Super-Powered STD & Obesity Have the Same Cause!?

Say What!? 18

clindamycinI guess you CAN have too much of a good thing, particularly if that good thing is antibiotics. I mean, at first everybody was like, hooray! Take that, scarlet fever! And antibiotics were a really good thing, cause they got rid of all kinds of nasty stuff that used to kill people. Then, sadly, we went so overboard on the stuff for so many years, antibiotics are now causing problems instead of just fixing them: The terrifyingly named "superbugs," for example, like the new bionic gonorrhea, and now ... obesity?

According to some microbiologists, antibiotics are contributing to the obesity epidemic by "killing off gut bacteria that would otherwise help digest food." A recent study found that infants who were given antibiotics before the age of 6 months "consistently added more body mass years later." And cattle farmers figured out long ago that a steady diet of antibiotics packs the pounds on cows. (They plump ... before you cook 'em!)

Oh, and guess what? It gets worse!

See, it works like this. Antibiotics cause changes in the body. (Obviously, right? Otherwise they probably wouldn't be all that effective.) But they can make unwelcome changes to what's called the "microbiome," basically the microbe communities in our bodies that regulate metabolism and a bunch of other important stuff.

And those unwelcome changes have been linked to lots of other issues besides obesity, such as cancer, autism and heart disease.

Yup. So, that's some scary information, isn't it? I'm not sure what to do with it myself. Only take antibiotics when absolutely necessary, I guess? (Like when you have a kidney infection or gangrene?)

Do you think antibiotics are making us fat?


Image via ALEGNA MARIE/Flickr

digestive issues, drugs, general health, sex life, obesity


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kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

Doesnt everything? *shrug* we have been very fortunate to have super healthy kids and have only had 2 rounds of antibiotics since my first was born. Shes 7 now. My youngest hasnt ever had antibiotics. Shes 4. Guess its a study worth researching if ur kids have had them and r overweight i suppose.

nonmember avatar dani

i think eating is making us fat.

jagam... jagamama0710

So, what about probiotics then? Doesn't that do anything to counter all that? Fortunately my kids have never been on or needed antibiotics. 

Pinkmani Pinkmani

Who knows? It seems to me that the FDA approves everything and then recalls it after a few people die. I think our country's weight issue has to do with our lifestyle. We work crazy hours and don't take the time we need to nourish our bodies. Our kids sit in school all day long. Our food is covered with preservatives; our cows and chickens are given growth hormones and our fruits and veggies are given fertilizer.  

Taisie Taisie

I'm with jagamama. I'm big on pro-biotics. I think anytime you take antibiotics, it's important to realize that they not only kill of the bad bacteria, but that they also kill off the good. That is one of the reasons that so many women will get a yeast infection when they they take them. There are good sources of natural pro-biotics, such as yogurt, with live cultures, ie: activia, and more. You can also purchase pro-biotic pills that can be taken daily. I would however speak to a doctor before taking them, because too much of a good thing is, well, still too much, and that can throw things off also.

That being said, some people may need more digestive enzymes to properly digest their foods, and those too, can be either prescribed, or purchased over the counter, but that as well, should be discussed with a doctor before being taken.

It's also interesting to note that not only do antibiotics disrupt your internal gut flora, but so does repeated vomiting and diarrhea, as well as bacterial infections of the body, and let's not forget the endless supply of antibacterial everything we use these days: soaps, hand lotions, sanitizers, wipes, like, everything.


Taisie Taisie

I also am huge on a daily vitamin, if your body is deficient in any vitamin or mineral, your brain is going to tell you to eat, because eating is the only way to get that  missing nutrient into your body, and chances are if I'm hungry at nine at night, I'm prolly gonna eat something like a peanut butter sandwich, or some potato chips, and it's not going to be nutritionally stellar, so I like to take my vitamin so my brain isn't yiking at me to eat because my body needs something :)

In the end though, obesity is still most closely associated with calories consumed, and calories burned.

Delamara Delamara

Funny how we blame EVERYTHING, but ourselves for the high obesity rates in this country :/ Noone seems to think changing how we eat and work out might make those rates go down. 

nonmember avatar blh

Um no. Over eating and a sedentary lifestyle makes you fat.

DebaLa DebaLa

I would venture that something man introduces into the wild as ANTI-anything, is going to backfire in the end.

Artificial enhancements or suppressors to a natural process flies against nature and reason.

PonyC... PonyChaser

You know, I think it's good that we start looking at stuff like this. It's true that the majority of the weight issues are due to a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. But people were lazy and ate a lot in the 50's, too. They also drank. A lot. But statistics tell us that, as a population (at least in the U.S.) we were a lot thinner.

So we have to look at why. Are THAT many more people sitting around doing nothing? With the number of gyms that are jam-packed every morning and evening? With the booming "fitness equipment" industry? Perhaps.

Or maybe there's something else going on. Maybe it's all the franken-food that we consume. Even those who *try* to eat healthy discover that some of the food they eat is processed somehow - and something "bad" has snuck in, whether it's high-fructose corn syrup sweetening their "healthy" smoothie, or some genetic mutation in their vegetables that helps make it resistant to bugs.

Why, then, shouldn't we look at studies like this? Why should we simply dismiss the obesity issue as, "oh - fat and lazy"

I would love it if they discovered that this is true, and it causes a widespread drop in the use of antibiotics. But I guess that's wishful thinking. It's so much easier to just call people lazy and blame them, and them alone.

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