What To Bring to Grandma in the Nursing Home

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What To Bring Grandma in the Nursing Home This Christmas

by Bill Sardi by Bill Sardi

A bottle of Baker’s yeast — stat! That’s what grandma needs in the nursing home this Christmas, before doctors prescribe deadly antibiotic drugs that are needlessly killing a frightening number of oldsters.

The microbiologists are blaming the deaths on a mutant strain of a bacterium known as Clostridium difficile, which caused the New England Journal of Medicine to issue an advance bulletin. But good old Clostridium difficile has been around for decades. Clostridium difficile is present in 2-3% of healthy adults and in as many as 70% of healthy infants. It’s the antibiotic drugs that are killing these often bedridden patients.

The patients develop an infection, are administered antibiotics, and even weeks after antibiotic therapy this eroding form of colitis can begin. It killed at least 2000 nursing home residents in Quebec City, Canada, in one year.

The doctors are blaming the growing number of deaths on everything from shared rather than private toilets in hospital rooms, forgetful use of bleach that kills spores in place of other antiseptics, and a mutant strain of Clostridium difficile that emits more toxins than common strains.

But the chief offenders are the antibiotics themselves. [Clinical Infectious Diseases 41:1254-60, 2005] In this case, stronger antibiotics eradicate the good bacteria, which opposes germs like Clostridium difficile, keeping it at bay. But when the antibiotics destroy colonies of good bacteria, Clostridium difficile mutates, overgrows and emits toxins as it turns into a nasty killer.

Modern medicine’s overuse of man-made antibiotics that induce both germ resistance and toxic germ strains, and reluctance to use what are called probiotics, like acidophilus and bifidus, or in this case, just good old Baker’s yeast, called Saccaromyces boulardii, has caused these avoidable deaths. [Best Practice Research Clinical Gastroenterology 17:775-83, 2003]

Don’t wait for grandma to come down with diarrhea, it will likely be too late. Go down to the nursing home and place some Saccaromyces boulardii Baker’s yeast, obtained at most health food stores, in her foods or drinks. Mount a defense before the onset of intestinal cramping and diarrhea begin. Probiotics are acid-forming organisms which, when ingested, have a beneficial therapeutic effect.


  • Schellenberg D, Bonington A, Champion CM, et al. Treatment of Clostridium difficile diarrhoea with brewer’s yeast. Lancet 1994;343:171-2.
  • Surawicz CM, Elmer GW, Speelman P, et al. Prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by Saccharomyces boulardii: A prospective study. Gastroenterology 1989;96:981-8.
  • Bartlett, JG, Perl TM, The New Clostridium difficile — What does it mean? New England Journal Medicine 353: 23: 2503.
  • Loo, VG, et al, A predominantly clonal multi-institutional outbreak of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea with high morbidity and mortality. New England Journal Medicine 353: 23: December 1, 2005.

Bill Sardi [send him mail] is a consumer advocate and health journalist, writing from San Dimas, California. He offers a free downloadable book, The Collapse of Conventional Medicine, at his website.

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