Aging has typically been viewed as a gradual process where declining function within cells, tissues, and organs leads to chronic degenerative changes until life ends and death takes over. The strength and beauty of youth gradually fades, only to be replaced by the wrinkles, fatigue, and that “falling-apart” feeling associated with growing old.
It used to be that “50” signaled the turning point in life when people expected to start feeling old from aging. Yet today, it’s not uncommon to find 20-year olds and teenagers who feel this way. An increasingly common story that I hear is one where someone felt great until they were given antibiotics, and then their whole life fell apart. This past year, I’ve seen ten 20-year olds who have repeated this story to me. I know of several others where this same story unfolded during their teenage years, thanks to antibiotics. Over the past 20 years, I’ve talked to thousands of others. This type of “premature aging” is on the rise and all too common.
Why antibiotics? Aren’t these the wonder drugs of the 20th Century? Aren’t they responsible for saving thousands or millions of lives?
It’s difficult to say exactly whether or not antibiotics are deserving of all the praise that they’ve received and continue to receive over the years. Yes, they have had an impact on the battlefields in war. Yes, the data seems to indicate a strong benefit, as long as you don’t dig too deep, but I like to to dig deep and what I’ve found and seen doesn’t support their use in most cases at all.
The meaning of the word antibiotic is “against life”. I think we’d be better off, if we just started calling this class of drugs, Against Life. It seems to be a far more accurate and truthful descriptive. A 5-day or 7-day course of antibiotics will destroy 100 trillion bacterial cells in the body. That’s 10 times the number of human cells present in each of us. That’s a lot of life down the drain. Does it matter? Apparently so.
Destroying this bacterial flora creates several problems.
This bacteria flora is …”essential to human health, with effects on nutrition, metabolism, pathogen resistance, and other processes.” Scientists describe it as important an organ as the brain and liver.
In a study from 2006, the number of antibiotic resistant species after a 7-day course was as high as 100% 9 months later. This can be very problematic and deadly. Alexander Fleming is credited with the discovery of antibiotics in 1928. He also discovered that bacteria were able to develop resistance to antibiotics. Today, antibiotic resistant infections kill more than 2 million people worldwide each year. AIDS kills 1.8 million worldwide. Have you ever been to an antibiotic resistance fundraiser?
Destroying the bacterial flora facilitates the growth and dominance of pathogens like fungal Candida albicans, E. coli, Salmonella, Enterococci, and others. In the absence of the normal bacterial flora, fungal Candida becomes systemic in 4 to 52 hours.
Candida promotes the production of chronic inflammatory pathways linked to advanced and rapid aging.
“Chronic low-grade systemic inflammation is a common manifestation of aging…As people age, the prevalence of conditions associated with inflammation increase, such as obesity, physical inactivity , cardiovascular disease (CVD) , diabetes , chronic kidney disease , osteoarthritis , and Alzheimer’s disease , making it difficult to decipher if these conditions are a cause or consequence of the excessive inflammation in the elderly.” Candida is strongly associated with each of these.
Candida drives an increase in Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP). Matrix metalloproteinases act on pro-inflammatory pathways via cytokines, chemokines and other proteins. MMPs act to degrade tissues in the body.
“An increased expression of members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family of enzymes is seen in almost every human tissue in which inflammation is present.”
Candida can participate in tissue inflammation by modifying the host’s MMP-9 and their inhibitors.
Candida drives inflammation by secreting enzymes (Secreted aspartyl proteinases, lipases, aminidases, phosphatases, phospholipases, and others) that break down and destroy surrounding cells and tissues.
Candida drives pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-17 and IL-6. The level of IL-6 production was markedly higher in CMC (Chronic Mucocutaneous Candidasis) patients than in controls. Increases in the body’s production of Th-17 immune cells in response to fungal candida is associated with Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes, and other autoimmune conditions.
Candida increases inflammation throughout the body. Inflammation-activated signalling pathways in the brain’s hypothalamus control the production of ageing-related hormones. Inflammation in the hypothalamus may underlie aging of the entire body.
Candida has a very strong influence on the levels of inflammation in the body, as inflammation drives the continued growth of candida. This cycle creates premature aging throughout the body.
Candidiasis may even have an effect on tumor progression and metastasis.
The connection between antibiotics and candida, and candida and inflammation, is well established. The connection between candida and aging is only now beginning to be revealed. When one understands this inflammation connection, it becomes easier to see how fungal candida relates to so many conditions and diseases.
If you’re feeling the effects of premature aging, it’s time to turn your life around.
Take back your health. Take back your life. Dr. McCombs Candida Plan.