And you thought superbugs were scary when they were just bacteria…
But we’re now finding out that OTHER types of infection-causing germs are evolving, too.
They’re ALSO learning ways to resist every drug we throw at them.
Soon, the drugs won’t work at all…
And we’re long overdue for a Plan B.
One set of researchers is trying to come up with a contingency plan – one that can ERADICATE multiple types of drug-resistant bugs BEFORE they infect you.
They’ve harnessed the power an underappreciated trace element that’s ESSENTIAL in small quantities… but hazardous if you overdo it.
If you get the PERFECT amount of it… and use it in just the right way… you could become IMMUNE to superbugs!
The ‘blue bottle’ antibacterial
According to a 2019 study out of the UK, researchers have developed a brand-new antimicrobial material – a “bioactive” glass laced with cobalt.
It’s a spin on a centuries-old technique for making stained glass… that dates back to the ancient Egyptians.
Of course, the color of cobalt blue is beautiful – which is why it was used to make ceramics during the Tang Dynasty and highly collectible Depression glass.
Some folks still go crazy collecting the cobalt blue glass bottles that once contained Bromo-Seltzer, manufactured right here in Maryland!
But it turns out that blue glass isn’t just easy on the eyes…
Because glass that’s been “stained” with cobalt oxide releases metal ions that can kill both bacteria and fungi on contact.
And in this latest study, the more cobalt they included in the glass… the more bacteria it killed.
The result? An unmitigated MASSACRE, as high quantities of cobalt wiped out:
- 100% of E. coliwithin six hours
- 100% of Candida albicansin 24 hours, and
- 99% of Staphylococcus aureus (which can develop into MRSA) within 24 hours.
That means that this new material could be used directly at a surgical site to stave off infection… or built into catheters to quash the E. coli germs that so frequently cause UTIs.
Now, device manufacturers and healthcare providers MUST proceed carefully here…
Because even though this bioglass can release those ions at a steady and controlled rate… and cobalt is an essential element, required for our good health… we only need very TINY amounts of it.
Just a LITTLE BIT can help form red blood cells and beat back anemia…
But too much dietary cobalt – as found in fish, nuts, leafy green veggies – has been linked to goiter and can reduce thyroid activity.
And being exposed to environmental sources of cobalt… as industrial workers and miners are… raises the risk of poisoning from cobalt metal dust or powder.
That’s exactly the format that this bioglass comes in…
After it’s fired in a furnace to over 1,800° F, it’s cooled quickly and ground up into a fine powder.
Fortunately, this won’t be the first time that cobalt is used in a medical setting.
Its radioactive version is already used as a source of gamma rays for sterilizing medical equipment.
It’s too soon to tell whether this new cobalt-infused bioglass is the “superbug killer” we’ve all been praying for.
But anything that reduces our reliance on antibiotic and antifungal drugs is a good thing.
And it’s a proactive measure we can take to make sure those bugs don’t set up shop in the first place…
Because once they do, they’ll fight tooth and nail to stay right where they are.