New book highlights dangers of overusing antibiotics

Dr. Martin Blaser, a famous microbiologist at New York University, gave a lecture in Shanghai and brought local residents the Chinese version of his book, Missing Microbes.

Dr. Martin Blaser, director of the Human Microbiome Program at NYU Langone Health, brought the Chinese version of his book to Shanghai with a lecture given at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

The book, which has been translated into 18 languages, discusses the harm that the abuse of antibiotics and caesarean section bring to us and our next generations.

During the speech given on Sunday, Dr. Blaser links diseases like obesity, asthma and diabetes with the overuse of antibiotics, which can affect mothers and their babies.

He's been thinking about an idea that he calls disappearing microbiotic theory over the last twenty years, which includes two parts.

"The first is that human ecology is changing and it altered the transmission and maintenance of our ancient microbes, and that affects its composition," he said, "And the second is that important microbes are usually acquired early in life since they affect the critical development stage."

However, the large amount of antibiotics we use threatens these microbes and causes them to disappear.

"Here's some advice for mothers," said Dr. Blaser. "Reduce exposure to antibiotics unless absolutely necessary; avoid taking antibiotics as a young girl and young woman unless it's necessary; avoid taking antibiotics in pregnancy unless it's necessary; don't have a caesarean section unless it's necessary; don't give your babies antibiotics unless necessary; breast feed your baby for at least six months; avoid food that has antibiotics in it; avoid drinking water that contains antibiotics."

Besides Dr. Blaser, two microbial ecologists, Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello of New York University and Zhao Liping of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, also stated their opinions on microbes, C-section and antibiotics at the lecture.

Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling our Modern Plagues is now available.


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