Is Our Meat Floxed?

My favorite theory about the pathology/cause of floxing (of course, fluoroquinolone use is the CAUSE of floxing, but not all people who use fluoroquinolones get floxed – something goes horribly wrong in the bodies of the people who do), is that a neurotoxin is produced by the damaged bacteria within the body and that neurotoxin is the actual cause of the health problems that Floxies experience. More information on this theory can be found on and at the bottom of this page.

This theory, that neurotoxins are produced when fluoroquinolones mess up the bacteria, makes me think about a lot of things. One of these things is our meat.

Fluoroquinolones are used rampantly in agriculture, even though there has been some regulation limiting their use. If fluoroquinolones cause the production of neurotoxins, could it be possible that these neurotoxins are in the flesh of the animals that are exposed to fluoroquinolones – the meat that we eat? If so, what are the health consequences of this to the humans who eat that meat?

I believe that meat is tested for antibiotics and other agriculturally utilized pharmaceuticals before it goes to market, but if the meat is actually contaminated with a neurotoxic byproduct of the pharmaceutical, as opposed to the pharmaceutical itself, then maybe the wrong thing is being tested for. Is our meat contaminated with neurotoxic byproducts of fluorquinolone antibiotics? I don’t know, but it’s something that is definitely worth looking into.

Admittedly, this line of thinking involves a lot of unproven jumps and assumptions, but I don’t think that I’m being completely unreasonable. The theories described below seem more than reasonable, they seem right, and I think that looking into the health consequences of eating meat that is from animals that have been floxed is something that we should do. Question everything. It’ll keep you safer and make you smarter.

There are many good reasons not to use fluoroquinolone antibiotics on livestock animals. Antibiotic resistance is becoming a bigger and bigger problem and the thought that we may be breeding antibiotic resistant bacteria in our feedlots is appalling. This problem, though not without controversy, is generally acknowledged and some regulation is being put into place to try to prevent an atrocity from happening. However, humans are slow to change the status quo unless there is an emergency and I doubt that real, meaningful regulation will come about until an antibiotic resistant bacteria is bred in feedlots and that bacteria infects people. Antibiotic use in livestock also enables ranchers to keep their animals in dirty, unsanitary, inhumane conditions – something that is also appalling. Even though I haven’t done a whole lot of research into the topic, I think that with the research that has been done, we can add potential contamination with neurotoxic byproducts to the list of reasons that antibiotics generally, and fluoroquinolones specifically, should not be used in livestock.

I like meat and I eat it, but I’ve tried to exclusively consume organic meat since I got floxed. I’m going to try harder now. I suggest that you do the same.


Is a neurotoxin produced by the damaged/bad bacteria after exposure to fluoroquinolones (or the die-off of the “good” bacteria that keep the bad ones in check)?  There are several interesting things noted in Beyond Antibiotics by Michael Schmidt.  Dr. Schmidt points out that both tartaric acid and tricarbalyte are noxious compounds produced by bad gut bacteria when good gut bacteria in the gut are not available to keep them in check.  Tartaric acid “is a known poison of the energy system of mitochondria,” and tricarbalyte “binds to magnesium and may reduce the availability of dietary magnesium.”  (pages 28-29) Dr. Schmidt also says that antibiotics cause the production of clostridiam which is a known neurotoxin producing organism (p. 44). And, on page 47 he says, “Whever a CPY enzyme is blocked or slowed, its ability to detoxify other drugs can be impaired.”  My thought on this is that the fluoroquinolones slowed our CPY enzymes then the NSAIDs, steroids, other toxins in our system, did other damage – and maybe that’s why each of us have so many different symptoms.

Also, John Travis reported in Science News (July 2003;164) that research performed by John F. Prescott found that certain antibiotics, such as the fluoroquinolones, the class of antibiotics that includes the name-brands and generic brands of Levaquin[R], Cipro[R], Tequin[R], and Avelox[R], actually are known to trigger a type of virus called bacteriophages (viruses that can infect bacteria) to change the genetic sequencing of the bacteria, causing the bacterium they have infected to start producing toxins. These viruses can act as genetic delivery vans, invading bacteria, such as spirochetes, often lying dormant, until activated by a change in the host (your body’s) environment. Once activated, these viruses insert their toxin-generating genes into the bacterial chromosomes. These viruses can turn basically harmless bacterium into killers through this genetic sequencing of toxins (Travis 2003).  Not only are these toxins released through bacteria die-off and not only can antibiotics actually increase the production of the toxins, but these viruses can cause the bacteria to rupture, spilling their toxins into the body (Waldor 2004).

* I haven’t had the time to do a whole lot of research into this theory, so if anyone has any articles about it, please forward them on to me.

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6 thoughts on “Is Our Meat Floxed?

  1. Lynda Smith May 1, 2015 at 12:24 am Reply

    Your article, ‘Is our meat floxed?’ caught my attention. I might be an interesting study case as I have been a vegan since 1986. This is what happened: On Friday, March 13, 2015, I went to a walk-in clinic as I was experiencing muscular soreness in my lower back, buttocks, and thighs. I was accustomed to dancing at an advanced level in Zumba classes as well as in other dance classes for about 25 years (two hours per day). The physician assistant had me take a urine test; he then came racing in the room saying more than once, “This is the worst infection I have ever seen!” He gave me a prescription for ciprofloxacin, 500mg x twice daily for five days. Understand, I didn’t present with a single symptom of a bladder infection, I wasn’t ill, I am 72 and weigh 100 pounds. Furthermore, he called me Monday to tell me that the culture had come back negative and that I never had an infection in the first place. I foolishly didn’t read about the drug before taking it and begin to experience symptoms almost immediately – so much so that I stopped the cipro after taking 5 of the 10 pills. The only other antibiotic I ever had a reaction to was clindamycin taken 22 years earlier; it took 5 months to get rid of clostridia difficil – vancomycin and cholestyramine were repeatedly administered. These are my symptoms from the cipro: ear ringing, eyes burning, muscle pain and weakness, muscle twitches, burning calf muscles, forearm pain, upper back pain, thumb, wrist, ankle and Achilles tendonitis, popping and cracking joints, widespread body pain, anxiety attacks, insomnia and extreme fatigue. I haven’t exercised at all since taking the cipro for fear of rupturing a tendon. I have seen many specialists, but to no avail. Needless to say, this is the worst experience of my life; I am terrified of what is to come. Each day, I truly feel like I have been poisoned – because in actuality, I have. There have been just a few better days during the past six and a half weeks that I have been suffering. As horrific as this has been (I have even had to pay drivers to take me to my medical appointments), I sense that my body is desperately trying to overcome these adverse events. If it turns out that I make a slow but steady recovery without any significant relapses, it may be that it was not ingesting fluoroquinolones in the meat supply for 29 years that was the main factor in my recovery. On the other hand, if the converse is true, it would mean that not being exposed to fluoroquinolones in meat, made no difference at all in my recovery. At the time of being prescribed cipro, I was 100% healthy and feeling wonderful; I can barely get through the day now and unlike my former self, am completely inactive, virtually housebound. Nonetheless, I remain hopeful and have been very kind, understanding, and forgiving of the physician assistant who prescribed cipro to me. Having read a lot about this since it happened to me, I saw several posts about how when the floxed person ate meat, the symptoms came roaring back with a vengeance. We will never know the extent of the use of fluoroquinolones in our meat supply, but we can choose to avoid eating meat altogether. I would like to hear from you and what your thoughts are about this.

    • Lisa Bloomquist May 1, 2015 at 6:55 am Reply

      Hi Lynda,

      I just received a story from a person whose symptoms came roaring back when he ate meat while traveling in South America. Unfortunately for meat-eaters, I think that there are quinolone residues in our meat. Your post, along with the story that I recently heard, make me realize the importance of only eating organic meat after getting floxed. I’m sure that avoiding meat all-together is even safer, but many are unwilling or unable to do that.

      I hope that you recover quickly and thoroughly! FQ toxicity is truly horrible and I’m so sorry that you’re going through it!

      One thing that helped me through FQ toxicity was nutritional yeast. It is a staple among vegans. Do you supplement with nutritional yeast? If not, I suggest looking into it. If you already supplement nutritional yeast, I was wondering, did it make your urine bright yellow and is that why the PA thought you had a horrible UTI?

      Different people are helped by different diets. Some swear by diets that are high in animal products, and some swear by diets that are low in animal products. I honestly don’t know what the “right” diet for floxies is. Avoiding “junk” and food that is contaminated with quinolones is a given, but other than that, there are more questions than answers. I think that eating a diet that makes you, personally, feel better, is the way to go.

      Both nutritional yeast and an iron supplement made me feel a lot better. The B vitamins in nutritional yeast and the iron are things that are naturally found in animal products, but the supplementation of them has been vegan-friendly.

      Are you interested in sharing your story on If so, please let me know. I manage it as well as this site.

      I wish you a speedy and thorough recovery!


  2. Lynda Smith May 1, 2015 at 7:52 pm Reply

    Hi Lisa:

    Thank you so very much for responding to my email; I highly value your expertise and experience in matters pertaining to fluoroquinolone toxicity and recovery. There was no rhyme or reason as to why the PA thought I had an infection; he cannot say – it was simply an ‘off’ day. Thank you for mentioning iron and nutritional yeast; I don’t even know what it is nor would it have occurred to me to supplement with it. It is truly an honor to be able to communicate with you on this very important issue, Lisa; my husband died on our 47th anniversary and I have no family at all; I am so grateful to FloxieHope. Here are some important questions that I hope you will be able to help me out with:

    What should be my approach to exercise; should I do some or none and for how long?

    Is everyone who has ever taken a fluoroquinolone considered floxed, just symptom free, or are many people simply free of the devastating adverse side effects of these drugs?

    If a floxed person begins to feel better as the weeks pass, is it likely or unlikely that they would have a severe and unexpected breakthrough of symptoms in the months to come?

    Does DNA being altered at the cellular level occur immediately or does it take a few days or weeks for that to happen?

    Is it better in terms of recovery for a person to have taken a high dosage for only a few days, or a low dosage for a few weeks?

    Is tendonitis a lot more likely to occur without tendon rupture, or it is that once tendonitis has occurred, is tendon rupture right around the corner. Is tendon rupture likely to follow exercise or can it simply occur without provocation? If I haven’t had a tendon rupture for a year after having been floxed, am I safe to resume regular exercise?

    Even though peripheral neuropathy can be permanent, have you heard from others that eye symptoms (burning) and ear symptoms (tinnitus) go away in time?

    While I realize that you may not be able to answer some of these questions with an absolute degree of certainty, I nonetheless respect what you have to say as someone who has personally been floxed as well as a person who has done much research on this topic.

    Referencing the fluoroquinolones in the meat supply, I believe that consumption of fluoroquinolone tainted meat over time predisposes the individual to having their threshold
    of tolerance surpassed so the prescribed ‘cipro’ causes an eruption of symptoms, often severe and often all at once. Even if a person claims they eat only organic meat, what about the meat they eat at parties, restaurants, friends’ homes, events, etc.

    My life mission is and always has been working on behalf of animals, but now it is twofold: as I recover and beyond, I will always be there for my fellow floxies as well. I believe that sharing our personal experiences and what has worked best for us helps us greatly on our path to recovery. Yes, Lisa, you may share my story with fqwallofpain or with anyone who might find it helpful.


    • Lisa Bloomquist May 2, 2015 at 1:20 pm Reply

      Hi Lynda,

      I’ll do my best to answer your questions. Please be aware that all of my knowledge is self-taught and that I’m not a doctor. It’s probably best to check what I say agains the opinions of a professional.

      Exercise – it’s a difficult balance. I think that movement is healing but you don’t want to tear a tendon. Be careful and gentle with yourself. Move as much as you can but don’t move past the point of pain. Swimming helped me a lot and I recommend it.

      Flox definition – Most people say that those who are having an adverse reaction are “floxed.” There are a lot of people who have adverse reactions who don’t realize that it’s from the FQ though – because of delayed reactions. They’re floxed even if they don’t realize it.

      Relapses – it’s common to have ups and downs. Try not to get discouraged by bad days, or even bad months. Most people do improve with time. Everyone’s timeline is different though.

      Does DNA being altered at the cellular level occur immediately or does it take a few days or weeks for that to happen? I’m not sure, but I think both.

      Is it better in terms of recovery for a person to have taken a high dosage for only a few days, or a low dosage for a few weeks? It depends on the person. Some people are devastated by a single pill. Others can tolerate multiple prescriptions. Recovery time-frame is highly individualized.

      Tendon trouble – I think that FQs can change the structure of tendons and that some people can tear tendons without any sort of provocation. I also know that there are people who have gotten back to being high-level athletes after getting floxed. It’s such an individual thing. Listen to your body. And have you read the ebook that is noted on the home page, The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution? There is advice in it specifically about tendons. I think that keeping your magnesium levels up is necessary for protecting your tendons.

      Eye and ear symptoms have subsided for many people. I hope that they’ll subside for you too!

      Regarding nutritional yeast – it’s full of trace minerals and B vitamins. It helped me a lot. It may be a good thing to look into supplementing. It’s available at Vitamin Cottage, Whole Foods and similar places. It’s pretty inexpensive generally – which is nice.

      If you want to combine your love of animals with your FQ awareness advocacy, I think that people need to be aware that animals are getting “floxed” with these drugs. I have a page,, that focuses on the problem. It would be wonderful if more veterinarians were keeping these drugs away from our innocent animals.

      I’ll put your story up on shortly.

      Thank you,

      • Lynda Smith May 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm Reply

        Hi Lisa: When I was at the veterinarian’s office with Biscuit and Smokey about a week ago, Dr. Tracy, The Cat Doctor, said that she is very aware of the dangers of fluoroquinolones. It would appear that a person’s sensitivity to fluoroquinolones cannot be predicted; everyone’s reaction is different. One of the first things I did was purchase the ebook ‘The Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Solution,’ reading it in its entirety. For the most part, I believe I have done everything I can short of alternative treatments; these can be very costly and are not covered by insurance; platelet rich plasma injections into the Achilles tendon is an example – have you heard of it? Thank you, Lisa, for answering my questions – I really appreciate it. Lynda  

    • Lisa Bloomquist May 2, 2015 at 2:09 pm Reply

      Hi Lynda,

      Here is your story on http://www.fqwallofpain.com I edited out the beginning and the end of your post because it was in reference to this post and I thought it would confuse people. Thank you for sharing your story! I’m so sorry for all that you’ve been through!


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