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Antibiotics During Infancy May Lead to Permanent Alterations in Metabolism

Weight Gain

Story at-a-glance -

  • Gut bacteria serve a wide variety of functions in your body. They even play a role in obesity, and exposure to antibiotics early in life may have long-term ramifications for a child’s metabolism
  • Mice given antibiotics for the first four weeks of life grew up to be 25 percent heavier, and had 60 percent more body fat than the controls
  • Eradicating certain species of bacteria triggered metabolic changes that led to obesity. The problem stems from the fact that when you kill off certain bacteria, it allows other, more resilient ones to take over and thrive
  • Earlier research also showed that mice fed antibiotics (in dosages similar to those given to children for throat or ear infections) had significant increases in body fat despite their diets remaining unchanged
  • Understanding the role of the microbiome in obesity—especially childhood obesity—is important for a number of reasons, an increased cancer risk being at the top of the list

By Dr. Mercola

While antibiotics are given to combat bacteria responsible for illness, these drugs indiscriminately kill off beneficial bacteria in your gut as well, dramatically altering your gut microbiome.

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