Antibiotic use in children is being examined by many doctors and researchers. For the past decade, infectious disease researchers have suggested that the high frequency of antibiotic medications is contributing to more drug-resistant infectious illnesses. However, researchers are now suggesting that frequent antibiotic use is also contributing to obesity in children and the development of illness. This may be due to creating an unhealthy imbalance in bacteria naturally present in our intestinal gut system.
Good vs Bad Bacteria
Human intestinal systems naturally have a balance of good bacteria present. These bacteria aid with digestion and also help the immune system fight off infections. Eating a diet high in probiotics, which feed healthy bacteria has been shown to boost immune system function and contribute to overall health.
However, the most common reaction from doctors when presented with an infectious illness is to prescribe antibiotics. Although helpful in stopping many illnesses, antibiotics kill off all gut bacteria, including beneficial bacteria that actually contribute to healthy gut and immune system function.
More and more research is revealing the benefits of maintaining good gut health by eating a diet high in probiotic foods. For example, researchers studying elder care patients found that those with the best health had a wide variety of healthy gut bacteria. They were less fragile, less prone to developing infections and demonstrated higher levels of stamina and muscle strength.
Eating foods rich in probiotics also contributes to weight loss. Antibiotics that kill the bacteria H.pylori (which has been linked to acid reflux, stomach ulcers and gastric cancer) have also been associated with the development of obesity. H.pylori sends a hormone to the brain that reduces hunger. When H.pylori is not present, feelings of hunger intensify, leading to increased eating and development of obesity.
While antibiotics can be an effective measure in fighting off dangerous infections, they should be used with caution. Killing off all gut bacteria can have a detrimental effect on long term health. Not only does it increase the likelihood of developing drug-resistant infections, it also kills off healthy bacteria that are needed for optimal immune system function and other aspects of health. Eating probiotic rich foods on a regular basis will increase your levels of healthy gut bacteria, strengthening your immune system and keeping you healthier in the long run.
– The Alternative Daily