Antibiotic use has been linked to a host of ailments including antibiotic resistance, pregnancy complications and obesity. Now, new research from the Departments of Gastroenterology and Medical Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania has found certain antibiotics may put patients at risk for type 2 diabetes, reports The Daily Mail.
Researchers looked at more than 200,000 diabetics in the United Kingdom and compared them to 800,000 non-diabetics of the same sex and age. According to the report, published in the European Journal of Endocrinology, patients' risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes increased when prescribed a minimum two courses of antibiotics—specifically penicillins, cephalosporines, quinones and macrolides.
Patients' risk increased by 8 percent when prescribed two to five courses, while the risk for those prescribed more than five increased by 23 percent. The use of quinones, used to treat bacterial, lower respiratory, urinary tract, skin and sinus infections, resulted in an even higher increase: 15 percent for two to five courses, and 37 percent after five courses, reports The Daily Mail.
“Gut bacteria have been suggested to influence the mechanisms behind obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes in both animal and human models,” lead study author Dr. Ben Boursi said to The Daily Mail. “Previous studies have shown that antibiotics can alter the digestive ecosystem.”
The study did not find causality, it only found a link. Researchers controlled for factors including obesity, smoking history, heart disease, and a history of infections.
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According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases in the U.S. It's been strongly linked to older age, inactivity, poor diet, obesity and family history of diabetes.
Antibiotic use, especially in livestock, is increasingly being criticized in the U.S. Most recently, McDonald’s said it would stop serving chicken produced using medically important antibiotics, while Senator Feinstein introduced a bill that would require drug companies and producers to prove the drugs are being used to treat diagnosed disease, not just to fatten up livestock.
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