Living the life bacterial

Posted May 03, 2012, at 1:17 p.m.

We lead superclean lives in which hand sanitizers and antibiotics are the answers to everything. But what if our war on germs is backfiring — and making us not only sicker but fatter? Follow these tips to stay on good terms with your germs.

Skip antibacterial soaps

The active ingredient, triclosan, has been linked to hormone disruption in animals and bacterial resistance to antibiotics. A University of Michigan study found that using plain soap prevented infectious illness just as effectively as using triclosan products did.

Nix antibiotic ointment for nicks

Overuse of creams containing neomycin, a common antibiotic, may be leading to resistant strains of MRSA, say researchers in Japan. Clean small wounds with soap and water, and use a bandage to prevent contamination by potential pathogens.

Go with yogurt

Yogurt with live Bifidobacterium promotes regularity and eases irritable bowel syndrome, studies suggest; other possible benefits are not proven. If yogurt makes you yak, pop a probiotic supplement: Align has the most effective strain, says a Northwestern University review.

For more workout tips and information, check out MensHealthMag.com or pick up a copy of Men’s Health magazine, on newsstands now.

@2012, Men’s Health magazine

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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