Antibiotics in poultry linked to UTI's

May 17, 2019



Antibiotics used in meat and dairy animals can alter hormones (e.g., endocrine disruption, weight gain, etc.), cause neurological problems, and compromise the immune system. But they are also linked to UTI’s – which can be antibiotic resistant, and lead to kidney infection, etc.! It is important to buy antibiotic-free poultry, and use good, careful hygiene: 


“Many large poultry farms feed antibiotics to their chickens in an effort to prevent disease. But McKenna says that humans who eat those chickens are at risk of developing not only antibiotic-resistant gastrointestinal infections, but also urinary tract infections as well. She chronicles the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry in her new book, Big Chicken…When we give animals antibiotics, those antibiotics, for the most part, are given in their food and water. So they go into the animal's guts. They make some of those bacteria [in the gut] resistant...That bacteria contaminates [the animal's] meat. We eat the meat. And then we develop the foodborne illnesses that...happen to be antibiotic-resistant…Sometimes those [antibiotic-resistant] bacteria get out of our digestive systems and travel the short distance to our urinary systems, and then it feels just like a regular UTI. So a woman goes to her doctor and says, ‘I have a urinary tract infection.’ And the doctor will give her one of those standard set of antibiotics that are prescribed by medicine, and nothing happens. In other words, the antibiotic doesn't work, because the infection is resistant…The reason why this is such a problem is that an untreated UTI gets worse and it can climb up the urinary system, into the kidneys, cause a kidney infection. The kidneys are a kind of back door to the circulatory system. So if the bacteria propagate through them, then you're looking at a bloodstream infection, infections in other organ systems, even septic shock, which can be deadly, all tracing back to antibiotic use on farms…A thing to look for is if it says, ‘No antibiotics ever,’ or...‘Raised without antibiotics’…”
(NPR, Nov. 2, 2017)


“Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are incredibly common, affecting up to 60 percent of women during their lifetime, and leading to close to 10 million doctor visits in the U.S. annually. Most UTIs (about 80 to 90 percent) are caused by E. coli bacteria, which can be introduced into your urinary tract in a number of ways…in a study led by Lance Price, a professor at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health, it’s suggested that ‘People are definitely picking up those infections from poultry’ and ‘We have to open up our heads and acknowledge that foodborne infections aren’t just diarrhea and/or vomiting; they can be UTIs, too’…CAFO chicken [concentrated animal feeding operation]…[is] one of the most contaminated foods in the U.S…the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that not only is grocery store chicken commonly contaminated with salmonella but 1 in 5 strains is resistant to the penicillin drug amoxicillin. Seventy-three percent of salmonella found on ground turkey was also found to be antibiotic resistant…In 2012, researchers also revealed that chicken appeared to be a likely reservoir for UTI-causing E. coli in humans…”
(Mercola, Sept. 11, 2018)


“…research has linked drug-resistant UTIs to contaminated chicken meat.4 This is not a surprise once you realize that over 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are given to animals raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)…Writing for National Geographic, Maryn McKenna reported: ‘The woman who was carrying an E. coli containing resistance to the last-resort antibiotic colistin went for medical care because she had what felt like a routine urinary tract infection, a UTI for short…A small, dedicated corps of researchers has been trying for years to emphasize that these infections represent a serious danger, an unexamined conduit of bacterial resistance from agriculture and meat into the human population, and have mostly been dismissed…Colistin was seldom used in people until recently because it is toxic, but agriculture has been using it enthusiastically for decades, which has seeded resistance through the bacterial world. And those highly drug-resistant bacteria are turning up in urinary tract infections…how high a price are we willing to pay for cheaper meat? Tens of thousands of Americans now die each year from drug-resistant infections, many of which clearly appear to be spread through our food supply…Avoid all meats raised with antibiotics…Practice good personal hygiene. This includes carefully washing your hands before and after you handle raw chicken, making sure to wash between your fingers and under your nails and be sure to wash any utensils and kitchen counters when done...”
(Mercola, Sept. 27, 2017)


“As early as 2005, papers were published showing drug-resistant E. coli strains from supermarket meat matched strains found in human E. coli infections…American, Canadian and European studies…published in 2012 all confirmed close genetic matches between drug-resistant E. coli collected from human patients and those found on poultry (chicken and turkey)…More recently, a study published in the journal mBio in 2018 found 79.8% of chicken, pork and turkey samples purchased from large retail stores in Flagstaff, Arizona, were contaminated with E. coli…Use a designated cutting board, preferably wood, not plastic, for raw meat and poultry, and never use this board for other food preparation…”
(Mercola, May 5, 2017)




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