One (potential) way to reduce obesity as we age

An new study was published recently in Nature Communications that looks at the connection between (or correlation of) low dose, early-life antibiotic exposure and obesity later in life. This work was done in mice, however it seems that exposure to two different types of antibiotics can change the bacteria (microbiotics) found in the gut. Click here for commentary.

For several years, scientist have been looking at the connection between the bacteria that populate the human gut and its correlation with weight and obesity, especially later in life. This new study by Dr. Nobel and colleagues shows that low dose, short term exposure to amoxicillin (the most commonly prescribed antibiotic in children) or tylosin (the second most common antibiotic) can alter the bacteria in the mouse gut. Interestingly, these two classes of antibiotics did have alter the bacteria for differing lengths of time (amoxicillin was longer). Antibiotic exposure was correlated with obesity later in life when the mice were fed a high fat diet – which, let’s face it, many of us consume.

There is more work to do to translate this work from mouse models to humans, but this contributes more to the literature showing that while antibiotics are great to help us over infections, prolonged exposure or many doses may seriously impact our weight (and health) later in life. Together this data suggests that one way to prevent obesity as we get older is to not be so dependent on antibiotics when we are younger.

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