Antibiotic use in Babies linked to Obesity later in Life

Giving antibiotics to young babies may increase their weight later in life, according to US researchers.

A study of 11,532 infants, published in the International Journal of Obesity, showed children under six months who were given antibiotics were heavier in later years.

Researchers say the drugs could be affecting bacteria in the gut, leading to weight changes.

However, they say more work is needed to confirm there is a link.

Bacteria living on people greatly outnumber the body’s own cells and there is a growing interest in how this “microbiome” affects human health. In extreme circumstances there are even examples of doctors transplanting faecal matter in order to introduce healthy bacteria into the gut, treating infections when other methods have failed.

In this study, children who had antibiotics between birth and the age of five months were slightly heavier between the age of 10 and 20 months. After 38 months they were 22% more likely to be overweight.

One of the researchers, Dr Leonardo Trasande from New York University School of Medicine, said: “We typically consider obesity an epidemic grounded in unhealthy diet and exercise, yet increasingly studies suggest it’s more complicated.”

“Microbes in our intestines may play critical roles in how we absorb calories, and exposure to antibiotics, especially early in life, may kill off healthy bacteria that influence how we absorb nutrients into our bodies, and would otherwise keep us lean.”

Microbiologist Dr Cormac Gahan, from University College Cork, said there was certainly a lot of interest in the area, “but it is very early stages for this type of work”.

He said changing gut bacteria could alter weight by “a direct effect on energy extraction” or by “influencing hormones”.

About David Drysdale

David Drysdale has worked as an Osteopath in the West End of Glasgow since 1996. David combines a wide range of techniques when treating a patient, ranging from Osteopathic Manipulation, Massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, Nutrition and Exercise. Treatments are tailored for the Patient. It is understood that some people simply do not like osteopathic manipulation, while others like Deep Tissue Massage, or benefit from Cranio-Sacral Therapy. There are different ways of treating people who are in pain, and providing the treatment that works for you is very important. Osteopathy is well known for treating Headaches, Neck & Back Pain, but many other conditions such as migraines, frozen shoulder and arthritis can all respond well to good Osteopathic treatment.
This entry was posted in Diet, Gut Bacteria, Nutrition, Obesity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Antibiotic use in Babies linked to Obesity later in Life

  1. You have published a fantastic site.

Many Thanks…………….. Davy Drysdale

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