Friend, right now… as you read this… you're crawling with bugs.
No, I'm not talking about those multi-legged pests like ants and spiders that have started to hatch with the warmer weather.
I mean the community of bacteria inside your GUT!
Your gut is home to TRILLIONS of bacteria (a.k.a. your "microbiome"), and the majority of them are beneficial. They help your body break down food... synthesize vitamins... and even pump up your immune system.
But "bad" bugs also lurk among them -- and if anything disrupts the balance between good and evil, these rogue critters can take over, walloping you with everything from toilet troubles to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Now, I've told you before about how antibiotics can wipe out the good guys and open the door for an overgrowth of infectious bacteria like C. diff (a.k.a. “deadly diarrhea”).
But according to a new study, antibiotics aren't the ONLY offenders in your medicine cabinet -- because even non-antibiotic drugs can wreak havoc on your microbiome!
In the study, European researchers tested over 1,000 drugs that are currently available behind the pharmacy counter to see what effect, if any, they had on 40 different strains of beneficial bacteria that normally reside in the human gut.
And it turned out that 24 percent of the drugs zapped the good bugs and made it tough for them to grow!
Now, some of the drugs tested were antibiotics, so no surprises there.
But what's really shocking is that nearly 30 percent of the NON-ANTIBIOTIC drugs also threw the balance of the gut flora off-kilter.
Those drugs came from all therapeutic classes, from painkillers to sleep meds to antipsychotics – which means that you could be putting your belly bugs in peril EVERY time you fill a prescription!
What's more, the researchers noted that when non-antibiotic drugs threaten your microbiome, they can cause the SAME side effects as antibiotics, such as abdominal cramps and the desperate need to “go.”
Of course, the ideal way to guard your gut is to turn to nature -- rather than drugs -- for whatever ails you.
But if you're currently taking any prescription meds, you want to do everything you can to protect the delicate balance of bacteria in your belly.
Eating fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut can help beef up the good guys and keep pathogens from gaining a foothold.
If the sour tastes of those foods aren't your favorite, supplement your diet with probiotics from a trusted maker. Look for a brand with multiple strains and colony-forming units (CFUs) in the billions.
Eating a diet full of fiber... exercising regularly... and even drinking black or green tea can also help promote the growth of beneficial strains in your gut.
Just stay away from sugars (whether "natural" or artificial) and refined carbs -- because the sweet stuff makes harmful bacteria grow like gangbusters.