Study: Antibiotics may make babies chubby
Researchers say that exposure to antibiotics, especially early in life, may kill off healthy bacteria in the intestines that affect how our cells absorb nutrients. Preliminary studies have already linked changes in these microbial cells to obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and other conditions. Yet, direct causal proof has not been found. This new study was the first to analyze the relationship between use of antibiotics and body mass beginning in infancy.
The study focused on the antibiotic use among 11,532 children born in Britain’s Avon region. Researchers found that children given antibiotics during the first five months of life weighed more for their height than those who were not given antibiotics as infants. The weight difference between the two groups was small when the children were between 10 and 20 months of age, but those who took antibiotics were 22 percent more likely to be overweight by 38 months of age.
When the children were given antibiotics seemed to be critical. Those treated with antibiotics between 6 to 14 months did not have a significantly higher body mass later in childhood. Children exposed to antibiotics between 15 and 13 months had only slightly higher body mass indices by age 7.
Researchers say more study is needed to confirm the findings, but it does show another reason why antibiotics should be discouraged in babies.
Source: Outcome Magazine