We pay billions to overproduce it, and it’s killing us by the millions
The Telegraph (UK) – The sugar-rich Western diet is fueling a superbug which has evolved to thrive in hospitals, scientists have warned.
The gut-infecting bacterium Clostridium difficile (C.diff) is evolving into two separate species, with one group increasingly adapting to live in the guts of people with poor diets, while growing ever better at avoiding the harsh disinfectants used to clean wards.
More than 13,000 NHS [National Health Service] patients each year are infected with C.diff, which can cause debilitating diarrhea and leave sick people dangerously dehydrated.
Bacteria are also becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, and if not treated quickly enough an infection can be fatal. Nearly 2,000 people die from the bacterium each year in Britain.
[A 2015 CDC study found that it caused almost half a million infections among patients in the United States in a single year. An estimated 15,000 deaths are directly attributable to C. difficile infections, making it a substantial cause of infectious disease death in the United States. – CDC]
British researchers looked at the genetic differences of 906 strains of C-diff taken from across 33 countries.
They found that a dangerous new species is rapidly emerging which can evade common hospital disinfectants and spread easily. And poor diets are making the problem worse.
Dr. Trevor Lawley, the senior author from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said:
“Our study provides genome and laboratory-based evidence that human lifestyles can drive bacteria to form new species so they can spread more effectively.
“We show that strains of C. diff bacteria have continued to evolve in response to modern diets and healthcare systems and reveal that focusing on diet and looking for new disinfectants could help in the fight against this bacteria.”
Researchers found that the new emerging species, named C. difficile clade A, made up approximately 70 percent of the samples from hospital patients.
It had changes in genes that allow it to feed on simple sugars, and when tested in animals, it was able to colonize mice guts more thoroughly when their diet was high in sugar … Read more.
U.S. taxpayers pay farmers and processors billions of dollars per year to produce excess sugar
- “In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose in 2012. Almost half of all deaths attributable to high blood glucose occur before the age of 70 years.” World Health Organization, Oct 30, 2018
- “In the United States, fewer than 4,500 farm businesses produce sugar. Yet they cost taxpayers up to $4 billion a year in subsidies.” Marketwatch, June 26, 2018
- “The cost of care for people with diabetes now accounts for ∼1 in 4 health care dollars spent in the U.S.” American Diabetes Association, May 2018
- “America’s biggest welfare recipients are often politically connected corporations — like America’s sugar producers. The industry gets billions of dollars in special deals … “ Reason, Feb 27, 2019
- “The U.S. Sugar program is the federal commodity support program that maintains a minimum price for sugar, authorized by the 2002 farm bill to cover the 2002-2007 crops of sugar beets and sugarcane. Designed to protect the incomes of the sugar industry-growers of sugarcane and sugar beets, and firms that process each crop into sugar – the program supports domestic sugar … “ Wikipedia, Sep 29, 2018
- “No farm group spends more on lobbying to keep its sweet tooth satisfied than the sugar lobby. A relatively small group of sugar cane and sugar beet farmers and processors haul in an inordinate amount of support in nearly every farm bill, which guarantees them a price floor for their product, cheap loans, and tariffs that help keep competitors out of their market.” The Heartland Institute. May 17, 2018