Antibiotics can Make You Fat
Non-organic farmers have been using a feeding trick for decades which involves the use of antibiotics to enhance the growth of animals like cows, turkey, chicken, and pigs. Now scientists have found out that the same antibiotics used to fatten up livestock could be causing people to grow fat, too.
Researchers led by Ilseung Cho, MD, MS assistant professor of medicine and gastroenterology at New York University School of Medicine, report that by using antibiotics they can manipulate the population of intestinal bacteria and alter how they metabolize certain nutrients. He states that antibiotics have the ability to kill beneficial bacteria in the gut that could play a role in nutrient and calorie absorption.
In the study, researchers found that administering low-dose antibiotics for 6 weeks to mice resulted in a 10 -15% higher fat mass compared to that of mice which did not receive the drugs. They also noted that the antibiotics also affected the animals’ metabolism hormones, suggesting that antibiotics in humans could be associated with medical conditions like childhood obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Experts suggest people should avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics and some advocate avoiding the consumption of meats and food that have been treated with antibiotics. For example, infections that are usually caused by viruses, such as colds, sinusitis and some ear infections do not need antibiotic treatment. Instead, one can seek natural treatments from vitamin C–rich citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit, or cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli which enhance the immune system. Other foods that can enhance one’s immune system defenses include yogurt with Lactobacillus reuteri bacteria, selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts, and garlic.
Zerbe. L.The Medicine Cabinet Item That’s Making You Fat. Rodale.