Microbiome Studies show why it’s good to be cautious with antibiotics

Pets are good for you. Playing in the garden mud is good for you. Being poor is good for you. Antibiotics are bad for you.  If you want to avoid Inflammatory bowel disease, that this. What! Have we gone completely mad? Have we overthrown the whole raison d’etre of LSS at a stroke? Should someone ring down to security and have the entire editorial board ejected into George Street, stripped of their security passes, and admonished never to return again?

The truth, as in so many cases is more subtle and nuanced. That’s why you’ve come to this site and not places like Fox News, where concepts like nuance, subtlety complexity and interpretation seem, shall we say, less prized. Allow us to explain.

There exists, in the University of Newcastle in Australia, a very clever lady called Nisha Thacker. And she has carried out one of those very thorough Metastudies which look at the connections between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and early life experiences in children.  To summarise:

Children and adolescents face greater risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) when exposed to antibiotics or a Western diet at early ages, or when their family has higher socioeconomic status, according to a study being presented today at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2023.

The full story can be found here [1] in the Medical Express. Our researchers also found her speaking on the BBC  (PM programme 8 May 2023; look at 45 minute marker)[2]

One particularly intriguing finding was that, after a course of antibiotics, children in less developed countries recover their gut biota much more rapidly than their over sanitised peers in richer regions It’s one of several factors which might affect the development of IBS-but read for yourself.

So, does all this mean antibiotics are bad, and we should all go pout in the garden and get filthy dirty? Of course not, and that’s not what Nisha is saying. What she does imply is a cautious, balanced approach to antibiotic prescription, much more sensible diets, and of course no smoking. Wise advice all round, in fact.

[1] Pediatric IBD risk linked to antibiotics, Western diet and higher family income (medicalxpress.com)

[2] BBC iPlayer – Home

#health #medicine #antibiotic resistance #microbiome #gut #superbug

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