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Antibiotic use in infants could cause obesity, study shows


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(NaturalNews) As if there aren't enough issues with antibiotics, medical researchers have found more. Both an epidemiological and an in vivo (animal) study have determined a plausible connection between antibiotic use for infants and toddlers and child obesity from metabolic syndrome, which usually leads to diabetes type 2 and other even more severe complications.

Of course, both studies are full of "maybes" and "warrants further studies" (for more funding of course) to dilute anything that might mirror what a few holistic MDs, naturopaths, homoepaths and other non-mainstream practitioners have already known.

But at least the allopathic medical monopolists are nibbling around the edges of a basic truth -- antibiotics upset the gut microbiota balance and cause more health problems apparently unrelated to the reason why antibiotics were administered in the first place.

The earlier epidemiological study

This study was published in the International Journal of Obesity in April 2011 as "Childhood overweight after establishment of the gut microbiota: the role of delivery mode, pre-pregnancy weight and early administration of antibiotics."

The researchers used 28,354 mother-child health record combinations from the Danish National Birth Cohort with records of mothers' BMIs (body mass index), delivery methods and infancy antibiotic use. Follow-up on those infant births after seven years of age were part of the study.

They observed that delivery methods had little to do with children developing obesity, but infant antibiotic use, even with mothers who were not obese, showed a marked increase in childhood obesity rates. They concluded partially that this may "potentially be explained by an impact on establishment and diversity of the microbiota." [1]

Phase two - mice at New York University

Researchers at New York University's (NYU) Langone Medical Center worked with six types of mice over a four-year period to observe that there is a critical window of gut microbial development that is hampered by antibiotics. [2]

They used penicillin as their model antibiotic, a full spectrum antibiotic that's not as dangerous as some other more recently developed ones, such as Cipro, Levaquin or any other fluoroquinolone-based antibiotic.

"The antibiotic doses used in this study don't mirror what children get," mentioned Dr. Laura M. Cox, PhD, lead author of microbiologist Dr. Martin Blaser's study. She added, "But it has identified an early window in which microbes can influence metabolism, and so further studies are clearly warranted." [2]

That's a familiar phrase that's included in almost all medical research conclusions. As long as medical research can lead to more pharmaceuticals, the money will be there to guarantee "further studies."

The researchers isolated four specific microbes in the mice that were hampered by antibiotic interventions during that window of early development to induce obesity later. Those probiotic microbes are: Lactobacillus, Allobaculum, Candidatus Arthromitus and an unnamed member of the Rikenellaceae family. [2]

Earlier research from Dr. Blaser's lab had confirmed the use of constant low-dose antibiotic use on factory farms to fatten livestock. In that study, treated rodents became fatter. And they also suffered elevated levels of fasting insulin with altered genes that relate to liver regeneration and detoxification.

Those are effects consistent with metabolic disorders or prediabetes in obese patients. [2]

Dr. Blaser reported that his latest research "shows us that the altered microbes are driving the obesity effects, not the antibiotics." Somehow, Dr. Blaser has disregarded the fact that the antibiotics created the altered microbes. [3]

Dr. Cox added, "We're excited about this because not only do we want to understand why obesity is occurring, but we also want to develop solutions." [2]

These last two statements imply that two agendas are served: preserving early childhood antibiotic use and creating pharmaceuticals that purportedly remedy the problems created. More funding please.

Sources for this article include:

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

[2] http://www.newswise.com

[3] http://www.cell.com

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