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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 12:06 PM

Tending the Body’s Microbial Garden

For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome.

“I would like to lose the language of warfare,” said Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute. “It does a disservice to all the bacteria that have co-evolved with us and are maintaining the health of our bodies.”

This new approach to health is known as medical ecology. Rather than conducting indiscriminate slaughter, Dr. Segre and like-minded scientists want to be microbial wildlife managers.

No one wants to abandon antibiotics outright. But by nurturing the invisible ecosystem in and on our bodies, doctors may be able to find other ways to fight infectious diseases, and with less harmful side effects. Tending the microbiome may also help in the treatment of disorders that may not seem to have anything to do with bacteria, including obesity and diabetes.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/science/studies-of-human-microbiome-yield-new-insights.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120619

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Reply Tending the Body’s Microbial Garden (Original post)
groovedaddy Jun 2012 OP
happy juneteenth Jun 2012 #1
cbayer Jun 2012 #2

Response to groovedaddy (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 12:30 PM

1. Um...It's called PRO-biotics

 

All those dirty hippies had a clue. Doctors are a day late and a dollar short.

Anti-biotics means "against life."

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Response to groovedaddy (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 12:33 PM

2. Good read. The consequences of overprescribing are coming to fruition.

One area that needs much more attention in patient education. Patients want, even demand, antibiotics when they are not necessary. They often refuse to believe that they just need to let something run it's course. It's been way to easy for a physician to just write the scrip (or, even worse, give them what's in the sample closet) and get it down.

It is going to require a rather radical change for patients to understand that they often do not need an antibiotic or that they need to wait a day or two for culture results.

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