New research has been cataloged on what happens when children use antibiotics in their infancy.
And, what it shows is when infants are given antibiotics, it can produce disease later in life.
This is because antibiotic use will disrupt the colonies of healthy gut bacteria which are needed to help keep our bodies running at optimal health.
Researchers at The University of Minnesota have discovered dysbiosis (the imbalances of gut flora) can later contribute to imbalances in both physical and mental health.
Senior author Dan Knights, an assistant professor specializing in computational biology at the University of Minnesota, says:
“Diseases related to metabolism and the immune system are increasing dramatically, and in many cases we don’t know why.”
“Previous studies showed links between antibiotic use and unbalanced gut bacteria, and others showed links between unbalanced gut bacteria and adult disease. Over the past year we synthesized hundreds of studies and found evidence of strong correlations between antibiotic use, changes in gut bacteria, and disease in adulthood.”
And since antibiotics are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for children, it indicates what might be contributing to the presence of certain diseases in society at this time.
Outside of this study, there’s an increasing amount of evidence indicating dysbiosis is linked to potential harm of both emotional and physical health.
For instance, the presence of many types of allergies nowadays might be related to dysbiosis that takes places in early life.
Medical News Today writes on the teams findings:
For example, 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 affect metabolism.
The team also showed how you can predict an infant’s age to within 1.3 months from the maturity of their gut microbiota. This discovery could lead to a test and treatments for children whose microbiome is underdeveloped because of antibiotic use, or other reasons.
Prof. Knights concluded on their findings:
“We think these findings help develop a roadmap for future research to determine the health consequences of antibiotic use and for recommendations for prescribing them. The clinical test we demonstrated would also allow us to think about interventions at an early age.”
These findings along with the development of antibiotic resistant super bugs show how important it is to limit antibiotic use only when it is absolutely necessary…for adults, and especially for children.