Antibiotics mess up your stomach
New Delhi: Even seemingly gentle antibiotics may severely disrupt the balance of microbes living in the gut, with unforeseen health consequences, US researchers reported.
An intimate study of three women given ciprofloxacin showed the drug suppressed entire populations of beneficial bacteria, and at least one woman took months to recover. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, supports the common wisdom that antibiotics can damage the `good` germs living in the body.
It may also support the idea behind the development of so-called probiotic products including yogurt with live cultures of bacteria. The researchers tested the three volunteers daily, giving them a five-day course of the commonly used antibiotic ciprofloxacin twice during the 10-month study. They ran DNA tests on stool samples from the volunteers to determine what kind of microbes were living in the gut. "The effect of ciprofloxacin on the gut microbiota was profound and rapid," Les Dethlefsen and David Relman of Stanford University in California wrote.
"By one week after the end of each course, communities began to return to their initial state, but the return was often incomplete." More and more studies support the idea that humans and other animals have a symbiotic relationship with germs. Microbes in the intestines help digest food and `good` germs can take up space and keep bad germs away.
Gut microbes can affect obesity and may play a role in allergy. Lactobacillus reuteri, found in breast milk, may protect against rotavirus infections, other researchers have found. Several recent studies have found that certain bacteria cause inflammation that can affect appetite as well as inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn`s disease and colitis.
Regularly wiping out the body`s bacterial population could also be helping drive the rapid spread of drug-resistant superbugs, the Stanford team said. "One potential ramification of the altered community is an enhanced carriage of antibiotic-resistance genes in the human population," they wrote. "Every course of antibiotics may represent another roll of the dice," they added -- potentially a "bad" strain to replace a beneficial species.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Terrorist outfit IS releases hitlist; 4000 people including 285 Indians targeted
- Mumbai: Woman missing after falling in manhole
- Mann Ki Baat: PM recalls dark days of 1975 Emergency, says democracy is our strength
- Mann Ki Baat: Conserve every drop of water, says PM
- PM Modi launches 'Smart City Project' in Pune
- Rock stars and celebrities react with dismay to Brexit
- WATCH: How AAP MLA Dinesh Mohaniya was arrested by Delhi Police amidst high drama during press conference
- BJP president Amit Shah sounds poll bugle in Uttarakhand; slams Congress, Harish Rawat
- IIFA 2016: Why should Oscars become benchmark to celebrate Indian cinema, asks Anupam Kher
- US floods: 24 dead in West Virginia; search and rescue continues