A recent study has revealed that children who regularly take antibiotics gain weight more rapidly than children who don’t and the effects may lead well into adulthood.
The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, examined the medical records taken from 2001-2012 on 163,820 children aged 3 to 18 counting antibiotic prescriptions, body weight and height. The study showed that one in five children have been prescribed antibiotics over six times and those children had an average weight of 3 pounds higher by the time they reach age 15, compared to those who had not received the drug.
Study leader Dr. Brian S. Schwartz, a professor in the department of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said “Not only did antibiotics contribute to weight gain at all ages, but the contribution of antibiotics to weight gain gets stronger as you get older,” He also stated “Our data suggest that every time we give an antibiotic to kids they gain weight faster over time,”
The study explained that Antibiotics are not just killing the harmful bacteria but also the bacteria with is vital to the health of your gut. Repeated use of antibiotics can change the microbiota, or the microorganisms in your body, altering the way it digests food and increasing the calories absorbed from nutrients. This is what leads to weight gain.
This is not to say that antibiotics should not ever be used, but that we should use them only in situations when time or other more natural methods will not shift the problem.
Anti-biotics are heavily over prescribed, which is not just bad for our weight, but also means that the bugs build up a resistance, which could eventually lead to the need of more antibiotics or even antibiotics becoming useless in some circumstances.
Doctors have a duty to prescribe less and parents also have a duty to not pressure doctors so much into giving us these drugs. As parents we like to feel like we need to do something for our children when they are in need, but the truth is- sometimes doing nothing is the best way to proceed.
Scientists have known for some time that the use of antibiotics can promote weight gain in animals, which is why some of the larger food companies force feed antibiotics to their livestock, but we now also have statistically significant data telling us that they also affect humans.
The way to combat the need for constant antibiotic use is to build up your immune system, which can be achieved by regulating sleep, getting enough sun and eating plenty of fresh (organic) fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
You cannot always avoid getting sick, so when you do you can also try the use of natural antibiotics like Manuka honey, Garlic, Echinacea and Ginger. In some cases you may still need a course of antibiotics, but just be mindful of consuming them on a regular basis.
Thanks for reading, let me know your opinion of the use of antibiotics by leaving me a comment below.