How taking antibiotics in childhood increases the risk of disease

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child-with-pill(NaturalHealth365) Recent studies are linking the prescription of antibiotics in childhood to a significant reduction in the quality of gut health and the gut microbiome.

The DIABIMMUNE project tracked 39 Finnish babies from birth up to the age of three. The study involved researchers from the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, Harvard University, the Broad Institute of MIT and Helsinki University Hospital.

Antibiotics linked with less diversity and instability of the gut microbiome

Half of the 39 infants studied were administered from 9 to up to 15 antibiotic treatments during this period. The remaining infants did not receive antibiotics. Stool samples were collected from the 39 children monthly during their first three years of life.

The monthly samples revealed that the infants who received antibiotics had far less diverse and stable intestinal microbiota. The children who did not receive antibiotics had a much more diverse gut microbiome and better overall health.

The key to remember: A lack of diversity in gut microbial populations can cause infants and children to become more prone to illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, obesity and diabetes.

Too many antibiotics are prescribed for no good reason

Key intestinal bacteria keep disappearing from the human gut microbiome as the years go by, and this is linked with antibiotics. While antibiotic treatments do save lives, they are also often unnecessarily prescribed, and with harmful effects. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections, yet they are sometimes prescribed for them.

The study showed that the infants who received antibiotics within the first three years of life continued to lack microbial diversity and gut health later in life. Another effect of repeated antibiotic treatments is the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains. When this occurs in a compromised gut microbiome, the resistant bacteria can take hold and proliferate.

Optimal gut health is directly influenced by the first three years of life

There are other early life factors that can affect the gut microbiome and future health of children. For example, the gut flora of children born via Caesarean section tend not to be as diverse and healthy as those who undergo a traditional birth.

The first three years of life are crucial to establishing a healthy gut microbiome, after which the baseline adulthood composition stabilizes. The quality of a child’s intestinal microbiota has a profound effect on their immune system and overall health. When the gut microbiome is diverse, the child experiences better nutrient absorption, a stronger metabolism and natural protection against infections.

Going forward, antibiotics should be far more focused and targeted against the infection that is being treated. Natural alternative treatments for bacterial infections should be strongly considered, including vitamin C, colloidal silver, garlic, cranberry and coconut oil.

This applies to persons of all ages, but it is particularly important for gut microbiome health and early development in infants and children.


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  • Lucy Hains

    I know this to be true. When my children were young they became pin cushions for the pediatricians. At that time no one realized or perhaps the drug companies did that antibiotics have a dark side.

    For every cold with a sore throat they were given antibiotics. Not one doctor waited for the culture to come back. They gave the prescription and said to start it right away.

    I did not have the internet as it wasn’t available at the time. Without any knowledge I did what the doctor said. Now, I know why asthma and inflammatory bowel disease showed up. From an early age they had bowel problems. They still are struggling to remedy the condition.

    Keep the information flowing-not everyone knows the connection between the misuse of antibiotics and health problems.

  • Connie Lawrence

    Researches have found there is a connection between antibiotics and breast cancer. The more antibiotics the higher the risk. Antibiotics have a lifetime risk and I am hoping against hope that the doctors wake up and stop using them indiscriminately.

  • Ingrid Levinthal

    Livestock are routinely given antibiotics. It is imperative that people stop buying commercial meat that contains it. If I have a dinner with some meat I use grass fed. The price for the commercial meat is too high.

    It may seem lower when at the cash register, but in the long run it can not only bankrupt your health, but your bank account when you pay the doctor bills.

  • Martin Udell

    This has been a known fact for many years. Only recently is the public becoming aware of it. This has been sweep under the rug. In fact doctors were not clued in until it became an issue to big to hide.

  • Jose Lenord

    This may turn out to be the countries biggest nightmare as antibiotic resistance strains turn up. This can host pandemics and hurt medicare. This is my idea of the careless use of the prescription pad.

    It is also a symptom of greed as the pharmaceutical companies look to expand the reach of antibiotics. I was given it in dental offices when it was proven not to be effective for what it was used for.

    Drug company reps are told to push for its use even when in doubt. Large scale use on livestock was a windfall for these companies. Any drug that may have a legitimate use always goes beyond the bounds for the profit not its intended use.

  • Trent Anderson

    Antibiotics may take many more lives then it saves. That is a sorry state of affairs. As a short term drug it has turn out to be one of the most long termed used one. It is constant and even in our food and water supply.

  • truleeo

    My child had antibiotics for ear infections regularly and after a double course of zithromax had an austic regression.

  • George Corvin

    They should be renamed anti-buy-otics. With the irresponsible use by doctors, vets and farmers, they seem to cause more problems than good.