The Dangers of Antibiotics for Children
The dangers of antibiotics in our modern society cannot be overstated.
Over the last several decades, over-use of antibiotics has reached an all-time high. The result has been drug-resistant bacteria and “superbugs” that evolve faster than scientists can figure out how to fight them.
A future where bacteria are at the top of the food chain is not science fiction. It could very well end up as our reality within the next two decades.
New research from Aalto University in Finland followed more than 1,000 children with the DIABIMMUNE project and tracked their overall gastrointestinal health in relation to antibiotic use. Several universities assisted Aalto with the research including Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, University of Helsinki, and Helsinki University Hospital.
“We found that the microbial community of antibiotic-treated children is less stable and less diverse. Children who received multiple antibiotic treatments had many more single-strain species, whereas children who never got any antibiotics had more diverse species,” explained postdoctoral fellow with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dr. Moran Yassour.
In adults and children, the dangers of antibiotics are drastically changing the crucial gut microbiome balance of healthy bacteria required to keep you healthy. The drugs wipe out the colonization of healthy flora and leave you vulnerable to infections and serious illness.
Professor Mikael Knip with the University of Helsinki stated at some treatments (like antibiotics), “Have an effect on early childhood microbial populations can make children prone to long-term illnesses that manifest themselves later on, such as asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, diabetes, and obesity.”
The first three years of a child’s life are crucial to developing a strong microbiota community and this is also the time period where many children receive multiple doses of antibiotics.
These helpful gut florae determine immunity, metabolism, and nutrient absorption that children carry with them to adulthood. This increases the risk that populations become more likely to develop and spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
“If the intestinal microbiota is healthy, the resistant bacteria are not usually able to multiply because they do not find a niche in the ecology. However, during antibiotic treatment other bacteria are killed and resistant bacteria can proliferate freely,” explained doctoral candidate Tommi Vatanen with Aalto University. “There is also the risk that certain pathogens gain resistance implicating that the diseases caused by them will become very hard to treat. This is what is being referred when people talk of hospital bacteria.”
Prescribed antibiotics are dangerous. They should only be utilized in emergencies – not for every cold or small infection.
They kill all bacteria. The good as well as the bad. This leaves your body stripped of its natural ability to fight infection and ward off illness. In most cases, your body can heal itself if you give it the right tools.
Don’t wait until you get sick or discover drugs don’t work on whatever strain of virus or disease you have before you start building up your immune system.
*Post courtesy of Dr. Keith Scott-Mumby, “Britain’s Number One Allergy Detective”. Scott-Mumby has published several books in this field and been interviewed by the BBC and TV and radio stations worldwide, as a recognized expert in alternative health paradigms.
He is a professor of nutrition at the Open International University for Complementary Medicines, USA.