by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
More and more of my patients have been asking me about nightmare bacteria. They’re concerned if their families are at risk for contracting a deadly, incurable disease. CRE is a serious concern but there is hope. When conventional antibiotics fail, you can often fight nightmare bacteria with natural antibiotics and supplements. Better yet, help prepare your immune system defenses for it ahead of time!
What is “Nightmare Bacteria”?
Nightmare bacteria is Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). The enterbacteriaceae family of bacteria contain over 70 different species that live in soil, water and the human digestive tract.
The most well-known one is E.Coli.
The cabapenem family of antibiotics are considered the antibiotics of last resort to treat CRE. This means if there were to be a sudden global outbreak of CRE millions of people could get sick and die, as resistance to antibiotics continues to increase. This nightmare bacteria family also has the ability to transfer their drug resistance to other similar bacteria.
Multi-drug resistant disease has existed for a while. For example, the MRSA bacteria has a single mechanism that has been resistant to many antibiotics for years. However, CRE is more of a threat because these bacteria have a number of mechanisms that can be completely resistant to antibiotics. They also has a very high mortality rate, up to 50% in some studies. No antibiotics are being developed at the present time to combat them, as CRE would quickly adapt and become resistant.
CRE – The Sobering Statistics
According to the CDC, 200 hospitals reported outbreaks of the nightmare bacteria in 2012. CRE kills 50% of people who have infections in their bloodstream.
How Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae Spreads
When CRE is found in a clinical culture, it can either mean colonization or infection. When CRE colonizes, it can remain undetected in the body for months or even years. Many people carry it in their GI tract with no symptoms…as long as their immune system contains it. These folks, however, may pass it on to more susceptible individuals through poor hygiene (think Typhoid Mary!). It is only when it comes into contact with other organs (such as the bladder, the lungs or the bloodstream) that active infection occurs.
Those Most at Risk for Developing Nightmare Bacteria Disease
Those most at risk are hospitalized patients, as well as those in nursing homes and long term care facilities. Having a catheter or being placed on a ventilator also increases the risk. Anyone with a compromised immune system is also at increased risk.
The Cause of Antibiotic-Resistant Disease
Before 1992, CRE was very uncommon. Now, CRE and other antibiotic resistant disease are becoming almost common-place.
Why is this happening?
There are a number of factors at work here:
- Overuse of Antibiotic Prescriptions
A cold is caused by a virus and it cannot be treated by antibiotics. I would never prescribe them for a viral infection. Instead, I educate my patients about how they can treat their cold naturally. That doesn’t mean all doctors do this. For more than six decades, many doctors have been over-prescribing antibiotics for every sniffle, sneeze, and sore throat just because their patients ask for them.
Antibiotics were never meant to be used this way. They were developed to treat bacterial illnesses. They were designed to be used for individuals whose immune systems are not able to fight these bacterial infections on their own.
- Antibiotics in Meat
If you eat conventionally-raised beef, chicken, pork or fish, you’re getting a dose of antibiotics with every meal. Antibiotics have been used in livestock since 1946 to increase profits and stave off the disease caused by conventional farming techniques.
Between 1985 and 2001, the amount of antibiotics used in livestock farming went up by a startling 50%! It may also surprise you to know that 80% of the antibiotics used in the United States are used in livestock, which means only 20% of them are used to treat disease in humans.
Why are so many antibiotics used in farm animals?
Conventional farming techniques keep animals confined in a pen, oftentimes eating and sitting in their own excrement. These cramped quarters and unsanitary conditions make antibiotics a necessity to stave off serious infection and disease.
The more antibiotics you put into your body, the more antibiotics you need to use to treat serious disease. This is why it’s vitally important to eat organic, grass-fed beef and organic poultry and fish whenever possible.
- Poor Diet
A diet filled with processed foods severely weakens your immune system and leaves you at risk for developing serious disease. Fast food, microwavable meals, and canned food are loaded with food dyes, synthetic sweeteners, and additives your immune system has to continually fight off. When your immune system is constantly busy protecting you from the food you eat, it has nothing left over to prevent disease.
- Environmental Toxins
Environmental toxins are another serious problem. Each day you’re exposed to parabens, phthalates, and other dangerous chemicals in air fresheners, cleaning products, and cosmetics that cause immune system and neurological damage.
Triclosan, a chemical found in some antibacterial hand sanitizers, as well as many other personal care products, is very dangerous to your health. It has been proven to cause immune system dysfunction, neurological disease, thyroid disease, and contact dermatitis. Make sure your hand sanitizer is triclosan-free and contains ethyl alcohol as the active ingredient.
How to Prevent and Fight Nightmare Bacteria
- Dietary Changes
Your first line of defense against any disease is a healthy diet. This means giving up (or at least cutting back) processed food and loading up on whole food. Organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meat, poultry, fish, and healthy fats like coconut oil, butter, olive oil, and avocado help boost your immune system and fight the inflammation that leads to chronic disease.
Also, it’s important to make use of natural antibiotic foods such as:
- Onions – Onions are naturally antibacterial and antifungal and can help treat chronic pain and the cough associated with colds and flu.
- Garlic – Before the invention of conventional antibiotics, garlic was used to treat dysentery, typhus, and blood poisoning during World War I.
- Raw Honey – Raw honey has been shown to be effective in treating certain antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
- Organic Yogurt – Organic yogurt is filled with good bacteria to help improve your digestion, boost your immune system, and prevent disease.
- Natural Supplements
Natural supplements can also help build up your immune system against nightmare bacteria.
For my patients, I recommend:
- Diamond Nutritional’s Vitamin-D3 5,000
Many physicians recommend 400 IUs of vitamin D3 per day, but I recommend much more than that. About 85% of people in the United States and Canada are vitamin D3 deficient. It’s become an epidemic.
Vitamin D3 deficiency can lead to a lowered immune system, mental health problems, and even the development of cancer. This is why I offer Diamond Nutritional’s Vitamin-D3 5,000. It offers 5,000 IUs of immune-boosting vitamin D3 in every dose. This will bring most adults into the therapeutic blood range of 40-100 ng/ml. Everyone needs a vitamin D3 test. Make sure it is included in your lab work.
- Diamond Nutritional’s Ultra Probiotics
Probiotics are vital to good digestion and a healthy immune system. Even if you’re already taking a probiotic supplement, it may not be working for you the way it should. Many of the commercial store-bought supplements contain only one strain of good bacteria, which isn’t enough to boost your immune system.
This is why I created Diamond Nutritional’s Ultra Probiotics. Each packet contains 225 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) complete with six unique probiotic strains to populate your gut fast with good bacteria and help protect you from developing a serious illness.
These strains include lactobacillus plantarum, lactobacillus acidophilus, bifidobacterium lactis, lactobacillus salivarius, lactobacillus casei, and bifidobacterium bifidum.
Plus, our probiotic formula is 100% acid resistant, meaning it survives passage through your stomach acid to get to your intestines, where your body needs it most. They are produced in small batches so they remain shelf-stable and don’t require refrigeration.
I recommend using this product for 2 months before moving on to our standard probiotic formula for immune system and digestive maintenance.
- Diamond Nutritional’s Probiotic Formula
After you’ve re-colonized your gut with the live, active cultures you need to give your immune system a boost, you can move on to our maintenance formula, Diamond Nutritional’s Probiotic Formula. It contains 22 billion colony forming units to keep your immune system going strong when you come into contact with bad bacteria.
- Oregano Oil
Oregano oil is one of nature’s most powerful antibiotics. You can take it in essential oil form or capsule form. Oregano oil is a powerful antibiotic that treats nightmare bacteria and other antibiotic-resistant disease faster and with fewer side effects than antibiotics. It does this by disrupting the protective cell membrane of the bacteria with carvacrol, which it naturally contains.
Over the past several years, a chicken farmer from Pennsylvania began using oregano in place of antibiotics with great success!
- Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract is an amazing natural antibacterial that has been proven to fight many antibiotic-resistant diseases. It contains a natural anti-bacterial called olouropein, which also has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Olive leaf extract is a true anti-bacterial that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of bacterial disease.
When it comes to CRE or the “nightmare bacteria”, there’s no reason to be seriously alarmed. A healthy diet, combined with natural antibiotics, supplements and good hand hygeine is your key to fighting these deadly diseases and keeping your family safe.