The health benefits of raw, unprocessed honey are well known, but in Australia, scientists recently made a startling discovery – that one particular, obscure type of honey is capable of killing just about everything scientists throw at it, including some of the worst bacteria known to man.
The findings were published in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (June 2009 edition), and could hold special significance at a time when many of the world’s top antibiotics are failing, especially against resistant “superbugs.”
The honey in question is known as manuka honey, which is produced in New Zealand and also goes by the name of jelly bush honey.
The honey has become so popular in the past few years that shortages have been reported and fake products have been sold, leading New Zealand manuka producers to seek trademark protection (similar to French champagne or Scottish whiskey for example). It’s easy to see why now that the secret is out about this honey’s incredible health benefits.
Manuka honey has a darker pigment than most traditional honey
Manuka Honey Kills MRSA, Other Superbugs
Manuka honey is created by bees foraging on the nectar of Leptospermum Scoparium, the New Zealand manuka bush, as well as tea trees native only to Australia and New Zealand.
In the aforementioned studies, Australian researchers found that the honey killed every bacteria or pathogen it was tested on, according to a report by The Australian. The honey can be applied topically to help fight against infections of the skin, cuts and insect bites, or taken internally.
The most exciting difference with the manuka honey that was tested is that none of superbugs killed by the honey were able to build up immunity, a common problem with today’s antibiotics.
“New antibiotics tend to have short shelf lives, as the bacteria they attack quickly become resistant,” said Dr. Dee Carter of the University of Sydney’s School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences. “Many large pharmaceutical companies have abandoned antibiotic production because of the difficulty of recovering costs. Developing effective alternatives could therefore save many lives.”
According to Dr. Carter the manuka honey contains a compound called methyglyoxal, that combines with other unknown compounds to cause “multi-system failure” that destroys the bacteria.
Where to Find Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is now sold in health food stores and online, although the supply levels have fluctuated in recent years and fake honey scams have been documented. When looking for manuka honey it is best to look for one that is UMF certified.
The term UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor, which is the phytochemical property derived from the manuka bushes that gives it its unique properties. This term is regulated by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association of New Zealand and a handful of certified manuka products can be found on Amazon.com.
The brand Comvita manuka honey is available on Amazon and is UMF certified. One particular customer on Amazon said that it this type of honey helped to erase their MRSA:
I had done a fair amount of research when a friend of ours got MRSA, and then, unfortunately, I got it too., said user JoshuaOne9 on Amazon. Thankfully, I had already done the research so I knew exactly what to do. As soon as I saw the red bump (thinking the first day that it was a mosquito bite) I scratched it, but the second day I realized that it had to be something else. My husband immediately knew what it was since we had been dealing with our friend’s case of MRSA. I got my hands on this Manuka honey and put on the area of skin that was affected and then it is very important that you cover it with a bandaid. Within hours I felt relief and within a few days it was completely gone…
While further research needs to be done, it’s safe to say that manuka honey shows plenty of promise in defeating one of the biggest health challenges faced by humanity in the 21st century, and this research should not be taken lightly.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent disease. Consult a licensed naturopathic doctor before making any major changes to your diet or lifestyle.
The spread of Ebola is the big news now. And the news media “hysteria machine” (not to mention the end-of-the-world crowd on the internet grapevine) is running full force with scare stories about Ebola’s potential spread — particularly since it’s been announced that several American victims of Ebola in West Africa are going to be evacuated to the U.S. for treatment.
But do we really have a lot to fear from Ebola here in the U.S.? I contend we have a lot less to fear from Ebola than we have to fear from the federal government using the Ebola hysteria to rob us of more of our freedoms and liberties under the guise of “protecting” us from a largely manufactured “national health crisis.”
That’s the bad news. The potentially good news is this: Way back in 2008 the federal government itself demonstrated the fact that antimicrobial silver is, under certain conditions which I’ll explain below, extremely effective against Ebola and other hemorrhagic fever viruses.
In fact, two years ago I was able to obtain from the U.S. Department of Defense formerly classified documents they probably now wish they’d never de-classified. These documents explain the positive results achieved by the DOD when testing antimicrobial silver against these deadly viruses.
So with all of that said, here’s my somewhat contrarian view regarding the current Ebola “crisis,” as well as what I’ve discovered so far about the potential for colloidal silver’s effectiveness against this deadly virus…
How soon we forget how shrewdly the federal government used the overblown anthrax scare directly after 9-11 to rob us of many of our precious Constitutional rights
After the anthrax scare we witnessed the institution of illegal spying on America citizens, unconstitutional search and seizures, and severely diminished due process of law.
We also forget how the news media later whipped up the so-called “Bird flu” hysteria, followed by the “Swine flu” hysteria
Through these manufactured crises, various departments of the federal government were able to pass new “guidelines” and regulations on the detention and quarantine of U.S. citizens
These can now be used by the federal government to restrict travel at a moment’s notice, arrest and detain individuals, and even quarantine entire cities during a declared “national health emergency.”
That’s why I’m extremely skeptical of the current so-called “Ebola crisis.”
Yes, I understand how virulent and deadly Ebola and other hemorrhagic fever viruses are.
And yes, I also understand that the federal government is now said to be bringing Ebola victims to the U.S. for treatment. And I understand what a threat that could pose should the virus ultimately get loose and go rogue in this country.
But I also understand how psychological operations (psy-ops) campaigns work, and what the federal government stands to gain from them
The federal government absolutely loves it whenever they can whip up enough public hysteria that the resulting public outcry to “protect us” allows them to step in as “saviors” and implement more laws that violate our fundamental rights and liberties under the guise of “keeping us safe.
And folks, this current “Ebola crisis” is indeed a massive psy-ops campaign. In other words, the threat is largely being manufactured and planted into the minds of the American public, through the federal government/news media axis.
Real v/s Realistic\
That doesn’t mean the danger from Ebola isn’t real. Quite the contrary. It’s very real, if you’re exposed to it.
But what’s your actual likelihood of exposure? It’s virtually nil. Which means while the threat may be “real,” it’s not very realistic.
Let me explain with an example you can probably relate to: The deadly, drug-resistant super-pathogen MRSA is also very real. In fact, it’s just as “real” as Ebola.
But the difference between MRSA and Ebola is that MRSA is a far more realistic threat to the population of the U.S. than Ebola.
We know that, because the FDA’s own testing has demonstrated that 61% of all meat in supermarkets is already contaminated with the deadly MRSA pathogen (up from 50% only last year). And independent testing backs those numbers up.
Largely because of this, some 39,000 Americans now get infected by the flesh-eating MRSA pathogen every single year, and a full 20% of those infected end up dying – constituting more deaths annually than those caused by AIDS.
Now that’s a news story, right?
After all, you have a proven, deadly, antibiotic-resistant super-pathogen like MRSA contaminating 61% of all meats in supermarkets. And you buy that meat on a regular basis and bring it home to your family. Wouldn’t you want to know about that?
Yet there’s not so much as a peep about it in the mainstream news media. Listen carefully. The only sound you’ll hear on this issue is crickets
On the other hand you have a virus like Ebola, which is largely endemic to West Africa, and which hasn’t caused a single death anywhere in the United States…ever. Nor has there been a single infection in the U.S.
Yet the mainstream news media drumbeat about the so-called “Ebola threat” is absolutely relentless. And as a result, people are quite literally going out of their minds with fear over it.
If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the mainstream news media and the end-of-the-world internet fear-mongers chanting, Ebo-la…Ebo-la…Ebo-la…Ebo-la…as if they’re actually cheering it on.
Why the dichotomy?
Why is there zero fear-mongering over the deadly MRSA super-pathogen, even though it represents an immediate, dire, realistic and already-proven threat to the American populace…
…while in direct contrast, there’s incessant fear-mongering over the Ebola virus, which has not so much as even been detected in this country?
And Now for the Other Side of the Story
Here’s the reality:
Dealing with the very real threat of MRSA would cost Big Agriculture billions of dollars a year in sales.
So if the USDA and the FDA publicly acknowledged the growing MRSA crisis, people would stop buying meat out of fear, and foreign markets for our beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork and other meat products would also dry up overnight.
The entire U.S. agriculture industry would crumble. Billions of dollars would be lost.
So while community-acquired MRSA infections are now absolutely skyrocketing, we don’t hear so much as a squawk about it from the news media.
Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Pitch black silence.
There are no talking heads from the FDA, CDC, WHO, or other alphabet soup health agencies making appearances on national TV news to warn the populace about the growing spread of MRSA.
This is spite of the fact that, for example, some 30,000-plus hospitalizations of children for this deadly disease have taken place over the past few years alone here in the U.S. (which is double the annual rate of child MRSA infections since the year 2000).
Why is there no outcry from the health authorities?
It’s because the health and regulatory authorities have weighed the astonishing number of annual deaths being caused each year in this nation by MRSA, against the economic havoc that would be caused to the agriculture industry if they went public with this information each night on the national news.
And the regulators say, “This is an acceptable loss of life. Let’s keep quiet about it. We’ll save as many MRSA victims as we can. And those who die, die. We can’t risk destroying one of our nation’s largest industries over this.”
But hyperventilating over Ebola, on the other hand, poses no serious direct economic risk to anyone.
The feds and their news media lackeys can rile the population up, scare the living bejabbers out of them, and convince everybody they’re our saviors if we’ll just let them “protect us” from the threat, which of course, is largely non-existent.
The Real Question: What Will Obama Do?
So the real question is this: How far is the federal government willing to go with this charade?
Would they, for example, allow a few controlled Ebola infections to take place in the U.S., as a means of convincing the population that the so-called “Ebola threat” is “real” so new restrictions to our freedoms and new laws for detaining people could be implemented?
With the anthrax scare of 2001, the Bird flu scare of 2005, and the Swine Flu scare of 2009, the powers-that-be accomplished much of their mission of convincing Americans of the supposed reality of a huge and deadly medical apocalypse directly on the horizon.
“It’s not a matter of if, but when,” goes the relentless drumbeat from the talking head “medical experts” (most of them being paid, government shills) who have appeared on the nightly news for the past decade and a half to assure us our future is bleak.
That’s now embedded in the collective psyche of the entire nation.
So with the vast majority of Americans now convinced of a coming medical apocalypse, what next? What exactly do the powers-that-be have in mind with the latest threat-du-jour known as Ebola?
I find it quite telling that Obama has already used the so-called Ebola crisis to sign a new amendment to an executive order that would allow him to mandate the apprehension and detention of Americans who merely show signs of ‘respiratory illness.’
“Obama’s amendment allows for the detention of Americans who display, ‘Severe acute respiratory syndromes, which are diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled’.”
The InfoWars.com article goes on to explain exactly how ominous this new executive order amendment is:
“Although Ebola was listed on the original executive order signed by Bush, Obama’s amendment ensures that Americans who merely show signs of respiratory illness, with the exception of influenza, can be forcibly detained by medical authorities.
Although the quarantining of people suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus seems like a perfectly logical move, the actual preconditions for this to happen aren’t restricted to just those suffering from the disease.
As we highlighted earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has measures in place for dealing with an outbreak of a communicable disease which allow for the quarantine of “well persons” who “do not show symptoms” of the disease.
In addition, under the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, public health authorities and governors would be given expanded police powers to seize control of communications devices, public and private property, as well as a host of other draconian measures in the event of a public health emergency.
When the legislation was introduced, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons warned that it ‘could turn governors into dictators’.”
The $64,000 Question
So why does the government/news media axis downplay a very realistic medical threat like MRSA, with very real deaths, and very real impacts on literally thousands of American families every single year, yet relentlessly hype an unrealistic “medical crisis” like Ebola that’s virtually non-existent in this country?
I don’t ask that question to start arguments or to inspire conspiracy theories. I ask it only to bring some semblance of sanity to the table in regards to the supposed “Ebola crisis” and the panic and mass hysteria now evolving around it.
At this point, the so-called “Ebola crisis” is a fabricated one. And the sooner we realize it, the lower the chances are that the federal government can take further advantage of it by reducing our freedoms under the guise of “saving” us.
Why So Fearful?
If you absolutely need to be fearful, you’d have far more reason to be fearful of a deadly MRSA superbug infection striking your household than you would an Ebola infection.
You can come into contact with the MRSA superbug just about any day of the week – right now — especially when you shop for meat at your local supermarket.
What’s more, with MRSA all you need is a small cut or scratch on your body for it to go internal, induce sepsis, cause organ failure and other calamities, giving you a one-in-five chance of living through the infection.
So your likelihood of coming into contact with the deadly MRSA pathogen is quite high. But your likelihood of being anywhere near the vicinity of an Ebola victim is just about zero.
So please think about it
My advice is this: If you’ve got to panic over something, then panic over something that represents a realistic threat, rather than a sensationalistic threat.
Ebola may be a “real” threat, but it’s not a very realistic threat here in the U.S. At least, not yet.
The true threat at this point is the federal government and the new regulations being implemented to give the federal government the power to detain anybody they want, at any time, under the guise of a “national health crisis.”
Colloidal Silver and Ebola: What We Know So Far
Which, finally, brings us to the topic of colloidal silver and Ebola. Here’s the good news:
Back in 2008, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) in conjunction with several other federal agencies quietly conducted clinical research into the use of silver nanoparticles against Ebola and other hemorrhagic fever viruses.
What they found was astonishing. They discovered that silver nanoparticles were highly effective against these deadly viruses, including the Ebola virus.
And the gist of the presentation was that silver nanoparticles displayed “powerful neutralizing effects against hemorrhagic fever viruses,” including Arenavirus and Filovirus (i.e., Ebola).
This clinical presentation was conducted under the auspices of the DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction.
And the presentation was given by researchers from the Applied Biotechnology Branch, 711th Human Performance Wing of the Air Force Research Laboratory.
In other words, those are the big guns, folks! Which is to say, those are the very people responsible for keeping this nation safe from outside threats like bioterrorism
That clinical presentation, made to federal regulators and national health authorities, was later summarized in a printed document, de-classified, and cleared for public release.
But there was no news media hoopla surrounding the release of this information. Not a peep.
And to this very day, to my knowledge, there still hasn’t been a single report in the mainstream news media on the release of this important information, in spite of the fact that Department of Defense researchers found antimicrobial silver to be profoundly effective against Ebola and other hemorrhagic fever viruses, under certain circumstances which we’ll discuss below.
Before we get into the results of this research, as documented in the published version of the DOD presentation, it’s important to note that one of the main tasks of the DOD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency is to “anticipate and mitigate future threats long before they have a chance to harm the United States and our allies.”
In other words, the researchers were specifically looking for ways to stop Ebola or other hemorrhagic fever viruses from damaging our national security.
And the results they found when using silver nanoparticles for that precise purpose were strikingly positive — enough so to warrant not just the presentation to health and regulatory authorities, but its later publication and public release.
What Researchers Discovered
The researchers tested silver nanoparticles of several different sizes and concentrations on infected cells in vitro (meaning, in the test tube).
And they concluded that silver nanoparticles were able to neutralize hemorrhagic fever viruses inside the cells by “decreasing S segment gene expression and concomitantly decreasing progeny virus production.”
Translation: Silver stops the Ebola virus and related hemorrhagic fever viruses from replicating inside the cells. And when there’s no viral replication inside the cells, there’s no spread of infection!
The researchers had discovered the holy grail Ebola treatments. But they also discovered that neutralization of the virus by silver occurs during the early phases of viral replication.
Therefore, they pointed out that for antimicrobial silver to be effective against Ebola and other hemorrhagic fever viruses, the treatment would have to be administered PRIOR to viral infection or at least within the first few hours after initial exposure to the virus.
In other words, for antimicrobial silver to be effective, an exposed person would need to have already been taking it, or at the very least would have to start taking it within a few short hours of exposure to an infected individual.
Another interesting thing the researchers discovered is that while an enzymatic protein called Cathepsin B has been shown to play an essential role in Ebola virus replication, silver nanoparticles work to decrease cathepsin activity, thus further limiting viral replication in the cell and subsequent spread of the virus to other cells.
And by far the most interesting thing the researchers discovered (at least, to me) is that only very low concentrations of silver nanoparticles were necessary to prevent replication of the virus.
Indeed, low concentrations of 10 ppm nanosilver appears to have worked better than higher concentrations of 25 ppm or 50 ppm nanosilver. This means there’s no need for overly high silver concentrations.
What’s more, the smallest silver particles tested by the researchers worked far better than the larger silver particles tested.
This demonstrates once more that the use of very small silver particles is far more important than the “ppm” or concentration of the colloidal silver solution one is using.
Simply put, smaller silver particles penetrate cells and tissues easier, and are therefore better able to get to the point of infection before the virus spreads.
Here’s a link to the printed version of the DOD clinical presentation, so you can scroll through it and read it for yourself. It’s technical. But if you take your time it’s relatively understandable.
People have written to ask me, “Steve, how much colloidal silver would you have to take in order to protect yourself from an Ebola infection?
And of course, the answer is, no one knows for sure. As I mentioned, the DOD research discussed above was in vitro (i.e., laboratory test tube) reseaRCH. NowI know that’s probably not what you want to hear. But just as I refuse to join in with all of the doom-and-gloom hype about the supposed coming worldwide Ebola apocalypse, in like manner I also refuse to join in with those making blanket statements that colloidal silver is the sure-fire “cure” for Ebola.
A year ago, we wrote an article about nigella sativa (aka black seed) titled, ‘The Remedy For Everything But Death.’ It described the research on the many ways in which black seed (nigella sativa) is a potentially life-saving medicinal food, and is one of our most popular articles, with over 225K social media shares.
Opening with, “This humble, but immensely powerful seed, kills MRSA, heals the chemical weapon poisoned body, stimulates regeneration of the dying beta cells within the diabetic’s pancreas, and yet too few even know it exists,”the article summarized the peer-reviewed and published research on 10 of the seed’s remarkable health benefits:
Type 2 Diabetes: Two grams of black seed a day resulted in reduced fasting glucose, decreased insulin resistance, increased beta-cell function, and reduced glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in human subjects.[ii]
Helicobacter Pylori Infection: Black seeds possess clinically useful anti-H. pylori activity, comparable to triple eradication therapy.[iii]
Epilepsy: Black seeds were traditionally known to have anticonvulsive properties. A 2007 study with epileptic children, whose condition was refractory to conventional drug treatment, found that a water extract significantly reduced seizure activity.[iv]
High Blood pressure: The daily use of 100 and 200 mg of black seed extract, twice daily, for 2 months, was found to have a blood pressure-lowering effect in patients with mild hypertension.[v]
Asthma: Thymoquinone, one of the main active constituents within Nigella sativa, is superior to the drug fluticasone in an animal model of asthma.[vi] Another study, this time in human subjects, found that boiled water extracts of black seed have relatively potent antiasthmatic effect on asthmatic airways.[vii]
Acute tonsillopharyngitis: characterized by tonsil or pharyngeal inflammation (i.e. sore throat), mostly viral in origin, black seed capsules (in combination with Phyllanthus niruri) have been found to significantly alleviate throat pain, and reduce the need for pain-killers, in human subjects.[viii]
Chemical Weapons Injury: A randomized, placebo-controlled human study of chemical weapons injured patients found that boiled water extracts of black seed reduced respiratory symptoms, chest wheezing, and pulmonary function test values, as well as reduced the need for drug treatment.[ix]
Colon Cancer: Cell studies have found that black seed extract compares favorably to the chemoagent 5-fluoruracil in the suppression of colon cancer growth, but with a far higher safety profile.[x] Animal research has found that black seed oil has significant inhibitory effects against colon cancer in rats, without observable side effects.[xi]
MRSA: Black seed has anti-bacterial activity against clinical isolates of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.[xii]
Opiate Addiction/Withdrawal: A study on 35 opiate addicts found black seed as an effective therapy in long-term treatment of opioid dependence.[xiii]
Since then, the biomedical research on black seed has continued to flourish, with another 78 studies published and cited on the National Library of Medicine’s biomedical database MEDLINE over the past 11 months.
Here are 16 additional potential health benefits to add to the growing list:
Prevents Radiation Damage: Nigella sativa oil (NSO) and its active component, thymoquinone, protect brain tissue from radiation-induced nitrosative stress.[i]
Protects Against Damage from Heart Attack: A thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa has a protective effect against damage associated with experimental heart attack.[ii]
Prevents Morphine Dependence/Toxicity: An alcohol extract of nigella sativa reduces morphine-associated conditioned place preference, an indication of morphine intoxication, dependence and tolerance.[iii]
Prevents Kidney Damage Associated with Diabetes: A thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa has protective effects on experimental diabetic nephropathy.[iv]
Prevents Post-Surgical Adhesions: Covering peritoneal surfaces with Nigella sativa oil (NSO) after peritoneal trauma is effective in decreasing peritoneal adhesion formation in an experimental model.[v]
Prevents Alzheimer’s Associated Neurotoxicity: A thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa has protective effects on experimental diabetic prevents neurotoxicity and Aβ1-40-induced apoptosis in the cell model.[vi]
Suppresses Breast Cancer Growth: : A thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa inhibits tumor growth and induces programmed cell death (apoptosis) in a breast cancer xenograft mouse model.[vii][viii]
Exhibits Anti-Psoriasis Properties: The alcohol extract of nigella sativa seeds exhibit anti-psoriatic activity, consistent with its medicinal use in traditional medicine.[ix]
Prevents Brain Pathology Associated with Parkinson’s Disease: A thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa protects cultured neurons against αSN-induced synaptic toxicity, a pathology observed in the brains of patients with Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies.[x]
Kills Highly Aggressive Gliobastoma Brain Cancer Cells: A thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa exhibits glioblastoma cell killing activity. [xi]
Kills Leukemia Cells: A thymoquinone from nigella sativa induces mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in vitro.[xii]
Suppresses Liver Cancer Growth: A thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa prevents chemically-induced cancer in a rat model.[xiii]
Prevents Diabetic Pathologies: A water and alcohol extract of nigella sativa at low doses has a blood-sugar lowering effect and ameliorative effect on regeneration of pancreatic islets, indicating its value as a therapeutic agent in the management of diabetes mellitus.[xiv]
Suppresses Cervical Cancer Cell Growth: A thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa exhibits anti-proliferative, apoptotic and anti-invasive properties in a cervical cancer cell line.[xv]
Prevents Lead-Induced Brain Damage: A thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa ameliorates lead-induced brain damage in Sprague Dawley rats.[xvi]
Kills Oral Cancer Cells: A thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa induces programmed cell death (apoptosis) in oral cancer cells.[xvii]
Interestingly, despite this blind spot, and as if to confirm black seed’s immense potential as a healing agent, Nestlé, the Switzerland-based global food giant, filed a patent on patent on the use of nigella sativa to “prevent food allergies” in 2010 (Nestlé’s international patent publication WO2010133574). This obvious attempt to appropriate traditional knowledge and use claimed the plant seed or extract should be Nestlé’s intellectual property when used as a food ingredient or drug. According to a Third World Network Briefing Paper from July, 2012:
“The Swiss giant’s claims appear invalid, as traditional uses of Nigella sativa clearly anticipate Nestlé’s patent application, and developing country scholarship has already validated these traditional uses and further described, in contemporary scientific terms, the very medicinal properties of black seed that Nestlé seeks to claim as its own “invention”.
“Nestlé claims any use of an opioid receptor-stimulating compound to treat or prevent allergies, specifically thymoquinone and, more specifically, administration of thymoquinone in the form of Nigella sativa plant material (seeds).3 The type of food allergy of greatest focus is upset stomach and diarrhea.”
The good news is that no such patent has yet to win approval, and for now, this food is still freely available. For additional research updates, simply go to Pubmed.gov, and sign up for an automatic email update for the keyword “nigella sativa,” and you’ll be one of the first to learn about the new research being done on this amazing seed as it comes directly through the biomedical research pipeline.
Antibiotic Resistance Poses ‘Catastrophic Threat’ To Medicine, Says Britain’s Top Health Official
Reuters | By Kate Kelland Posted: 03/10/2013 11:10 pm EDT
By Kate Kelland
LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – Antibiotic resistance poses a catastrophic threat to medicine and could mean patients having minor surgery risk dying from infections that can no longer be treated, Britain’s top health official said on Monday.
Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, said global action is needed to fight antibiotic, or antimicrobial, resistance and fill a drug “discovery void” by researching and developing new medicines to treat emerging, mutating infections.
Only a handful of new antibiotics have been developed and brought to market in the past few decades, and it is a race against time to find more, as bacterial infections increasingly evolve into “superbugs” resistant to existing drugs.
“Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics,” Davies told reporters as she published a report on infectious disease.
“And routine operations like hip replacements or organ transplants could be deadly because of the risk of infection.”
One of the best known superbugs, MRSA, is alone estimated to kill around 19,000 people every year in the United States – far more than HIV and AIDS – and a similar number in Europe.
And others are spreading. Cases of totally drug resistant tuberculosis have appeared in recent years and a new wave of “super superbugs” with a mutation called NDM 1, which first emerged in India, has now turned up all over the world, from Britain to New Zealand.
Last year the WHO said untreatable superbug strains of gonorrhoea were spreading across the world.
Laura Piddock, a professor of microbiology at Birmingham University and director of the campaign group Antibiotic Action, welcomed Davies’ efforts to raise awareness of the problem.
“There are an increasing number of infections for which there are virtually no therapeutic options, and we desperately need new discovery, research and development,” she said.
Davies called on governments and organisations across the world, including the World Health Organisation and the G8, to take the threat seriously and work to encourage more innovation and investment into the development of antibiotics.
“Over the past two decades there has been a discovery void around antibiotics, meaning diseases have evolved faster than the drugs to treat them,” she said.
Davies called for more cooperation between the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries to preserve the existing arsenal of antibiotics, and more focus on developing new ones.
Increasing surveillance to keep track of drug-resistant superbugs, prescribing fewer antibiotics and making sure they are only prescribed when needed, and ensuring better hygiene to keep infections to a minimum were equally important, she said.
Nigel Brown, president of the Society for General Microbiology, agreed the issues demanded urgent action and said its members would work hard to better understand infectious diseases, reduce transmission of antibiotic resistance, and help develop new antibiotics.
“The techniques of microbiology and new developments such as synthetic biology will be crucial in achieving this,” he said. (Editing by Jason Webb)
Flesh-Eating Bacteria’s Rise Tied to Antibiotic Cream
Joseph Brownstein, MyHealthNewsDaily Contributor
Date: 14 September 2011 Time: 01:11 PM ET
Scanning electron microscopy of Staphylococcus epidermidis cluster.
CREDIT: Michael Otto/NIH
After getting a cut, many Americans will reach for a tube of over-the-counter antibiotic cream to ward off infection. But that widespread habit, a new paper suggests, may be contributing to the rise of one of the most concerning strains of drug-resistant bacteria.
Japanese researchers looked at 261 samples of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), including 21 samples of the USA300 strain, a type of MRSA that has gained attention for its spread, its frequent presence in the community as well as the hospital, and its link to necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease.
They found that while other MRSA strains were somewhat susceptible to some combination of the antibiotics bacitracin and neomycin — which are typically found in over-the-counter creams — only the USA300 strains were resistant to both. The authors said this may mean that overexposure to those antibiotics is what led to USA300’s resistance.
People should understand that triple antibiotic [ointment] is not almighty, and avoid preventive or excessive use of this ointment,” said study author Masahiro Suzuki, a bacteriologist at the Aichi Prefectural Institute of Public Health in Nagoya, Japan.
How the USA300 strain arose
The origin of the USA300 strain has remained unknown, in part because, unlike other MRSA strains, it appears to have evolved outside of hospitals.
“Over the past decade or so, it’s really emerged as the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections in the community,” said Dr. Henry Blumberg, a professor ofinfectious disease at Emory University who has studied USA300 at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
While other antibiotic-resistant bacteria arose in hospitals, where antibiotic use is common, and then spread out into communities, USA300 was first found in community infections, and spread from there.
“Now it’s causing hospital infections,” he said. “Now the lines are a little more blurry between the community and hospital.”
Because USA300 is in the community, a number of groups are particularly susceptible to the strain, including children, gay men, prison inmates, military recruits, tattoo recipients and athletes, the study said.
But Blumberg said, “I think we’re beyond that. These groups may have higher risk, but these things spread throughout the population.”
Suzuki similarly told MyHealthNewsDaily that “all USA residents have a risk for USA300 infections anytime and anywhere, and should be careful to keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered, avoid contact with other persons’ infected skin, wash hands frequently, avoid sharing personal items to minimize risk of infection.”
Are antibiotic creams to blame?
While he agreed the bacteria are a threat, Blumberg said he was somewhat skeptical of the authors’ hypothesis that over-the-counter ointments are driving the presence of USA300.
“They have a theory that use of topical, over-the-counter creams and antibiotics select this USA300 clone and that’s why it’s emerged,” Blumberg said. “They haven’t proved it.”
Blumberg said that he is hesitant about the theory because “from my experience, most of the patients we see haven’t used topical antibiotics.” But, he said, “I think it’s an interesting theory. It would be interesting to see if this was widespread in a bigger collection of USA300 isolates.”
While USA300 is resistant to a number of drugs, it remains treatable — for now.