Antibiotics Before Age 2 Increases Risk of Childhood Obesity

“Our work supports the theory that antibiotics may progressively alter the composition and function of the gut microbiome”

via EurekaAlert:

A study published online in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, found that administration of three or more courses of antibiotics before children reach an age of 2 years is associated with an increased risk of early childhood obesity.

Antibiotics have been used to promote weight gain in livestock for several decades, and our research confirms that antibiotics have the same effect in humans,” said Frank Irving Scott, MD, MSCE, assistant professor of medicine at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora…. “Our results do not imply that antibiotics should not be used when necessary, but rather encourage both physicians and parents to think twice about antibiotic usage in infants in the absence of well-established indications.

…A large portion of these prescriptions (more than 10 million annually) are written for children without clear indication, despite increased awareness of the societal risks of antibiotic resistance, as well as other tangible risks, including dermatologic, allergic and infectious complications; inflammatory bowel disease, and autoimmune conditions.