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Does the Use of Antibiotics Increase Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes?

Date: 13th November 2015 | Created by: Troo Healthcare | Tags: antibiotics, diabetes, blood sugar
There has been a recent focus on the affect of antibiotic use on long term human risk to diabetes type 2.

According to research done in animals, it was found that antibiotics may have a drastic effect on gut bacteria and sugar and fat metabolism. It was also suggested that some gut bacteria may facilitate the reduced ability to digest sugar seen in individuals with diabetes.

From 2000 to 2012, a research team studied over 170,500 people who suffered from diabetes compared to 1.3 million people without diabetes, with matched birth year and gender. There was a definite link between usage of antibiotic and diabetes diagnosis at a late stage, at the same time, the more antibiotics a person used, the higher their risk.

A considerable difference wasn’t noticed among any individual antibiotic prescribed by researchers. Nevertheless, authors saw a small surge in risk for the ones given bactericidal antibiotics and narrow-spectrum.

Apart from this latest Danish study that found a connection between the use of antibiotics and diabetes, a similar study in the UK issued in the European Journal of Endocrinology added further insight. This research established that frequent exposure to any one of the five most used antibiotics (including penicillin) resulted in increased diabetic risk after adjustment for known risk factors, such as Body Mass Index, history of cardiovascular artery disease and smoking.

In both studies, it was speculated that antibiotics may well exacerbate the progress of diabetes by rearranging the microbial communities in human bodies (explicitly the gut microbiota) which affect the human metabolism and weight —another risk factor is obesity. Yet, the authors admit, the relationship between antibiotics and diabetes could be a lot more complicated than the findings state.

Although the author could not conclude definite connection from this research, the results raise the possibility that antibiotics might increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes. An equally persuasive explanation may be over the course of years that people who develop Type 2 diabetes face a greater risk of infection. Infections are known to be less common in the healthy population than diabetics and pre-diabetics.

Diabetes is believed to be one of the greatest challenges in modern health care, with worldwide increasing numbers. Further studies into a long-term influence of the use of antibiotic on gut bacteria composition and sugar metabolism may well reveal remarkable answers about how to deal with this public health crisis.

Although having to take antibiotics is never ideal, there are many cases where it is absolutely necessary. In these cases you can minimise the negative effect of antibiotics on your gut microflora by supplementing with probiotics during and after a course of antibiotics.

Taking probiotics at the same time as antibiotics may seem contradictory - wouldn’t the antibiotics just kill the probiotics? In fact there have been several studies which show that this isn’t the case and that probiotic use during a course of antibiotics can reduce side effects and prevent resulting gut infection. It has also been shown that probiotics don’t need to actually colonise the gut to have a beneficial effect.

Most of these studies used different strains of Lactobacilli, Bifidobacteria, or Saccharomyces boulardii.

Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of the most common genera used as probiotics, and these are both available in our Probiotic Gut-Max and Acidophilus Complex supplements.

Saccharomyces boulardii is actually a beneficial yeast rather than a bacteria. It is particularly effective during and antibiotic course as the antibiotics can’t kill it. Saccharomyces boulardii is also preferable under these circumstances as there’s no risk of it harbouring genes for antibiotic resistance and later transferring those genes to pathogenic bacteria.

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Thanks for your comment. The situation with regards to taking probiotics is not crystal clear. There have been quite a few studies in recent years but the evidence matching specific antibiotics to specific probiotics and their benefits is sketchy. However, there have been several meta studies done on the evidence available. The overall suggestion of the meta studies is that probiotics are almost certainly helpful in counter acting side effects of antibiotics. The best performers were Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and the yeast Saccharomyces. Based on current evidence we would advise that it is best to take probiotics during a course of antibiotics as well as after. It is best to take them around 2 hours after you have taken your antibiotics.
November 23, 2015

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