs per day. My L5 is -4.7 which blew me away. I compressed L1 12/20011. My spine is -3.7. What is wrong? I am a fighter, and I feel depressed.
    Thank you for listening,
    Pam Chaney,PT

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA November 11, 2013, 5:55 pm

      Dear Pam,
      I know it can be difficult and frustrating. But please keep in mind that there is more to bone health than density scores! The reason Mainstream Medicine is so “obsessed” with scores is because they need those numbers (i.e. fixed parameters) to prescribe drugs. And DEXA scans are not always accurate!

      Less dense but healthy and renewed bones have better tensile strength than thicker, denser, older bones, and are therefore more resistant to fractures.

      The bottom line is that you’re not taking toxic (and often dangerous) drugs, and that you’re allowing your bones to remodel as they should. Bone health is not a density “pageant,” it’s all about not breaking bones, and so far, you’ve succeeded with flying colors!

      So don’t give up on the Program, and don’t let the skewed mainstream thinking change your beliefs.

      • shula November 11, 2013, 7:09 pm

        Dear Vivian

        I’m reading what you’ve wrote to Pam. Like Pam I’m exercising, eating calcium-rich foods, and avoiding sugar, salt, coffee, tea, meat, sodas, and any unhealthy food. Also meditating. Still my score is very poor, and getting poorer with each passing year. Pam’s is very bad, and mine is much worse. I’m trying to understand – does the BMD test reflects only how much calcium is in the bone, or does it also reflect how densed the bone is? Is it possible the other minerals, except calcium, keep the density of the bone?

        Thank you in advance for replying
        Shula

        • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA November 12, 2013, 1:40 am

          I understand, Shula. It can be aggravating when you’re doing everything “right” it seems, yet you’re not getting those scores you want!

          Small variations in DEXA readings could be machine-related (even if you were tested using the same brand of equipment), or could be affected by the amount of lean tissue you may have developed while on the program. Here’s why:

          DEXA scanners beam X-rays at the lumbar vertebrae and the hip to measure the shadow cast by the bones. Software in the machine estimates the amount of calcium in the bone based on the darkness of the shadow. This means that DEXA scans are not three-dimensional; they are two-dimensional, like a plain X-ray, so it is very “insensitive.” This two-dimensional reading, therefore, causes errors in the “reading” of actual bone density.

          For example, let’s say a woman has large vertebrae and she’s tall and big-boned. The DEXA X-ray beam must travel farther to get a reading on her bones than on a woman that has smaller bones (because it only detects two-dimensional distance). Meanwhile, the smaller woman could have more calcium in her bones and more resilient and healthy bones. The DEXA scanner cannot detect this. So DEXA scans measure quantity of bone rather than quality.

          The T-score does not tell you if the bone is strong; it simply places your results within a certain age and gender group. And several studies point to the inexact science of measuring bone density!

          If you’re following the Program, chances are your bones are in much better shape than the average person who eats a very acidifying diet. :)

  9. Kristi November 11, 2013, 1:08 pm

    This a great article that talks about how oxidative stress affects our whole body, including our bones. There are over 200 chronic diseases tied to oxidative stress as the root cause. (Not that osteoporosis is a disease in and of itself, but boosting your antioxidants will help heal your body faster in addition to all of the other Save Our Bones recommendations.) If you go to pubmed.gov, and type in oxidative stress/osteoporosis, you will see the studies being conductive linking the two. There is a product that reduces your oxidative stress by 40% in 30 days with a 5 herb synergistic blend. It is a medical breakthrough product, there is none other like it on the market. Marti Willing talks about it in her new book ‘Intuitive Nutrition’ and the American Anti Cancer Institute recommends it now as one of their top 10 protocols when they are treating cancer. What it does for the human body is absolutely mind boggling! One of the things it does is boost your Glutathione levels by 300%! You can learn more about it at ABCliveit.com. Contact me if you have any further questions/I love this product and have added it to my own personal SAVE MY BONES regimen! Kristi 805-610-7712

    • cath November 13, 2013, 12:05 am

      Hi Kristi, thanks so much for taking the trouble to give us this info, I have just watched the vidio from the ABCliveit.com page very interesting, just where do you start there is such a lot of information from these cites. Will come back to you later I need more time on this.Thanks again Catherine. Manchester England

    • Diane November 12, 2013, 1:16 am

      What is the name of this product? Thank you in advance for replying.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA November 11, 2013, 1:43 pm

      Great information Kristi – thank you for sharing it with the community!

      • Diane November 13, 2013, 5:03 pm

        What is the name of this product?

  10. Trudy November 11, 2013, 9:00 am

    Whenever I read these blogs, infos from Vivian – which are great, by the way! – I come across one toxin – fluoride! It makes me absolutely livid that our ‘almighty’ government doctors put fluoride into our drinking water in Australia, most parts of the country anyway. Aren’t they aware of all the research?! These doctors claim that fluoride prevents dental decay and its consumption is harmless. But what does it really do to our health?! What can a single person do to convince them otherwise? Everybody here, including little kids, drink our tap water. Bottled water is too expensive, especially when you drink so much in our tropical climate zones. Any ideas? The majority of the population is also totally oblivious of this problem; they just accept what the ‘authorities/doctors’ decide.
    Can only hope for the better!!!

    • Pearl November 12, 2013, 11:30 am

      I know what you mean Trudy, thankfully i have my own tanks & drink rainwater, which I have done for most of my life, there is a movement here in West Australia trying to get the fluoride in our scheme water stopped.

      I don’t really fancy bottled water either, all that plastic !!!

    • micky November 11, 2013, 1:45 pm

      Hi Trudy, I understand where your coming from. I live in the south west of England and we have fluoride added to our water which is meant to protect our teeth. But like you I do wish they would leave it out. I don’t think that boiling the water makes any difference. Best to buy bottle water when you can.

      Regards Micky

      • Trudy November 12, 2013, 9:51 am

        Thanks, Mickie!
        It’s just too expensive to buy here. I used to when I still lived in Germany, but in our hot tropical climate in QLD/Australia you have to drink lots to keep hydrated. Governments just DON’T listen to ‘normal’ people!
        Cheers, Trudy

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA November 11, 2013, 1:42 pm

      Yes, Trudy, fluoride is extremely prevalent in municipal water supplies! Distilled water with a few drops of lemon juice is best for your bones and your health. If you don’t want to buy jugs (or if they’re not available), you might consider a countertop distiller.

      Here’s a post where you can get more information:
      http://saveourbones.com/the-invisible-threat-to-your-bones/

      Have a wonderful week!

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