Fluoroquinolones (Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox and others) are one of the most prescribed antibiotics worldwide with nearly 26 million prescriptions being given a year. Fluoroquinolones are also the subjects of numerous lawsuits due to their debilitating, systemic side effects. Prescribed for even minor ailments, these drugs are linked to tendonitis, peripheral neuropathy, tooth loss, heart, liver and kidney issues, Gulf War Syndrome and even death. This is by no means a complete list of all of the side effects as the thousands of sufferers can attest.

Join us as we delve into the mechanisms and side effects of this evil drug and get armed with the knowledge to protect yourself and your loved ones from these evil drugs.

Stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health segment where the topic will be factory farms, antibiotic resistance and superbugs.

Running Time: 01:19:12

Download: OGG, MP3

Listen live, chat, and call in to future shows on the SOTT Radio Network!

Here's the transcript of the show:

Jonathan: Hello everybody and welcome to the Health and Wellness Show. My name is Jonathan and I'll be your host for today. Today is Friday, April 7, 2017. Joining me in our virtual studio from all over the planet we have Doug, Erica, Tiffany, Gaby and Elliot. Hey guys!

All: Hellos.

Jonathan: So we have a totally full crew today which is awesome. Our topic for today is a bit of a mouthful. If you haven't heard of these fluoroquinolones. It's an area of antibiotics, Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox , a number of others, are the most prescribed antibiotics worldwide. Nearly 26 million prescriptions per year. They are also the subject of numerous of numerous lawsuits right now due to their debilitating and systemic side-effects. A lot of doctors are prescribing these even for minor ailments when they don't need to. They're over-prescribing antibiotics and a lot of people say this is a huge contributing factor to the new antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that are being discovered.

So we want to talk about fluoroquinolones today and just what kind of damage they can do. We have some input from our resident medical expert Gaby on that topic as well. But let's get started with a clip. We have a clip that is in two parts, talking about powerful antibiotics and how they can be a prescription for danger. So let's do the first part right now. We'll discuss it a little bit and then we'll do the second one later.

Host 1: Now the CBS4 investigates. They are some of the most widely prescribed types of antibiotics but instead of making patients better, many say they've never been sicker.

Host 2: That's right. The most popular among them is Levaquin and tonight CBS4's chief investigative reporter Michelle Gillen reports that the FDA is being pushed to increase the warnings about how these drugs should be used.

Michelle: Andrea Sciatti, now on crutches, says she doesn't get around her home like she used to, not since she was treated for pneumonia last winter. She was prescribed the generic version of Levaquin, a powerful and popular antibiotic.

Andrea: It was a prescription for 10 days. On the ninth day my arms went numb and that night I woke up around midnight and it felt like flames were coming out of my elbows.

Michelle: Thousands of patients have reported similar reactions to Levaquin, one of a powerful family of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. Just how powerful is this class of drugs? Well two of the prescribed uses are for anthrax and the plague. A Massachusetts man has sued the drug manufacturer saying he suffered severe and debilitating tendon injuries. Levaquin has a black box warning from the Food and Drug Administration for increased risk of tendon ruptures, muscle weakness and impacts on the central nervous system. Dr. Marilee Worley is a professor at NSU's College of Pharmacy.

Dr. Worley:A black box warning is the most serious warning that a medication can get before really being pulled from the market.

Dr. Bennett: It is powerful.

Michelle: Dr. Charles Bennett is one of the nation's leading watchdogs for prescription drugs. He believes the big problem with fluoroquinolones is inappropriate use.

Dr. Bennett: We're talking about going to a physician's office with a case of the sniffles and walking out with an antibiotic, then shortly thereafter having these kind of problems.

Michelle: He's filed two citizens' petitions with the FDA seeking to expand that black box warning to include mitochondrial toxicity meaning damage could occur within a patient's cells. The second petition wants to highlight the potential for serious psychiatric events.

Carolyn: This is another one, for if I'm depressed.

Michelle: Carolyn Eagan was given Levaquin to treat a sinus infection. Eight years have passed and the former daycare provider says she's never been the same.

Carolyn: One day I can be okay on focus and another day I can't even talk to anybody because they're not making sense. It sounds like they're not speaking English.

Michelle: Levaquin is made by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. In a statement they said the antibiotic has been used for more than 20 years to treat infections, including those that might be serious or life-threatening. When used according to the product labelling Levaquin has been proven to be a safe and effective medication. But Dr. Worley cautions.

Dr. Worley:We know that this class of antibiotics is being overly prescribed. If you start experiencing pain, especially around your ankle, to call your doctor immediately.

Michelle: Carolyn says she regrets not knowing about the drug's possible side effects.

Carolyn: You don't be normal and then three days after taking a medication - it's the only medication I was on - you can't walk.

Michelle: In a statement an FDA spokesperson said the agency is reviewing the citizens' petitions, adding they consider drug labels living documents so they can be updated as new safety information becomes available. Michelle Gillen, CBS4 News.

Jonathan: So you get a lot of bad effects. I was thinking as we were listening to that, that poor woman at the end there who said "How could I know?", I think that is the case for a lot of people and I catch myself being guilty of this from time to time, getting a little bit arrogant about what I think I know and thinking "How could you not know that that's going to mess you up?" But I really think that's the case of me being cocky and not realizing that most people are programmed to and in their minds it's totally reasonable to listen to your doctor. They say "Take this" and so you say "Okay, I'll take that."

Gaby: But one of the women in this clip said that she was prescribed Levaquin, the generic name, Levafloxacin, when she got pneumonia. The thing is, if you go to the pneumonia worldwide guidelines, if you have a person diagnosed with pneumonia, you go to the guideline and it says first choice, either amoxicillin with clavulanic acid. This is a penicillin-derived antibiotic which is a very old type of antibiotic, or it is Levaquin, the fluoroquinolones. So it's like the first choice that you're instructed to use. And then even if you are very alternative medicine oriented, if you have pneumonia, you know that you cannot play with that kind of disease. You're going to be more open-minded, okay I'm going to take antibiotics because I really have a very long, bad lung infection, so I'm going to take antibiotics. So you trust the process and now that all of this has come out in the open, it turns out it was really very bad.

Tiffany: Yeah, I think there's a little bit too much trust in the process and too much trust in doctors a lot of the time. And doctors trust the FDA too much. For example for Cipro, there's a label that comes with it. It's 43 pages long and they don't get to the warnings until page 10.

But if you look at this label, they use it to treat skin infections. They use it to treat urinary tract infections, sinus infections. And then there's just a little part about how these drugs should only be used as a last resort, if other antibiotics don't work. So a lot of doctors will just go to this one right away without even trying anything else first.

Gaby: It's funny - well it's not funny at all actually - even the FDA came out in 2016 and updated their guidelines to say "These antibiotics should not be a first choice anymore for urinary tract infections" but it seems like nobody got the memo. It's still prescribed for common things like urinary tract infections. We have very old antibiotics which have a safety track record that we don't use anymore because everybody's programmed like "Oh yeah, it should be fluoroquinolones".

Tiffany: Well a little bit about the history of fluoroquinolones which includes Cipro and Levaquin, Moxifloxacin. They have eye drops. They have ear drops. They were discovered by accident when they were trying to make anti-malarial agents and there was one drug for malaria that was called Chloroquine and it was discovered by Bayer - surprise, surprise - in 1934. At the time they discovered it they considered it too toxic for human use but they ended up using it a decade after WWII. So the first fluoroquinolone they came up with was Naladixic acid and then they added a fluorine molecule to it to increase the potency in the spectrum. The thing about fluorine, it increases the permeability of the drug and it helps it cross the blood-brain barrier and also just fluoride by itself disrupts collagen synthesis. So that explains a lot of the tendon issues and the walking difficulties that people have once they get fluoxed which is the name for fluoroquinolone toxicity that people are going through once they take these drugs. So it's pretty bad news. That's why we called it the devil in a pill.

Gaby: And that's in the best case scenario. When it disrupts collagen all your body tissues are made out of collagen and they have these reported adverse effects. They first studied it in 2015 and researchers showed in a study that there was a two-fold increase in aortic aneurysms and aortic dissection. This is when your aortic vessel which is the biggest vessel and the most important one in a certain sense. It just bursts and it breaks. This was within 60 days of Cipro use. So there are people that are very young that have these aortic aneurysms and it's like "How can this happen? Oh, by the way, have you ever been treated with Cipro for a urinary infection or a sinus infection? That was probably the cause."

Erica: Well I found it interesting too that these fluoroquinolones have their success traced back to 1990 Operation Desert Shield, so basically the Gulf War. And the US military was concerned that the Iraqi forces were going to use anthrax against their soldiers as a bacterial weapon so the armed forces ordered 30 million doses of Cipro to be administered to the troops as a preventative measure, mainly because it was new. So just think of human guinea pigs. The side effects are believed to have caused what is now known as the Gulf War Syndrome. So a lot of vets have these debilitating neuropathology leg and tendon issues, not to mention the psychiatric hallucinations. It's just so scary that they would use American soldiers, they would see these things happen and then it became new and popular and 'now we're going to start using it all the time with everyone'.

Tiffany: And even after the anthrax attacks after 9/11 Bayer produced over 200 million more additional doses of Cipro because people were just in a panic and scared to death and they started ordering all these antibiotics.

Gaby: That's when it got really popular because, retrospectively, in the '90s, nah! It was like "Cipro? Are you kidding me?! We have safer things!" Or "It doesn't call for Cipro!" But after 9/11, yes, it became very popular and very widely prescribed.

Doug: The thing was that it wasn't even indicated as a preventative for anthrax but they just ordered it and were using it that way. Some of the reports I was reading coming from vets were talking about how they were just given these pills and they said "This pill is for if anybody tries to use anthrax it will prevent it". But there was no actual indication that it could do that. It's an antibacterial antibiotic so maybe if somebody was infected it could possibly do something, but there was no real indication that it can actually work as a preventative. So really guinea pigs is right. There was no reason to believe that this drug with these absolutely horrible side-effects actually would do what they wanted it to do.

Tiffany: And even on the label for Cipro they say it's for post-exposure to anthrax, not as a preventative.

Gaby: For the longest time nobody was completely sure because for example, vets were also given anthrax vaccines, vaccines that are really like what?

Erica: With squalene in them.

Gaby: Yeah. So they received such a cocktail of toxic stuff that what was it? Nobody was sure.

Erica: Well that's why they're so not wanting to even admit that there's this Gulf War Syndrome that has happened and now it's been over 20 years and these vets are still suffering. A lot of them die waiting to get treatment.

Tiffany: And the recommended treatment for Gulf War Syndrome is antidepressants and talk therapy. And they're actually suffering from a severe side-effect to either the vaccines or the medicines that they were given and their answer to that is antidepressants.

Doug: And talk therapy. Talk it out! Talk it out!

Jonathan: It totally is criminal and that's a whole huge discussion we could get into, the fact that they were using people who most of them have PTSD as a basis for these experiments and so absolutely no compassion for the state of mind of these people who they consider their subjects, just subject number 523.

Erica: Yeah, they're also government property. So they can't say no, I'm not going to take that. That especially happened with the vaccines. You couldn't even use a religious exemption not to get the vaccines because you're a number and piece of their property.

Jonathan: One other thing that's kind of scary to me about this is the whole antibiotic resistant strains or bacteria that are coming around. Let's see what you guys think about this. To me that's a little more scary than the idea that the antibiotics themselves would be damaging to the body because that's something we can roll back. If you do a hypothetical discussion - not saying the FDA is going to get rid of this, it probably won't - but you could theoretically roll that back by stopping giving people these drugs. However in the meantime of developing and administering the drugs, we've created strains of bacteria that are now resistant to even our most powerful antibiotics. So that's something we can't roll back. We're kind of stuck with that now and then those bacteria are just going to keep mutating as long as we keep using these.

If anybody who's listening who's in the chat, I'm just posting a link to a video. We've mentioned this before on the podcast but it's worth looking up. It shows time lapse video of bacteria as they become resistant to antibiotics over a giant petri dish and you can see them stop and mutate and then continue to grow. They reach a point on the petri dish where I want to say there's 100 times concentration of the most powerful antibiotic and this bacteria is just growing right through it.

So I don't know what you guys think about that idea. Do you think that the bigger danger is the evolution of bacteria or the fact that we're damaging everybody's systems with this. Is this permanent damage that's happening?

Tiffany: In many cases, yes.

Doug: It seems in some cases it is. Some of the reports are that after taking one pill suddenly they can't walk anymore and years later they still haven't recovered. So the effects of this drug, for some people are extremely serious. I wanted to say I don't know if I can necessarily put this on a scale as to where it lies with antibiotic resistant bacteria. I don't know which is scarier.

Gaby: Take for example the aortic aneurism. Basically the antibiotic destroys the collagenous skeleton of the aortic vessel. When you have an aneurism, you cannot reverse that. I would be very pleased if I hear of a testimonial of somebody who did a detox and diet and reversed that, but that's pretty structural. The only way you could really fix it if it gets really bad is with surgery - heart surgery or vascular surgery where you have the vessel replaced with a prosthesis.

Erica: Assuming you have health insurance.

Gaby: Yeah. If you can afford to go to Mexico and have the surgery.

Erica: Medical tourism.

Tiffany: In some ways I think it's somewhat of a blessing to not have health insurance because it saves you from a lot of doctor visits.

Gaby: I wanted to go through each fluoroquinolone and basically tell people what it is prescribed for nowadays because a lot of people are aware, thinking maybe I should be careful or have an argument or a nice discussion with my doctor but no, in the moment most people forget and they just get the prescription and they just go ahead with it. You have to be very experienced to stand up on your feet when you're going into an argument with your doctor.

For example, with Cipro we've discussed that it is prescribed for anthrax but it's something that you get prescribed if you have a urinary tract infection and especially the elderly. The older the people are, the higher the chance they will be prescribed a fluoroquinolone and it's the last group that should be prescribed fluoroquinolone. For ear infections, sinus infections, you get Cipro as well. For an infection in the skin you get Cipro as well. Then norfloxacin is common for young women with a urinary tract infections. They will get prescribed this one very quickly. And Levaquin or Tevanik or Levofloxacin are the most commonly prescribed antibiotics for pneumonia. The list goes on but basically sinus infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia and infections in the genital system like the prostate gland or even pelvic infections from sexually transmitted diseases, it will be a fluoroquinolone.

Jonathan: I'm curious about something and Gaby what you think about this. Antibiotics themselves are not necessarily bad, right? Because we are in a place now despite the draconian nature of the medical establishment where you don't have to worry about dying if you cut your arm, not like the old west where if you get an infection you could be done. You might die from that. That's not really a worry anymore. So I wonder where we went wrong. Are the drugs just too strong? Was the establishment careless in its seeking of profits like big pharma? I wonder where the digression happened where these became dangerous as opposed to beneficial.

Gaby: I think it comes from both the healthcare system, the doctors, but also people. You would be surprised how some people really push it so hard, consulting again and again and again because they want an antibiotic prescribed and they're not going to give up until you do that. It's crazy, but there you go. Then I always think back when I started the antibiotics, their mechanism of practice of every single one. It's pretty scary stuff. You think, right, I don't want this. Is this strictly necessary? It interferes with DNA replication and presumably only the bacteria or the bug. But your body is made out of DNA as well and there is also the evolutionary history that your mitochondria has a shared evolutionary history with bacteria.

So if you interfere with the bacteria's DNA wouldn't you be interfering with the human mitochondria's DNA? This is where they're researching about fluoroquinolones, how it's so evil because it causes severe mitochondrial dysfunction and I think it is in people that are very vulnerable, who already have a toxic load or other vulnerability, they end up with severe mitochondrial dysfunction that is very difficult or nearly impossible to reverse after taking fluoroquinolone. So I guess I would say that my assessment was wrong then. This is not damage that can simply be rolled back by ceasing the drug.

Gaby: Yeah, that was my illusion as well. "Yeah, you detox. You should be fine." Well apparently no. People have been doing detox for years and there's nothing happening.

Elliot: That's depressing.

Tiffany: Yeah, it's not just a matter of clearing the drug from your body because it clears, but once it's in there, the damage that it does is so extensive. You're left with that and you can't detox. Can you detox a collagen injury or mitochondrial injury or damage to your central nervous system? Or your retina's detaching. You can't detox that.

Elliot: I guess theoretically you could get rid of all those mitochondria and produce more, because that's generally what happens a lot, but it takes a load of energy and if it gets to the point where the mitochondria are so stressed out, then usually a person just dies. They don't have the resources to make all of the new ones.

Erica: Well that's assuming that you know that too. When you read these stories about people they have no idea. They had a pneumonia and then they couldn't walk.

Tiffany: And they're so debilitated and they're dealing with the pain day in and day out, just to be able to function at some basic level, not to mention all of the mental health issues that people get, like the hallucinations and delusions and the night terrors and all of that. You can't think straight when all of that is going on. Like the woman in the clip, she said sometimes she'd be okay and then other times people would speak to her and it was like they weren't even speaking English. How can you formulate some kind of game plan when you're under that kind of physical stress?

Jonathan: No.

Gaby: And take for instance what Tiffany said about retinal detachment. There's nearly a fivefold higher risk of retinal detachment among current users of fluoroquinolones. So once your retina detaches, you can go blind. You're not going to reverse that. You have to rejuvenate at a serious level in order to see again.

Erica: And are you going to think "Oh, I shouldn't have taken that antibiotic because now I can't see."

Tiffany: And if your Achilles tendon ruptures, you have to have surgery.

Doug: Well imagine going in for a sinus infection and your doctor prescribes you a pill and then your retina detaches or you have such serious nerve pain that you can't get out of bed in the morning, or all your teeth start falling out? That's another effect that people are reporting from taking these fluoroquinolones, that they actually start to lose their teeth. Their teeth start breaking off, shrinking, falling out, getting abscesses, all these kind of things. Is it really worth it for your sinus infection to lose all your teeth?

Erica: Well I have a personal testimonial to share about fluoroquinolones and I don't know which one it was. This was many years ago, but when I was pregnant I had a bladder infection which is pretty common and I was given one of these drugs and when my daughter was born and her teeth came in she had big holes in her teeth. So it's going into your child, obviously. At the time the doctor had said "Oh, did you take this and this antibiotic while you were pregnant? Well that is a result if you're taking that."

Doug: Jesus! Good thing it was her baby teeth.

Erica: I know!

Gaby: But it is surprising because as far as I know, fluoroquinolones are always being contraindicated in pregnant women.

Jonathan: Yeah. Well let's go to part 2 of that CBS4 Investigates clip about fluoroquinolones and then we'll come back and discuss some more.

Host: After CBS4 Investigates' Prescription For Danger, your emails and calls poured in when we first brought you this story. And tonight a chilling warning from a South Florida man who fears his life will be cut short because of a prescribed antibiotic. All this as CBS4 chief investigator Michelle Gillen digs deep to find out what the FDA may not be telling you.

Michelle: In your opinion what does having taken Levaquin, how has that affected your life?

Cain: It has destroyed it. Completely destroyed it. As you can see, it killed my teeth. It has destroyed my jaw so I cannot have any oral surgery to repair it. It has dissolved my tendons and connective tissue and my muscles are actually decaying and my prognosis is very dim.

Michelle: Sixty year old Joseph King of North Miami says his life changed and he believes could end prematurely because of what he considers to be a toxic poisoning by the antibiotic Levaquin. Levaquin is one of a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones coming under heightened scrutiny by some medical researchers and the public. Four years ago King says he was prescribed Levaquin in an ER after suffering from salmonella poisoning, food poisoning.

King: I was given it intravenously and then I was put on a dose of it orally for the next 30 days.

Michelle: As we first reported to you, this class of antibiotics carries a black box warning including for possible tendon injuries. Since our first report we've learned something more. This is an internal FDA safety report on the potential negative impact this class of drugs has on nerve endings. But dig deep and you will find the FDA's own revelation of how these drugs can essentially impact you in a way similar to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and ALS. If these drugs can affect the function of our cells, the mitochondria and ultimately the brain, Alan Redd, biological anthropologist says it's chilling.

Redd: They state explicitly in there that mitochondrial dysfunction can be associated with neurological diseases like Alzheimer's, ALS and Parkinson's. So there's a disconnect between the internal document and what was released to the public. I find that disturbing. I find that outrageous actually.

Michelle: You also say that you have been harmed by taking this particular class of drugs. Redd says he was damaged by taking this class of antibiotics five years ago. He says he suffered a number of side-effects and they have not resolved completely. Meanwhile Redd is pushing for more transparency from the FDA regarding his own findings, joining supporters of a citizens' petition filed with the FDA last June.

Redd: Come clean and tell the public and the physicians that this class of drugs, as you noted in your document, has the potential to damage mitochondria, cause dysfunction and potentially increase your probability of getting neurological diseases.

Michelle: Joe King agrees.

King: Michelle, not only is the public not aware of this, the doctors are not aware of it either.

Michelle: King agrees with most experts that these drugs can be life-saving for many, especially in cases of life-threatening illnesses but he fears without additional warnings, other patients could find themselves walking in his shoes.

And now your goal...

King: Is to make it each day.

Michelle: The manufacturer of Levaquin provided us this statement:
"Levaquin is part of an important class of anti-infective prescription medication that had been used for more than 20 years to treat infections, including those that may be serious or life-threatening. When used according to product labeling Levaquin has been proven to have a favourable benefit risk profile."
And about that internal document, the FDA tells us it cannot comment on pending citizens' petitions and referred us to their web page where the current black box warning is detailed. Michelle Gillen, CBS4 News.

Elliot: Wow!

Tiffany: I love how the drug companies always come back with "Oh it's been used for x number of years" and it always has that nice safety record despite all of the carnage that is left in its wake.

Doug: That's true too because one of the problems with this is that people end up with these symptoms and they don't necessarily connect it back to a drug that they took, especially an antibiotic they took for a sinus infection or a UTI. Part of the problem is that in many cases there are delayed reactions so you take the drug and it's not until months later that you start having these weird symptoms showing up. So a lot of times people are not making that connection. They're not connecting back to "Oh, this must be because of that antibiotic I took." They're just asking "What the hell is going on?"

Tiffany: But there's other times too where people just take one dose and immediately they're affected and they'll report it to their doctor and they have the AERS - adverse events reporting system - where you can report drug side-effects and I think some doctors will be reluctant to do that because for one, they're the ones who prescribed it so that's kind of like they're...

Erica: Admitting guilt.

Tiffany: Yeah, admitting guilt for their own stupidity for prescribing this medication that totally messed up their patient.

Gaby: It's like the same thing with vaccines. The problem we have with these antibiotics is that it's the elderly who get prescribed them the most and they will think that it's due to old age, this is normal. No it is not! And when you have a young person, a college student - here I'm reading - "I was a healthy, active college student minoring in dance when I took this for a sinus infection. After a few pills it completely destroyed my life. No more than an hour of sleep for over a year due to neurological damage that destroyed my sleep cycle." And other young people taking it had practiced yoga and I don't know what else, and then they had a ruptured tendon that shouldn't happen! And that's when you can see the connection. But most people don't connect the dots and nobody including doctors, read the signs that yes, this is an adverse effect, a severe adverse effect.

Elliot: Well the thing that really concerns me is that one of the side-effects is that it supposedly disrupts the tubulin assembly. So tubulin is a really, really interesting protein. If you look deeply into the research about it, it's actually fascinating. It makes up the architecture of the cell, the thing that holds the cell in place almost. It's called the cytoskeleton. And so this tubulin has really interesting properties in that when it's formed into this cytoskeleton it can bind with water and when it binds with water it structures that water in such a way that it forms a hydration shell.

There are a lot of scientists doing a lot of work now which based on the idea that water is somehow able to transmit certain energy in the cell. It might be the main source of the cellular energy. And so when you take this fluoroquinolone and it's basically disrupting this really, really important protein, the cytoskeleton or the cell will essentially fall apart. So your cells are falling apart and you're not going to be able to function in the way that it does. I think this could also help to explain why there are common tendon ruptures and things like that, partly the fact that it messes up the collagen. It seems to actually destroy the whole cell, not even just the mitochondria and that's really disturbing.

Gaby: Just think about it. This antibiotic has fluoride in it and people doing iodine therapy thinking that it will detox them from the fluoroquinolone antibiotics, they actually have the most severe detox reactions. Even in the Curezone forum they say if you took Cipro or any fluoroquinolone antibiotic, you might want to start with something else because iodine might be too much for you.

Tiffany: Well there was this doctor at the University of Rochester. His name is Dr. Mark Noble and he conducted some experiments on cells that have fluoroquinolone. So a lot of people don't take into consideration that when people take antibiotics it's not like that's the only pill that they take. Some of them do. But these fluoroquinolones are sometimes given in combination with other medications like prednisone or somebody might be taking over-the-counter naproxen or Aleve. So this doctor did some experiments and he used these precursor cells that generate myelin in the central nervous system and he tested Levaquin on the cells in his lab and he noticed that there was a damaging effect with just Levaquin alone. But when he combined it with Aleve or with prednisone there was a 65% reduction in these precursor cells for myelin. So taking it by itself is bad enough, but taking it with other medications is doubly bad.

Doug: I was going to ask is Aleve a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory?

Tiffany: Yes.

Doug: Apparently those two together are ...

Tiffany: Yeah. So even with non-steroidal and steroidal anti-inflammatories, these fluoroquinolones can do some major damage.

Gaby: That's the standard treatment even for people with COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which nowadays is quite a lot of people. Okay first thing when they get into an emergency room is steroids, so they can breathe better, and antibiotic, Levaquin, fluoroquinolone, levofloxacin. Those two are commonly prescribed in people with COPD disease.

Elliot: The problem is, when you ingest one of these fluoroquinolones your inflammatory response is going to be probably going mad to try and protect you and save your body and what you're doing is you're suppressing that protective mechanism against this poison and you're essentially allowing that poison just to do whatever it wants to do and that's really tragic.

Gaby: So knowledge protects. If you find yourself in the most uncomfortable situation where you have a really bad infection that calls for an antibiotic, it would be wise to have this information in mind and make the request saying that you're intolerant of fluoroquinolones. Nowadays there are very good antibiotics that have a track record from penicillin which was the first antibiotic used in the medical history and it has a good record. There are third generation cephalosporins that do the job and they're not fluoroquinolones. So basically, just say "Any antibiotic except for fluoroquinolone" which should really be reserved as the last option when there is resistance to any other antibiotic.

Tiffany: Just say you're allergic to fluoroquinolones on your medication list.

Gaby: Yeah. That'll freak them out!

Doug: Well it's tricky too because at one point when I was reading this I thought "Okay, well I'll just make sure that I never take a prescription for Cipro or whatever these other names are". But then I looked up all the different types, including generic names and brand names, and it was close to 50. So I thought I'm not going to memorize this list, so unfortunately it's kind of a situation where the patient really needs to do the research and when they get their prescription, look it up and see what it is and if it's a fluoroquinolone then I'd say ask for an alternative.

Gaby: Yeah, and that's the problem because most people will arrive at this situation quite unexpectedly. Most people in the emergency room with the infection already developed are like "Oh my god! Time is up!" So basically having this information and being aware of this information, say "I'm intolerant or allergic to fluoroquinolones. Any other group will do" would be the best option.

Jonathan: I've got to be really careful saying this, so I want to be very clear that this is not medical advice, put it in retrospect. However, what makes me curious is why more people don't try self-treatment. That's a really complex issue to bring up with people because you could very easily be interpreted as saying you encouraged somebody to try and treat themselves and so they died because they didn't know how to do it. So yes, that's possible. You need to be very careful and do your research but the way I think, I don't go to a doctor unless I'm bleeding out. It blows my mind that people go to the hospital for a sinus infection because there are so many ways to take care of it.

But I know that there are more serious cases. My girlfriend a number of years ago got walking pneumonia and that was really scary because you're like "I don't know. This is pretty bad." So there are obviously cases where you have to go and have a medical professional check you out, but I think a lot of these cases like you mentioned earlier Gaby, it's the patients. "Oh no, I've got a sniffle. I need an antibiotic" which is just too much.

Gaby: I personally know of situations where people rely on alternative medicine, on research, on taking care of themselves but they have reached that situation where no, not even that was enough, that they really needed an antibiotic for a really bad infection. It can happen. We don't think about the situations but yeah, it can happen to you and that's when you have to really be more aware of how evil these antibiotics can be but that there are very good antibiotics that are safer, but you should talk back to your doctor. Most people don't like to be in that situation but, I'm sorry, better be done.

Tiffany: Well another disturbing thing about this class of antibiotics is that they have similar effects to those of chemotherapy drugs. They interfere with DNA replication. They target something called the topoisomerases (I know I'm saying that wrong), but these are enzymes that regulate DNA replication and reproduction. You don't want to take anything that screws with your DNA or your mitochondria; Elliot was talking about the tubulins before. But the scary thing about these drugs is they derived chemotherapy drugs from fluoroquinolones and that just tells you how powerful they are because the traditional treatment for cancer is to just blast it, completely try to kill the DNA within the cancer to keep it from replicating. So you have to think that you're doing that to the DNA in your own body. You're not just targeting the cancer cells because these fluoroquinolones, they're in everything. They end up in your saliva and your skin, your bodily secretions. They end up in your spinal fluid. They go everywhere and mitochondria is everywhere and DNA is everywhere in your body.

Jonathan: Spinal fluid seems like that would be one of the most dangerous places for that to be.

Tiffany: That's listed on the 43-page package insert for Cipro.

Gaby: Okay, this is from a Mercola article. It says "Adverse reactions to fluoroquinolones were documented in Europe as far back as the '80s." And he quotes that 91% of patients - basically the totality of them - had nervous system symptoms. It was either tingling, numbness so that you could say "I have a tingling here." Maybe it passes, maybe not; dizziness, weakness but also psychotic episodes, anxiety, loss of memory.

Jonathan: I'm not trying to be naïve here. I understand that profit is a huge motivator and that big pharma controls a lot of this process where what drugs get approved and what drugs the doctors give out and they market these to the doctors and they butter them up. So I understand all of that. I guess the question still comes to mind, what is going on here? Do the doctors ignore the side effects because it's easier to go along with the flow? Or is it something where they just don't think that they're that bad?

Gaby: Both.

Doug: They don't know.

Gaby: From my experience, both. They don't know, yeah.

Jonathan: Because I know a lot of doctors are well-meaning. A lot of them really are. And I know a lot of them are probably - no offence - but kind of ignorant too, where they just follow the guidelines and go with what the status quo is.

Gaby: Very naïve. The naiveté is so bad.

Jonathan: I just think the percentage of maliciously ignorant doctors has got to be fairly small, where they're just like "Yeah, screw my patients. I'm making some money off this!" I think that would be pretty small.

Gaby: Yeah, that's the case. People see a well-meaning doctor - I know quite a few - and they will trust that doctor and it's ignorance where the most evil takes place. The problem right now, that I see nowadays is a urinary tract infection in an elderly man or woman, it calls for an antibiotic of this type, not necessarily fluoroquinolone, but it's got to be serious stuff. It's not going to be a one or two days antibiotic like the young people, it's got to be a one week or 10 days strong antibiotic. Most doctors think about giving fluoroquinolones. There are other options. Pneumonia as well. The first line of choice is fluoroquinolones. There are other options as well. We're starting to think about that just now especially because of this. That's a problem right now that I see.

Doug: The aggravating thing about it is that there are alternatives. They don't have to go for the biggest gun they can get to solve, in many cases, rather mundane problems. But it seems like that's what people want to do. "Let's bring in a tank to unlock a door". It's kind of that mentality that you need to always use the best, let's go with the best, or in this case not necessarily the best but the most powerful.

Erica: It's interesting you say that Doug because in one of the articles I was reading they were talking about this professor of clinical pharmacology. His name is David Flockheart and he was talking about Cipro and he said "It's a big gun whose benefits outweigh the risks in certain circumstances but the bigger the gun you use, the more damage you can expect as collateral."

Gaby: So now the FDA has said "Okay, for urinary tract infections, chronic bronchitis, sinus infections, just stop. Don't think about fluoroquinolones. Use something else." But nobody knows this as far as I'm aware.

Tiffany: Yeah, people don't get that information. They missed the memo on that.

Erica: It's interesting you mentioned the FDA because there's actually - The Food and Death Administration - there's a lawsuit filed just this year in June I believe, there was a lawsuit filed against the Commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg and it highlights industry influence at the highest government levels. So this woman, Ms. Hamburg and her husband Peter Brown and Johnson & Johnson are being charged with conspiracy, racketeering and colluding to conceal the dangers of the antibiotic Levaquin.

They talk about how this suit was filed and the parties are claiming that the drug's dangers were suppressed for financial gain. Not a big surprise there. But they talk about Peter Brown, the FDA commissioner's husband. He's an executive in a hedge fund called Renaissance Technologies which held hundreds of millions of dollars in Johnson & Johnson's stock. So while the defendant Hamburg, her husband and Brown's annual income was over $10 million in 2008, it rose to $125 million in 2011 and an estimated $90 million in 2012.

So the defendants' racketeering conspiracy to withhold information about this devastating, life-threatening and deadly effects of Levaquin basically show you once again, as we've talked about numerous times on this show, that the FDA is doing absolutely nothing.

Tiffany: And they're the watchdogs. They also approve the drugs but at the same time they're taxed with taking drugs off the market. That doesn't make any sense. There should be a separate regulatory agency for that. But I think the people at the top know. Then you have all the foot soldiers down at the bottom, like the doctors that take care of patients every day who are not in the know and they rely too much on the FDA. At the same time they rely but they don't really go and read the labels and the warnings and all that, very thoroughly. And I'm sure some doctors are clued in but I would guess that the vast majority of doctors working day-to-day in their offices don't really delve much into the literature. At the most they might read an abstract here and there.

Doug: The insert is 43 pages.

Erica: Yeah. It was only after Hamburg left the FDA that they put clearer warnings about Levaquin as a complaint.

Gaby: The 43 pages, they don't insert that on the package. It doesn't fit. The insert in the package only has one page and it reminds me of a pharmacologist - and I think I've said this in a previous show - that he studied pharmacology for all of his life. He was 70 years old. He said that he knew four drugs well. And he's studied his whole life! Are we expected to know how many fluoroquinolones there are? Like 30? I don't know. It's crazy. Yeah, we don't know what we're doing.

On the plus side, I have a couple of testimonials of people with fluoroquinolone toxicity who had really bad joint pain. And they have success he said, this guy, 1/4 of a teaspoon of borax in one litre of distilled water with apple cider vinegar. He said it relieved most of his pain in another testimonial commentary to that, with borax and apple cider vinegar.

Doug: There have been a couple. There's a lot of community websites and message boards where people who are suffering from getting fluoxed will communicate with each other and talk about different things that have worked for them and apparently one of the big things for them now is to do ozone therapy or hydrogen peroxide therapy. Apparently quite a few people are finding relief from that.

Tiffany: Hydrogen peroxide therapy has to be done IV. I think the problem with that is finding a doctor who'd be willing to go along with that.

Gaby: There are doctors who do ozone therapy. You just have to find them. I think if I suffered from fluoroquinolone toxicity I would try ozone therapy and then other mitochondrial dysfunction articles and then consider iodine therapy because even though iodine therapy is tricky to do, there has been a few positive testimonials to remove fluoride from your body with iodine.

Jonathan: I would think too, since we're talking about mitochondrial damage, that cold therapy would be good for this right?

Doug: Maybe.

Jonathan: But not just the occasional cold bath, but dedicated cold therapy.

Tiffany: Or even fasting can boost your mitochondria.

Jonathan: Sure.

Tiffany: One of the treatments I was looking into was magnesium, allegedly, not that there's been any research on this. The magnesium binds to the drug and it helps prevent some of the collagen damage. It can boost the proteins in the extracellular matrix and give more strength to the collagen. A lot of these drugs actually deplete you of magnesium so one of the sources I was looking at had one recommendation to just bathe yourself in magnesium as much as you can, like Epsom salt baths, foot soaks, magnesium oil spray, magnesium tablets internally. Just get as much magnesium into you as you can.

But there was also a mention on one of these support groups about something called homeoCipro which is a homeopathic remedy. But one of the problems was that over time the homeoCipro was not effective and you need to go to a special compounding homeopathic pharmacy to get increased potencies. But that might be one source that somebody who's been fluoxed can look into.

Elliot: I'd probably mega-dose glycine as well or drink a load of bone broth, lots of gelatine, lots of collagen powder if you can get the grass fed one because despite what some people say, collagen can be replaced. I think everything in the body, to some extent, can be regenerated and so if you've got loads of messed up collagen, then I would imagine that supplying the body with the nutrients that it needed for the collagen formation, like glycine, proline, glutamine as well, should help. I can imagine that might help. For the mitochondria another good thing might be to bathe in red light. That helps a lot of people with mitochondrial dysfunction.

Usually if the mitochondria aren't working properly then you have an increase of nitric oxide. What happens is the nitric oxide binds to a part of the mitochondria called cytochrome c oxidase and this stops it from working so the red light is really effective in actually dissociating the nitric oxide from the mitochondria and allowing it to start functioning properly again. So that might be an idea. I know a lot of people have seen benefits from that.

Gaby: And remember to buy organic meat because they are using fluoroquinolones in US farms.

Tiffany: Allegedly though in 2005, I think it was the FDA that said that they are no longer allowing in row fluoxacin to be used in water given to chickens. But independent researchers have looked at meat residues - not just chicken, but beef and pork too - and they found fluoroquinolone residues in 2014, 2013 and 2012.

Erica: Ms. Hamburg was involved in that too when she was at the FDA.

Tiffany: Yeah, this makes me think of bird flu.

Erica: She rolled out a pathetic voluntary measure to control the use of antibiotics on farms.

Jonathan: That's another aspect of the diet control thing that we talk about. The quality of your meat is really important. I'm guilty from time to time of going to the store and being like "Ah, I'll just get a roast. It looks okay, I'll get that." But it really is important to be much more discerning about meat, at least organic if you can't find grass fed.

Gaby: And also remember to heal your microbiome if you took one of these antibiotics. The spike of clostridium difficile infections has gone up after the use of fluoroquinolones. It is the only indication for fecal transplants nowadays. Persistent clostridium difficile is a gut infection that is really hard to treat. They were speculating as well that a damaged microbiome was behind tooth loss associated with fluoroquinolone. It's probably also that the antibiotic destroys collagen, but probably it's also because it destroys the microbiome.

Tiffany: And also because it depletes the magnesium. You need magnesium for strong bones and teeth too.

Doug: Basically it's a pretty nasty antibiotic.

Tiffany: Yeah, it's one of the nastiest drugs, besides vaccines, one of the nastiest things I've ever looked into. The side effects are just horrific.

Doug: Yeah, I would say so too. This is worse than statins.

Gaby: Well!

Tiffany: Statins are pretty bad.

Doug: Maybe. Maybe it's not worse than statins but really what I mean is it seems worse to me because it is prescribed for such innocuous things. You could argue that having high cholesterol is a relatively innocuous thing as well but just the fact that people come in with a sinus infection or a urinary tract infection and they get prescribed this nuclear option that has such lasting damage. The number of reports you read about people taking one pill, two pills, taking it for a week and their life is ruined, to me that is just over the top. At least with a statin, once you go off it, provided you haven't been on it for too long, you can recover some. But these ones are just so devastating!

Elliot: Yeah, I agree because at least if you're taking statins you can take CoQ10 with that to try and mitigate some of the effects. But it seems like with these pills I can't even see what you could take to mitigate it. You could try some things, but there are so many things that this antibiotic really attacks in the system that I don't think that you could mitigate it effectively by doing a couple of protocols or something. It seems like such a devastating thing and the fact that, as you said Doug, it's so widespread, it's really, really tragic.

Gaby: The thing is once you have a severe adverse reaction like retinal detachment or aortic aneurism.

Tiffany: This brings me back to food and eating a proper diet so you don't end up with these infections in the first place. I know when I went gluten and dairy-free I stopped getting sinus infections. I've never had a UTI but I used to get yeast infections and things like that. But to boost your immune system, keep your detox pathways working properly, there are lots of things you can do for that. So this doesn't even have to become an issue, these random infections that people go to their doctors for and they get prescribed these horrible drugs.

Gaby: Take good care.

Jonathan: Well do you guys think it's a good time to go to the pet health segment for today? Zoya's going to talk to us about factory farms and antibiotic-resistant drugs and superbugs in pets.

Zoya: Hello and welcome to the pet health segment of the Health and Wellness Show. Today I would like to share with you an excellent Ted Talk: How antibiotics are being used to compensate for the overcrowded, stressful conditions on industrial farms and how that's creating superbugs that threaten public health. The talk is by Lance Price who is a public health researcher who works at the interface between science and policy to address the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance. The talk is both fascinating and very concerning. Here it is.

Lance Price: I think you'll see from my talk that Andrew Gunther and I share a mutual respect and perhaps love and maybe some similar slides.
So I was born in Arizona but I spent most of my summers in central Texas on our family's ranch. We were lucky. We weren't dependent on the ranch for our primary income so we got the experience of raising animals without the stress of trying to make a living from it, which can be very stressful. This is a fuzzy picture of me with my father and our feed master bull named Tiger. I loved this bull.

So as I grew up I decided that I wouldn't go into the cattle business because I didn't want to go broke and I decided that anything would be easier than that so I studied microbiology, genomics and public health. Exactly. Exactly. Anything is easier. So today I think I have one of the greatest jobs ever. I track superbugs. So I use DNA to understand where these things are coming from and on one hand my job is super exciting and fun because I get to see how these amazing little microbes exchange genes, pick up mutations and become resistant to antibiotics and then take off around the world. They're amazing.

But on the other hand my job is pretty depressing for some of the same reasons but also because I see the victims of these superbugs. I've met the victims who've barely survived with their lives. And sadly I've met parents who've lost their children to these superbugs. This is just a cute name we use for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, so these are bacteria that are resistant to our best antibiotics.

And it turns out that the CDC is saying that those parents that are losing children are not so rare. Twenty-three thousand Americans die - this is a conservative estimate - 23,000 Americans die of superbug infections each year. And so understanding their origins is really essential. And on some levels it's really simple. It's just a matter of evolution.

So let's pretend for a minute this is a very small group of bacteria. Bacteria usually travel in packs of billions. Every now and then when you have a group of bacteria, one of them is going to pick up a mutation or a gene from another bacterium that makes them resistant to antibiotics. If that's happening in an environment where you have a lot of antibiotics, then the susceptible bacteria, that is the non-resistant ones are going to die off and the resistant ones are going to go on to multiply.

And the thing about bacteria is they multiply very quickly. E-coli for instance, can double every 30 minutes and you can go from a single cell, a single drug-resistant e-coli to more than a billion in 24 hours. So this is simple Darwinian evolution, but Darwinian evolution in real time.

So if you're like me and you're interested in knowing where these superbugs are coming from, then you have to go to the places where we're using a lot of antibiotics and the first thing that probably comes to mind are hospitals, right? And it's true. In the United States we're using 7.7 million pounds of antibiotics in human medicine each year. This is way too much. We're overdosed and we're trying to bring that down.

But we're using 30 million pounds of antibiotics in food animal production each year. Thirty million pounds! And the best estimates suggest that only 20% of those antibiotics are being used to treat sick animals. Eighty percent are being used as production tools. They're being used to make animals grow faster. They're being used to prevent diseases or treat diseases that are occurring just because of the way we're raising animals. The industry calls these production diseases. But rather than change production we're just using antibiotics.

And when it comes to antibiotic use, context is critical. So you have to look at how we're producing these animals. And if you're like me, this was your first image of a farm, right? And I think many of us carry this around. This is still propagated; the red barn, the silo, the happy little animals, pigs that look like dogs. They're odd, aren't they? But I love these toys. And this is clear this has had a huge influence on my life, Fisher Price.

This is not the way we raise animals in the United States. We raise animals in concentrated animal feeding operations. So pigs spend their entire lives on concrete slabs surrounded by their own faeces. Cattle will spend part of their lives grazing, like on my family's ranch, but they'll end up on these fecal wastelands that we call feedlots where they're exchanging bacteria and fattening up for slaughter. Chickens spend their lives, beak to feather with 75,000 of their best friends and turkeys spend their lives much the same.

Now people call these things factory farms. That's a term that the industry hates - reason enough to use it every now and then. But when I see these factories, when I see these operations, I don't see factories making meat. I see factories making trillions and trillions and trillions of drug-resistant bacteria. The most diabolical villain could not design a better system for creating superbugs than the modern feedlot.

You have everything you need. You have tens of thousands of animals crammed together in filthy, stressful conditions. You have loads of bacteria living in those animals, spreading between those animals. And then you have the magic ingredient. You have a steady stream of low-dose antibiotics. And we've known for decades that low-dose antibiotics creates drug-resistant bacteria. Alexander Fleming - we heard about this - Alexander Fleming warned us. He said ignorant men would use these drugs at low doses and create superbugs. And the science has proven this over and over again ever since then. He warned us in 1945 and ever since then we've seen the evidence of this.

But some people, some ignorant men still ignore that science and actually promote the use of low-dose antibiotics. The food animal industry itself promotes the use of antibiotics to grow animals faster and to control diseases. They promote antibiotics as if they're a tool, our life-saving drugs as a tool.

But antibiotics are not tools. Antibiotics are amazing drugs and what I would say is if you've designed a system that requires a constant input of antibiotics to keep animals from getting sick, then that system's broken! {applause} Thank you. If you're treating based on a clock or a calendar, there's something wrong and you have to reinvent that system. You have to change that system to raise healthy animals.

Again, antibiotics are not tools. They're not just tools for us to abuse. Antibiotics are what Stuart Levy called societal drugs. Let me use a counter-example to get this point across. If you misuse Tylenol or if you misuse acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, you can destroy your liver and die. You'll die a horrible death. But that doesn't affect anybody else's ability to take Tylenol for a headache. If you misuse antibiotics - I told you it influenced my life, right? - if you misuse antibiotics, you can create drug-resistant bacteria inside you, on you, that can then spread to other people in society and prevent them from being treated with that same antibiotic. That's why we call these societal drugs.

The problem with using them in food animal production is that animals, like people, have trillions of bacteria living in them and when you feed them antibiotics you're going to force some of those bacteria to become resistant to those antibiotics and when you butcher those animals to make meat, some of those bacteria inevitably get onto that meat and then those go on to cause drug-resistant infections in people. That's the problem.
In America you have an industry that's knowingly using sub-therapeutic uses of antibiotics, creating drug-resistant bacteria and then distributing those bacteria to every grocery store in the country. And then what happens, like the recent Foster Farms outbreak with drug-resistant salmonella? Multi-drug resistant salmonella. What happens? They blame us. They say "people need to cook their meat better". Could you imagine - would we allow a company to pump toxic fumes into the air and then tell us to wear gas masks? I don't think we would allow that.

Some people have called me an alarmist. Some people say I use alarmist terminology and I guess rather than deny that I say "Yeah, I'm trying to ring the alarm. I see that our house is on fire and I'm not satisfied with sitting inside the house as it burns to the ground." And it turns out I'm not the only one using strong language to describe these superbugs, to describe this challenge that we face. Other groups are using the words "crisis", "nightmare", "catastrophic threat". But these aren't radicals saying this. This is the World Health Organization. This is the CDC. The UK Health Ministry is saying this.

These groups are not prone to hyperbole. They see what I see. They see that we're barrelling towards a time when our antibiotics no longer work. It's going to change our lives completely. They see that our house is on fire and there's no place else to live.

But despite all this, I actually consider myself an optimist. I see that we can change this. I know. I've seen very clear evidence from Denmark, from other places around the world, that if you remove the antibiotics from animal food production, many of those bacteria will revert to being susceptible to those antibiotics again. You're still going to have bacteria in the meat. You still have to cook it, yes. You still have to handle it correctly, but when people get sick - and people still get sick - you can treat them with antibiotics and make them better again. That's where we should be using the antibiotics, to treat sick people.

How do we put this fire out? First thing, we have to embrace this idea that antibiotics are different, that they're a societal drug and value them for what they are. I'm a scientist. They're just short of a miracle! They're almost a miracle, right? They save people's lives so we should only be using them to treat sick people and sick animals. But we should change our system of raising animals so that they don't get sick, that they're healthy animals. We need to increase hygiene in our hospitals and our homes and in our food production system.

And yes, we need new antibiotics. But this is not the answer. This is not the ultimate answer. We've had so many new antibiotics since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. We've had so many and each time the bacteria became resistant to them. Why? Because we've introduced them to a broken system. We have to change the system. And yeah, we'll get new antibiotics but let's introduce it into a system that doesn't create drug-resistant bacteria.

The good news is the models exist. So there are food animal production systems that are highly efficient, even industrialized systems, that don't need antibiotics. They don't use antibiotics. And then there are the more natural, the open-air, more traditional forms of raising animals that are becoming hopefully more popular.

This is my friend Kye. He's a Danish pig farmer and I went to his farm one day and I was struck when he stood in this pen with these pigs, massive, massive hogs and he walks in and one comes up to him and kind of leans against his leg like a dog. And he reaches down and he rubs its ear and he says "I love this. I'm a farmer again!" And he said "When we used to use the drugs and when we had these animals packed in here too tight, they were stressed out, they were angry, and it was dangerous." He said "Now look at it" and he gives me one of these big smiles.

So my dream is that we stop propping up this broken system with antibiotics, that we let farmers be farmers again, that we have animals live like healthy animals again and that we save antibiotics for future generations. We can do this but we have to act now! Thank you.

Jonathan: Sounds like healthy goats that didn't have too many antibiotics.

Doug: For sure.

Jonathan: Love those goats.

Tiffany: I was scared for a minute that the goats weren't going to play. Like, oh no! I need the goats!

Jonathan: That was a good talk though. Thank you Zoya for sharing that with us. I like what he said about the alarmist thing because that was my first thought when he said "What the hell is wrong with being an alarmist?" Sometimes you have to raise the alarm.

Doug: Somebody's got to sound the alarm.

Jonathan: Yeah. Well we've had a lot to think about today. As with a lot of the topics that we discuss, it's a scary situation. It can be depressing but it's worth looking at, if for nothing else, for you to help yourself be healthier and your kids. So I would take Gaby's advice on this and if it comes up to a point where you need an antibiotic, be open with your doctor and be firm that you don't want fluoroquinolones.

Erica: Just tell the doctor you don't want to get fluoxed, thank you.

Doug: Don't fluox me bro'!

Gaby: Like that. Tell it like that.

Erica: I'm good.

Tiffany: That should have been the title of the show "Don't Fluox me Bro'!"

Jonathan: Don't fluox me bro'. Alright, thank you everybody for tuning in and to our chat participants for participating in the chat today. Be sure to tune in to the SOTT Radio Network podcast on Sunday at noon eastern time. If you're not in the United States just go to radio.sott.net and the air time will be there in your local time zone. So we'll be back next week. Thanks again everybody.

All: Good-byes.