Health & Medicine

Advice from the docs: Resistance is more than futile

When the Borg set its sights on a species for assimilation, they were warned, “Resistance is futile.” However in today’s world, bacteria’s resistance to life-saving antibiotics is anything but futile. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared that antibiotic resistance is one of North America’s top five health threats, sickening over 2 million and killing around 23,000 people every year.

Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria become used to seeing antibiotics and develop ways to protect themselves from those and related ones. The bacteria also spread the word to other bacteria, some of which cause serious infections. Then when you need an antibiotic to KO such an infection, the antibiotic can no longer do its job.

A major cause of this is the abundance of antibiotics in our food supply. According to a new report, Chain Reaction, put together by Consumers Union, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Food Safety and others, some chain restaurants are getting that message, and some aren’t.

They surveyed 25 chains, and only Panera and Chipotle earned an A, because they offered a variety of antibiotic-free meats. Chick-fil-A got a B (they’re pledging 100 percent antibiotic-free by 2019); Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s got Cs. Applebee’s, Arby’s, Burger King, Chili’s, Dairy Queen, Denny’s, Domino’s, IHOP, Jack in the Box, KFC, Little Caesars, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Papa John’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy’s all took home Fs.

Now, we aren’t saying that a passing grade means the food is generally healthy (way too often, your order is NOT), but it’s something important to consider.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit