Link Between Kids' Food Allergies & Antibiotics Could Lead to a Cure

peanutsBack when I was a kid, antibiotics were all the rage "curing" everything from the sniffles to the more serious. But it wasn't really the cure-all we once thought it was, and it has done more harm than good in many cases, building up an antibiotic resistance and not allowing the medicine to work the way it's supposed to work when it's needed.

I am one of the anti-antibiotic parents. My children's pediatrician was of the same school of thought. Antibiotics were only for emergencies like when my daughter had Lyme Disease and needed it. I made sure she had probiotics as well, to boost and not kill off all the helpful bacteria in her gut. A new study has revealed that it's suspected if a child is given antibiotics early in life or raised in a overly sterile environment, they may be more susceptible to food allergies. And there's more.

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This study was done on mice who were put in sterile cages and given antibiotics. It was shown that the mice ended up lacking Clostridia, a bacteria that reduces the likelihood of being allergic to peanuts. The peanut allergic are listening. This is a big deal. The study's author Cathryn Nagler who is a food allergy professor at the University of Chicago believes this can be applied to humans as well. She said:

Environmental stimuli such as antibiotic overuse, high-fat diets, caesarean birth, removal of common pathogens and even formula feeding have affected the microbiota with which we've co-evolved.

Our results suggest this could contribute to the increasing susceptibility to food allergies.

Let's not make this a c-section or formula-feeding argument. Let's see the good in this study. We all know natural is better, but it's not always possible. Still, this all factors in to if our kids will get allergies or not. The good news is that the researchers identified the bacteria some lack -- Clostridia -- and we can reverse the allergy even later in life with supplements. Maybe. Hopefully. They are looking into it. 

Food allergies are on the rise; they can also be deadly. This study is showing that it is possible that our overreaction to dirt and our abuse of antibiotics and how we want to throw drugs at everything could be the cause. This changes the bacteria in our guts and leaves us more prone to health issues.

We shouldn't disinfect everything three times. We should let our kids play in dirt. So they eat a little of it. Don't rinse the kid's mouth out with antibacterial soap. We need to strengthen our kids' immune systems, not suppress them. We can't live in a bubble -- we don't have to. Thank goodness! It's okay for our kids to play in the pile of leaves and not run and hide when another baby has a cold and our baby does not. We cannot ask for the drugs at the doctor's office -- we should often refuse them if our doc wants to throw antibiotics at the non-serious sicknesses. We have to trust that cold, the flu, the sniffles are going to run their course and, in turn, build up our child's immunity.

And if we screwed up, and created a sterile environment for our kids complete with antibiotic abuse, we can look to probiotics for a little help.

Do you avoid antibiotics for your kids? What do you think of this news?

 

Image via Daniella Segura/Flickr

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