Antibiotics in Childhood Tied to Diseases Later In Life
An imbalance to gut microbes, known as dysbiosis, has been linked to allergies, autoimmune disorders and obesity later in life. Now, research at the University of Minnesota, suggests that this imbalance may be caused in part by a unnecessary antibiotics given to babies and young children.
Researchers began this analysis in response to the increase in the number of immune and metabolism-related diseases. By gathering and condensing hundreds of studies on antibiotics and gut bacteria, the team was able to form a “framework” to help them sift through results and form connections.
In the case of allergies, they found use of antibiotics may destroy communities of gut bacteria that help immune cells mature. Even if these colonies return, the immune system remains impaired. In relation to obesity, they found antibiotic-induced imbalances in gut microbiota led to increased levels of short-chain fatty acids that can affect a peerson's metabolism.
Overall, scientists believe this study, published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, lays a pathway for future studies of the antibiotic effect on children. Next, the team plans to look into the effect of antibiotics on loss of gut population, loss of diversity, metabolism and harmful bacterial overgrowth in children.