Volume 2, Issue 47
November 19, 2009

Why women should
avoid antibiotics

The use of antibiotics in the United States was out of hand 20 years ago. These days it's even worse. And the increased dosing is putting women at serious risk for a life-threatening disease.

The added exposure isn't just coming from antibiotic prescriptions. It's coming from innumerable other sources. These include antibiotic laden wipes, solutions, soaps, and mouthwashes. The media has instilled an unreasonable fear in Americans over bacteria and viruses. This has caused many people to dose themselves up every day with these products.

Make no mistake about it. Studies have shown that when you expose babies to these products they have detectable blood levels of antibiotics. That can't be good. The same is also true for adults. But isn't killing germs a good thing?

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Sure, killing germs is good if they're disease-causing germs. But the problem is that antibiotics don't know the difference between germs that cause disease and germs that prevent disease. Yes I said "prevent disease."

Clinical and experimental studies repeatedly show that in order to have an effective immune response to infections, you must have an adequate supply of friendly bacteria. And every time you exposed yourself to an antibiotic, you kill off your friendly bacteria. That sets the stage for an impaired immune system, which can result in repeated infections, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer. That's right, cancer!

Consider, for example, a study that showed the connection between antibiotic use and breast cancer.

The researchers looked at a total of 15,495 Canadians. All of them enrolled in the Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan between the years 1981 and 2000. During that time, there were a total of 3,099 breast cancer cases.

They then analyzed the exposure to antibiotics all 15,495 people had during a minimum of 15 years prior to their cancer diagnosis. They looked at how often they used antibiotics, and what doses they used. Here's what they found.

The incidence of breast cancer was significantly higher — 50% higher — in the women who had more antibiotic prescriptions. And the risk increased up to 80% higher for those who took antibiotics the most and/or who took them in the highest doses.

According to the authors of the study, "We observed a dose-dependent increase in breast cancer risk in association with the antibiotic exposure up to 15 years in the past." But that's not the only study showing this relationship. There are others.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a second study. In this study, researchers looked at the use of antibiotics in 2,266 women with breast cancer. They found the same thing. The more days the women took antibiotics, the greater their chance of developing breast cancer.

In this study, women who took antibiotics for 1-50 cumulative days were 45% more likely to get breast cancer. Those who used it for 100-500 days had more than twice the risk! The increased risk included all classes of antibiotics.

And don't forget that these studies looked only at antibiotic exposure from prescriptions. We have no idea what the antibiotic exposure from all of the other sources I mentioned above are doing. But let this just be a warning to all of us. God gave your body an immune system. He didn't give it glands that crank out antibiotic drugs. Work with what the Creator gave you and you can't go wrong. Avoid antibiotic exposure at all costs, except when they are absolutely needed. This is especially important for women, as the drugs significantly increase your risk of breast cancer.

And if you really want to avoid the bad germs on your hands, wash with soap and warm water. This gives you just as good a protection as antibacterial soaps and lotions.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

REF: Tamim HM, Hanley JA, et al. Risk of breast cancer in relation to antibiotic use. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2008 Feb;17(2):144-50.

Velicer CM, Heckbert SR, etal. Antibiotic use in relation to the risk of breast cancer. JAMA. 2004 Feb 18;291(7):827-35.


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