The truth about antibiotics isn’t something that you’re likely to find out about from any doctor or institution. The truth about antibiotics has been so buried beneath decades of arrogance and misinformation, that even they don’t know it.

Ever since the days of Alexander Fleming, who is credited with the discovery of antibiotics, misinformation and misunderstanding have surrounded the use of antibiotics. Doctors continually regurgitate information to their patients that has no basis in science, even as Sir Fleming did when accepting his Nobel Prize, warning against the emergence of untreatable infections as a result of improper antibiotic use in 1945.

Doctors will tell you must take your full prescription of antibiotics in order to avoid creating antibiotic-resistant strains that could eventually become untreatable. This is untrue. This falsehood was more likely created by a pharmaceutical marketing team than it was by a scientists, as it doesn’t have any basis in science. Antibiotic resistance is created by using antibiotics, period. That’s it. Nothing more other than using them. The concept of antibiotic resistance being caused by not enough antibiotics, or not taking them long enough, is pure fiction. This was an inaccurate understanding from the very beginning which still persist today in our “modern” world.

Every living thing on the planet has an imperative survival impulse to keep on living. Microbes have been here much longer than humans and can adapt much quicker, going through an entire generation in as little as 12 minutes, while humans can take 100 years. If you try to kill a microbe, it uses one, or several, mechanisms to adapt and survive. It then passes on this survival information to other microbes, again via several mechanisms. Because of this, antibiotics have a built-in obsolescence, or warranty if you will. You can only use them for so long before they wear out. Sort of like a tire. Eventually, you’re going to be placing yourself at risk by continuing to use them. Science knows this. Medicine doesn’t seem to.

It has been shown that antibiotic-resistance develops while you are taking antibiotics. The old point of view as promoted by Sir Fleming was that not using a high enough dosage to try and kill microbes would lead to them developing resistance. Science tells us that just the opposite is true, where using high doses or combinations of antibiotics, actually increases how quickly antibiotic-resistance develops. From a scientific standpoint, this makes sense. Bigger guns lead to faster responses to survive.

Unfortunately, medicine embarks on a tale of fantasy when talking about antibiotic resistance. The concept of not enough or not long enough is rooted in arrogance. It views microbes as inanimate sitting targets that only need to be knocked off the shelf by a shotgun blast. It views our chemical antibiotic creations as superior to microbes, when in fact, they represent the limitations of man’s mind, not it’s greatest possibilities.

Microbes have at least 360x more genes than humans, giving them the upper hand in the battle for survival. In the human body, they outnumber us by 10 to 1. Science has come to describe man as a “super-organism” whose survival is dependent on these microbes. Medicine however, treats them like a disposable waste. Antibiotics will wipe out almost all the bacteria in the body within 5 to 7 days, and it can take months for these populations to restore themselves, but never to their original make-up as antibiotics permanently alter that. During that time period, we are subjected to the antibiotic-resistant strains we created, immune system dysregulation, and a host of other anomalies including being more susceptible to other infections such as fungal candida.

We now know that if we upset the balance of our microbial flora, we are prone to obesity, diabetes, neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancers. That isn’t stopping our use of antibiotics however, as prescribing rates are increasing and deaths continue to escalate. According to the World Health Organization in 2009, antibiotic resistance is one of the top three threats to human health on the planet. Antibiotic-resistance kills more people than AIDS on a yearly basis. The truth about antibiotics never seems to include these facts.

Some bacteria are never affected by antibiotics. These are called persisters. They exhibit multidrug tolerance.

Antibiotic resistance will always develop as long as antibiotics are in use. Using them wisely, means not using them very often. Most authorities state that 50% of their use is unnecessary. Let’s start by using 50% less and see where that gets us. Any amount is better than where we’re headed.


Dr. Jeffrey S. McCombs, DC, is founder of the McCombs Center for Health, the Candida Plan, the Candida Library, and author of Lifeforce and The Everything Candida Diet Book.