Last Updated on August 28, 2020
There is a very interesting study about Clostridium difficile (C. diff) that’s worth reading.
C. diff is a bacteria that we all have. However, in some people, C. diff can go ballistic in response to a course of antibiotics. This is another reason I am not a fan of the routine use of antibiotics.
I remember producing a video some time ago about antibiotic usage, particularly in America. Back in the ’50s, antibiotic use was so common that some women carried the medication in their purse.
If anyone had a cough or sniffle, out came the antibiotics. Antibiotics were touted as cure-all drugs that could cure any disease. Now, we know that they probably created more diseases than they cured. Be very, very careful about antibiotic usage. I’m absolutely convinced that a time will come when antibiotics are never used again, and their use will be seen as a dark period in the history of medicine. I’m talking a hundred years from now, not in the next five.
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In this study, Dr. Lisa Dawson from the London Tropical School of Medicine and Hygiene discovered that C. diff produces a chemical called para-Cresol. This chemical smothers and kills other surrounding bacteria but doesn’t harm C. diff. That’s obviously a competitive advantage and helps C. diff grow to very high levels. When Dr. Dawson made a mutant form of C. diff that does not produce para-Cresol and put it in the gut of mice, she discovered that this strain of C. diff had plenty of other bacteria growing around it. It seems that para-Cresol is what allows C. diff to ramp up production without very much competition from other gut bacteria.
C. diff is one of the very few conditions where a fecal transplant has shown to work reasonably well. In many cases, I don’t think fecal transplants are worth the $20,000 price tag, but if you have C. diff, it’s probably worth it.