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Edible CRISPR Could Replace Antibiotics

Researchers are desperately seeking alternatives to existing antibiotics that are fast losing efficacy for deadly diseases such as Clostridium difficile, a prevalent infection in hospitals and nursing homes. An answer may be in a “CRSPR” pill that tells bacteria to self-destruct. According to Technology Review, CRISPR is a powerful gene-editing technology that was actually discovered in bacteria.

That we even have to continue this fight is almost criminal. It’s well-known that a major cause of antibiotic resistance is the use of antibiotics in livestock, mainly on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that use them because animals gain more weight on less feed when fed antibiotics. Yet, despite this knowledge, attempts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to decrease the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock production have seldom succeeded.

Time and again, the FDA has tried to regulate antibiotics, including asking drug makers to voluntarily remove “growth promotion and feed efficiency” as approved uses on livestock antibiotic labels so the drugs would only be used in cases of sickness and under the care of veterinarians. But repeatedly, Big Ag and drug makers have refused to budge — and the results are disastrous, with more and more antibiotics becoming ineffective.

Some antibiotics are now even linked to delirium, confusion, hallucinations and encephalopathy in humans. Their negative effects on gut bacteria, also called the microbiome, are still being investigated, too — and still, there have been no attempts on the part of industry to help with this. The answer, then, must start with you. One of the best and least expensive ways to optimize your gut microbiome is to eat traditionally fermented and fiber-rich foods. Probiotic supplements can also be beneficial. Also, if you have to take an antibiotic, be sure to take a high-quality probiotic along with it.
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