The common side effects of antibiotics are well documented but a now a new and concerning problem has emerged — weight gain and obesity. This is because antibiotic use causes the loss of ‘good’ bacteria from our digestive tracts (gut) with disastrous consequences for the way we process food.
In a Huffington Post article, Dana Ullman discusses how recent research has discovered:
- Bacteria within the gut are involved in the hormonal regulation of fat and hunger, how we digest food and how fat is stored around the body.
- A link exists between reduced varieties of bacteria in the gut and overweight humans and mice.
- Destruction of gut bacteria by antibiotics may be linked to obesity in the young, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and other diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
- Farmers have long known that antibiotic use stimulates overgrowth in animals, something they have used to advantage to produce bigger and heavier stock but with fattier and poorer quality meat.
- Scientists say that microbes essential for human life are now becoming ‘extinct’.
- Individuals who carry the H. pylori bacterium have a lower risk of childhood asthma, skin allergies, and allergic rhinitis but this bacterium is now being eradicated through antibiotics.
- Microbiologists and immunologists are concerned that important metabolic pathways dependent on poorly understood microbes may also be lost.
- Exposure to infectious microbes during childhood seems to protect against serious illnesses during adulthood including cardiovascular disease.
- Being ultra-hygienic and overly concerned about germs may lead to inflammatory diseases.
- The incidence of breast cancer is higher in those who use antibiotics.
To read the article by Dana Ullman in full, visit Do Antibiotics Make People Fat?