After wading through research and opinion on the matter, it seems that there isn’t just one source of antibiotic over-exposure but THREE… three sources, three problems to be solved.
The first, the one everyone points to, is the sheer NUMBER OF PRESCRIPTIONS given to patients young and old alike. We know this one but it gets beaten out when we take to measuring.
The second is a more recently debated issue. That is, the length of the prescribed course: the NUMBER OF DAYS you take antibiotics each time they are given to you. Even if you feel much better and asymptomatic in the first day or two, you are told: continue taking the medicine for all the days prescribed. Assuming that completely scouring the body of bad bacteria is the way to return the body to its good health state, that number could be 7 or 10 or 14 days. This dosing method operates under the notion that if any bacteria were left, they would reproduce. They would proliferate. They would mutate into resistance! They might become the next and more difficult infection to conquer. This theory is currently up for more research and consideration but some doctors and scientists are thinking that less is more, as in number of days. Less days. Less doses. Less good bacteria wiped out. Less chance for resistance. More hope for the long term applicability and availability of effective antibiotics, period.
Finally, there is the third problem. A ‘hidden’ yet ENORMOUSLY consumed factor: the non-therapeutic addition of antibiotics into the food supply of OUR food supply. What began as a ‘health’ practice in the field of animal husbandry quickly turned into a mass-production practice. This was around the year 1950. To achieve the highest NUMBER OF ANIMALS with the greatest weights possible, antibiotics are literally poured into animal feed, added to their drinking waters, injected into their bodies to the extent that nearly 90% of all antibiotics administered in the United States is in the production of the animals we eat for food.
This is a scary and mind-blowing fact. I worry about the prescriptions you are getting at the doctor’s office. I SHOULD worry about the prescriptions you are NOT getting yet consuming in MASS quantity as animal/protein and animal by-product every day, even every meal, every day.