What is the superbug and how do you conquer it?

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Antibiotic resistance has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization. Recent estimates show the health threat results in 2-million serious infections or illnesses, and 23-thousand deaths every year.

Joining us Sunday on Good Morning Connecticut, retired pharmacist David Foreman, also known as “The Herbal Pharmacist”, is here to share some three surprising and cost-effective ways to conquer the superbug.

Antibiotic resistance has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization that conservatively estimates the health threat will result in 2 million serious infections or illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year. At the end of March, The White House announced to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a 5-year, $1.2 billion program to fight superbugs, drug-resistant bacteria that pose serious hazards to public health.

“Superbugs really could be our biggest health threat in the near future,” said David Foreman, known as “The Herbal Pharmacist,” who started his career as a registered pharmacist with a strong belief in natural medicine and uses his expertise in physiology, pharmacology and natural medicine to educate consumers on cutting edge approaches to natural health and healing. “For example, an infection as minor as strep throat could end up being life threatening.”

Studies have shown that 30 to 50 percent of antibiotics prescribed in hospitals are unnecessary or incorrect, which is the main impetus behind the superbug crisis. Cutting down on antibiotic prescriptions is an obvious course of action but federal authorities warn that stopping a superbug or antibiotic resistance could take vaccines and more powerful drugs.

Foreman says there are simple ways you can take control of your health to conquer the superbug threat for yourself and your family now.

“It’s good that government officials are taking swift action and trying to take control of superbugs before they wreck havoc on public health,” said Foreman. “But individuals can take personal responsibility now to protect themselves and their family from the superbug threat. We have prevention tools that are easily within everyone’s reach.”

The Herbal Pharmacist, David Foreman shares three surprising and cost-effective ways to conquer a superbug:

  • Bacteria: Long proclaimed for its benefits in foods like yogurt, unpasteurized sauerkraut and fermented cheese, some experts are predicting that these live microorganisms, known as probiotics or good bacteria, will become a major key to preventing and treating drug-resistant infections. Doctors often prescribe probiotics with antibiotics that are known to scrub a patient’s gut of both good and bad bacteria in an effort to wipe out an infection. Antibiotics taken without probiotics could leave the body vulnerable to debilitating bugs, such as C. diff, that can overwhelm immune defenses. The strongest evidence that probiotics work is documented in dozens of scientific studies that show probiotic supplements can help cure antibiotic-associated diarrhea (a common side effect many will suffer from long-term use of antibiotics). With so many probiotic supplements to choose from (Americans are buying nearly $5 billion worth a year) you want to make sure you choose a probiotic that can make its way through your digestive system unscathed. Foreman says probiotic supplements like insync with a GI Guard will protect the delicate good bacteria from heat, moisture and stomach acids so you get the benefit.
  • Fungus: Active hexose correlated compound (known as AHCC), produced from several species of mushrooms, can help keep your immune response heightened, which is critical in protecting yourself from a superbug. The effectiveness of AHCC, found in immune support supplements, was studied on mice that were given lethal dose of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an infection caused by a strain of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to antibiotics. The mice dosed with AHCC survived significantly longer than the placebo group. Foreman says in the immune booster category he recommends AHCC, over other immune boosters like echinacea or ginseng, to prevent infections because it has nearly 25 human clinical studies proving it can maintain peak natural killer cell activity.
  • Pomegranates: High in polyphenolic compounds, pomegranate juice is higher in antioxidant activity than red wine and green tea. One study found that pomegranates had specific antibacterial activity against MRSA. The authors of that study suggest a beneficial effect from the daily intake of pomegranate “as dietary supplements to augment the human immune system’s antioxidant, antimalarial and antimicrobial capacities.” Foreman says consuming 2-8 ounces of juice daily is a good daily dose. In addition to these herbal and supplement proactive approaches for avoiding a superbug, Foreman says you should also limit the use of antibacterial soaps and cleaning products, restrict sugar intake since it interferes with the ability of white blood cells to destroy bacteria and reduce alcohol consumption that can interfere with a variety of immune defenses. Most importantly question your doctor if prescribed antibiotics for cold and flu, ear infections, sore throat and long-term urinary tract infections (UTIs) as all these health issues are targets for antibiotic overuse. For more natural health tips go to: www.herbalpharmacist.com, facebook.com/TheHerbalPharmacist or follow on Twitter at @Herbalrph.

Foreman asks the question: Could canine kisses provide probiotics, not germs? It’s well documented that owning a dog can improve a person’s wellbeing, but scientists now believe that the microbes lurking in a dog’s gut could have a probiotic effect on the owner’s body. A new study being conducted by the University of Arizona will test the theory that dog saliva can help lessen:

  • Sneezing;
  • Itching;
  • Hives of an allergic reaction; and
  • Other immune responses.

In theory, the dog’s microbiome would beneficially influence the human’s microbiome, which would affect the human’s immune system response. If the dogs and human owners have similar microbiota, then it means that dogs are contributing a probiotic-enhancing microbiota to their human owners. Why dogs and not cats? Immunology experts say dogs spread their bacteria around more than cats do, mainly because dogs like to lick things, lick people and lick themselves in the process.

David Foreman RPh, is a retired pharmacist, author and radio host of the syndicated show, “The Herbal Pharmacist.” He is well versed on the healing powers of herbs, vitamins and other natural supplements. Foreman is a graduate of the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy and is author of, “4 Pillars of Health: Heart Disease.” He is a frequent speaker at some of America’s leading universities, medical groups and hospitals on the subject of natural health and healing. His shift from traditional pharmacist to herbal pharmacist was based on his belief that education is the key to understanding that natural health plays a vital roll in mainstream medicine; and he has dedicated his entire career to educating consumers about the benefits and power behind natural herbs and supplements. Follow him on Twitter: @Herbalrph or facebook.com/TheHerbalPharmacist.

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