Antibiotic Use Tied To Obesity, Diabetes, Allergies And Asthma

antibioticsKaren Kaplan reports for the Los Angeles Times:

We’ve all heard that the overuse of antibiotics is making them less effective and fueling the rise of dangerous drug-resistant bacteria. But did you know it may also be fueling the rise of obesity, diabetes, allergies and asthma?

So says Dr. Martin Blaser, microbiologist and infectious disease specialist at New York University Langone Medical Center who studies the myriad bacteria that live on and in our bodies. He explains his theory in a commentary published in Thursday’s edition of the journal Nature.

In recent years, scientists have developed a growing appreciation for the “microbiome,” the collection of mostly useful bacteria that help us digest food, metabolize key nutrients and ward off invading pathogens. Investigators have cataloged thousands of these organisms through the National Institutes of Health’s Human Microbiome Project, begun in 2008.

Blaser is interested in why so many bacteria have colonized the human body for so long – the simple fact that they have strongly suggests that they serve some useful purpose. But these bacteria have come under attack in the last 80 or so years thanks to the development of antibiotics. The drugs certainly deserve some of the credit for extending the U.S. lifespan, Blaser notes – a baby born today can expect to live 78 years, 15 years longer than a baby born in 1940. But in many respects, an antibiotic targets a particular disease the way a nuclear bomb targets a criminal, causing much collateral damage to things you’d rather not destroy…

[continues in the Los Angeles Times]

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  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Hell yeah…we’re just beginning to come to terms with the role of bacteria in our bodies…especially digestive bacteria…and killing them all off everytime we have the sniffles is turning out to be a bad plan all around. Getting Americans off of the half ton of pills they shovel down per year would be an enormous step in the right directions. You don’t do surgery with a broadsword…so why beat the hell out of your body with pills at the drop of a hat???

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Hell yeah…we’re just beginning to come to terms with the role of bacteria in our bodies…especially digestive bacteria…and killing them all off everytime we have the sniffles is turning out to be a bad plan all around. Getting Americans off of the half ton of pills they shovel down per year would be an enormous step in the right directions. You don’t do surgery with a broadsword…so why beat the hell out of your body with pills at the drop of a hat???

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Hell yeah…we’re just beginning to come to terms with the role of bacteria in our bodies…especially digestive bacteria…and killing them all off everytime we have the sniffles is turning out to be a bad plan all around. Getting Americans off of the half ton of pills they shovel down per year would be an enormous step in the right directions. You don’t do surgery with a broadsword…so why beat the hell out of your body with pills at the drop of a hat???

  • Interested party

    I wonder how much of the vaccine causing illness issue is tied up with this issue. After all if youve had vaccines your more than likeley had antibiotics too. Some antibiotics can wipe out bacteria that would otherwise render harmless oxalate crystals found in many foods. These can then be absorbed and lodge in the brain.

  • Interested party

    I wonder how much of the vaccine causing illness issue is tied up with this issue. After all if youve had vaccines your more than likeley had antibiotics too. Some antibiotics can wipe out bacteria that would otherwise render harmless oxalate crystals found in many foods. These can then be absorbed and lodge in the brain.

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