Thursday, May 29, 2008

Can your diet fight a superbug?

A story released by the AP today discussed the recent rise in cases of a particular superbug – C Diff.

“The number of Americans hospitalized with the dangerous intestinal superbug Clostridium difficile has been increasing by more than 10,000 a year, and the germ was a factor in nearly 300,000 hospitalizations in 2005, more than double the number in 2000,” a new study says.

Superbugs have an incredible resistance to antibodies, thus causing digestive distress not only when the person is infected but after the harsh treatment used to kill the bacteria.

Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, author of "The Gut Flush Plan," (Avery, 2008) is a well-known expert in superbugs and digestive health and has fabulous tips on how to avoid superbugs such as C Diff and MRSA:

Eat a high-fiber diet – broccoli contains an antioxidant that fights against superbugs
Cook with rhubarb –good for the intestines
Avoid milk and other lactose products
Use spices such as cinnamon, sage, tarragon and oregano that kill superbugs
Chew on licorice
Drink plenty of water

Should you be infected:
Increase probiotic intake – this good bacteria lives in your gut and can be killed by antibiotic treatments for superbugs. Up your intake before and after to avoid diarrhea and other unpleasant side effects.