Discussing Fast Food Contaminants with Patients
Recent findings have revealed the presence of animal antibiotics and contraceptives in popular fast-food chains. This information is crucial for patients who frequently consume fast food, as it could have potential health implications.
HCN Healer Handbook
“Recent findings have shown that some fast-food items contain traces of animal antibiotics and contraceptives. These substances are used in veterinary medicine and their impact on human health is not fully understood yet. It’s important to be aware of what we’re consuming, as it can affect our health in ways we might not realize.”
- Monensin: This commonly used veterinary antibiotic was detected in Taco Bell, Dunkin’, Wendy’s, Domino’s, Burger King, and McDonald’s. Monensin has a slim margin of safety and its side effects in animals include anorexia, diarrhea, weakness, and motor problems. Overdose can cause an animal’s poisoning or even death. Monensin poisoning is rare in humans, and there is no effective treatment used in clinical practice. One case occurred in a man who ingested 300 milligrams of monensin, leading to severe rhabdomyolysis, or a breakdown of muscle tissue. This medical condition is quite severe and can lead to damaged heart and kidneys. The dose that man ingested, however, is a million times higher than the microgram doses detected in the food samples.
- Narasin: This antibiotic and antiparasitic feed additive was detected in a Wendy’s cheeseburger and found in trace amounts in a meal from Dunkin’ Donuts, Domino’s, and a Starbucks sandwich. Narasin helps control parasitic infections in fattened chicken. It is also often added to cattle feed, as it increases dry matter intake. Both narasin and monensin are ionophores, meaning they can disturb the balance of ions in cells and are often used in animals to control bacterial and parasitic infections. Side effects of narasin in animals include anorexia, diarrhea, and degeneration of heart and skeletal muscles.
- Veterinary Drugs: With the exception of Chipotle and Subway, all the food samples tested positive for veterinary drugs.
According to the CDC, more than a third of Americans consume fast food on any given day.
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