See a Problem?
Preview — Missing Microbes by Martin J. Blaser
Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues
A critically important and startling look at the harmful effects of overusing antibiotics, from the field's leading expert
Tracing one scientist’s journey toward understanding the crucial importance of the microbiome, this revolutionary book will take readers to the forefront of trail-blazing research while revealing the damage that overuse of antibiotics is doing to our h...more
We have more bacterial cells in and on us than we have body cells. They help us with digestion, hormonal regulation, and immune responses. Without them, we would be hooped. Evidence is accumulating that the use of antibiotics has drastically cha ...more
In a clear and non-technical way, Blaser--an MD and former head of the Infectious Diseases Society of America--lays out the chilling story of how the unintended consequences of antibiotic use and overuse may be in danger of destroying civilization. That might sound ridiculously overblown, but his case rests on sound science. He likens the changes ...more
So I'm by no means an expert on any microbes and microbiomes, but by no ...more
"Within the past few decades, amid all of [our] medical advances, something has gone terr ...more
"So on the farm, in our mouse experiments, and in an epidemiological study of human children, there was consistent evidence that early-life exposure to antibiotics could change development leading to larger size and more fat."
If you don't want to read the book, read Jane Brody' ...more
This book was reviewed as part of Amazon's Vine program which included a free advance copy of the book.
The over-prescription of drugs isn’t exactly newsworthy … in fact, I’ll bet you can’t even watch a half-hour show on network television without at least one commercial dedicated to a drug that allows the suffering masses to better endure some miserable malady. Living in a world that promises a solution for every problem seems to have led to the “I-Med” path wer ...more
I really enjoyed reading this. Some non-fiction and science books can be very dry, technical and boring but this was not one of those. It was very well-written and readable with some personal stories thrown in to illustrate certain points and the science was explained very well without going into unnecessary detail. I found the ideas and theories presented ...more
Antibiotics were once considered wonder drugs but now have become commonplace. Their overuse has led to concerns about the spread of "superbugs" (MRSA) that antibiotics will not be able to stop.
This author presents his research, albeit primarily on mice, that our overuse of antibiotics as well as C-section births and antiseptics has disrupted our microbiome - the relationship we have with bacteria. Not all bacteria is b ...more
The book was worthwhile but I wish Blaser had put more effort into explaining the science at a deeper level. While he avoids the faux-peppy style I've co ...more
He isn't necessarily against the use of antibiotics, but would rather that doctors saved the use for more emergency cases. Very similar idea by Nassim Taleb, who says that he only visits the doctors if it's an emergency, otherwise you will get more harm.
Blaser talks about how we evolved with our microbiome and how it not only protects us, but helps us live a healthy life.
He argues that food allergies, diabetes a ...more
Most know about the use of antibiotics in factory farmed meat and poultry operations, but... Do you realize that "farmed commercial fish, such as salmon, tilapia, and catfish as well as shellfish like shrimp and lobster are given relatively high doses of antibiotics"? ...more
The first few chapters provide a background, which covered information that I was familiar with. Namely, that our bodies contain more microbial cells than human cells and these organisms have co-evolved with humans. The vast majority of them do not cause us any harm, and many provide advantages, such as production of vitamin ...more
First of all, if a person is suffering from some major ailment, and antibiotics have been shown to work in the past, then don't hesitate to take them. But, taking antibiotics for every sniffle and sore throat is a terrible idea. Penicillin, for instance, is a broad-spectrum antibiotic. That means that it does not ...more
But also read this by Jonathan Eisen:
"Extinguishing our microbiome? Really? The evidence simply does not support such a claim. I personally think antibiotics may be contributing to messing up the microbiome in many people and that this in turn might be contributing to the increase in a variety of human ailments (e.g., I ...more
2. Our Microbial Planet
- description of microbes, mostly bacteria, fungi, and viruses
- one way, or commensal, relationships between bacteria - also, symbiotic relationships were both species benefit
3. The Humane Microbome
- each animal carries a collection of many species of microbes that has evolved with it
- many of these microbes are symbionts, providing the host with advantages in metabolism, protection, etc.
- human body has some 30 trillion cells, but hosts some 100 trillion bacterial and fun ...more
One thing that strikes me is how we often take the easy path in the present without understanding or acknowledging the future consequences. Like the author, I do think t ...more
Facts I enjoyed:
* Antib ...more
I think many people take away from this book that antibiotics are bad. The author spends a lot of time talking about antibiotics, but the point is less that antibiotics are bad but that rather bacteria can be good for us. Not having a vibrant mix of bacteria living in us is a compelling theory to explain the rise of obesity, asthma, diabetes, and a host of other ...more
** USDA organic apples and pears (at least at the time this book was published; I will need to dig around to see if it is still the case) can be treated by st ...more
Blaser presents a lot of interesting ideas and new research about the microbiome. His basic theory is that the overuse of antibiotics is radically changing the microbiome and is leading to an increase in the number of diseases like asthma, obesity, and diabetes. It's interesting research, and will be fascinating to watch unfold over the coming years.
However, Blaser made a lot of inflammatory claims and suggestions. In particular, he attacks C-sections and suggests that waivers should in ...more