Has the use of antibiotics changed the bacteria in our digestive systems in such a way as to make us more likely to be overweight or obese?
It seems that this could be happening.. For one thing, something called H. pylori is normally resident but taking a course of antibotics will cut it out or way down. That can result in the stomach not secreting a hormone that tells us we are full and so we keep eating.
Here is a snippet from an article in the New York Times that explains this further:
Overuse of antibiotics increases the risk of obesity.
Dr. Martin Blaser, New York University Langone Medical Center.
Overuse of antibiotics has led to the creation of drug-resistant bacteria — so-called superbugs, like methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. But now some researchers are exploring an equally unsettling possibility: Antibiotic abuse may also be contributing to the increasing incidence of obesity
So what is the take-away for us as we do our best with our meals and our health? Go easy on the antiobiotics when you can, eat yogurt, maybe take probiotics to encourage the helpful bacteria. Those are my best guesses, but I’m glad the research continues!