Antibiotics in infancy increase the risk of being overweight

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Antibiotics in infancy increase the risk of being overweight

If babies are treated with antibiotics before the age of six, there is an increased risk of being overweight at the age of three. Microbiologist Martin Blaser from the New York University School of Medicine and his team came to this conclusion in two large studies. Accordingly, there is a direct connection between taking antibiotics and being overweight.

Antibiotics before the age of six months increase the risk of being overweight by 22 percent
In the first study, Balser and his team analyzed more than 11,000 data from children to find out whether they were treated with antibiotics at the age of up to 5 months, between the 6th and 14th month or between the 15th and 23rd month . At the same time, the body weight and size of the children were recorded at different times.

When evaluating the data, the researchers came to a clear conclusion: Children who take antibiotics before the age of six have a 22 percent higher risk of becoming overweight between the ages of ten months and three years. If the antibiotics were administered at a later point in time, according to the researchers, no connection was found. However, the study results did not show that antibiotics increased weight, they only showed a combination, the researchers explain.

“Although the impact of early intake on an individual level is small, it could have a significant impact on the health of the population. Given the prevalence of antibiotic use in infants and growing concerns about childhood obesity, further studies are needed to limit the consequences and define lifestyle effects based on body weight and the risk of cardiovascular disease, ”the researchers write. Overweight has increased around the world around the same time as antibiotics have been used. There may be a connection between the disproportionate use of the medication in animal breeding and for medical reasons. The study was published in the specialist journal "International Journal of Obsedity".

Antibiotics change the metabolism In a second study, Balser was able to demonstrate how taking antibiotics leads to obesity. To do this, he and his team examined the intestinal flora and the metabolism of mice that received antibiotics. They found that the drug caused such strong changes that the mice stored significantly more fat later in their lives than untreated animals. This effect is deliberately used in animal fattening, for example.

While the number of bacteria in the intestinal flora of the mice remained constant despite the antibiotic, the numbers of the different types of microbes shifted. Some key genes for converting carbohydrates to fatty acids also changed. In addition, abnormal liver values ​​regarding the processing of cholesterol and fatty acids in the treated mice were measured.

Taking antibiotics leads to changes in the intestinal flora and metabolism, so that more nutrients are obtained from the food and thus more calories are added to the body. In an "early phase of a child's life, the basis for later obesity could be created unintentionally," said the researchers. (ag)

Read on:
Antibiotics make babies fat
Much more antibiotics in animal fattening
Children are given antibiotics too often
Doctors prescribe fewer antibiotics
There are no mild antibiotics
Doctors often prescribe antibiotics unnecessarily
Alternatives to antibiotics from naturopathy

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Video: Antibiotic Exposure, The Microbiome and Obesity

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