Antibiotics & Your Kid’s Microbiome

Parents are often concerned about their kid’s health needs, and they have a good reason to investigate how antibiotics play a role. A parents first response when their child gets sick may be to run to the doctor and get a prescription. However, they should consider antibiotics long-term effects on a kid’s gut microbiome before filling that new prescription. Recent research sheds light into two groups of kids immune systems. One group of kids findings show how their immune system later on in life seemed to respond to taking macrolide antibiotics, and how the other group of kids immune system that did not take antibiotics, developed later on in life.

Macrolide antibiotics may change kid’s natural gut microbes. Altering children’s natural gut microbes may be harmful in the long-run. The potential negative long-term effects can make them vulnerable to asthma and obesity.

A study conducted on 142 children between the ages of 2 and 7 provided some insight into how antibiotics may alter children’s natural gut microbes. One group of children did not receive antibiotics for over two years. These children, the ones that did not receive antibiotics, showed a much more diverse variety of microbes that seem to show stronger, healthier immune systems that helped prevent chronic disease later in life.

What about the children who took the antibiotics? These children’s immune system seemed to struggle in developing stronger immunity as time passed. The destruction of beneficial bacteria due to the use of macolide antibiotics seemed to compromise the immune systems natural process of combating chronic disease. “There was a positive correlation between overall lifetime antibiotic use and body mass index (BMI), as well as an increased risk of asthma” (Korpela et al., 2016).

Researchers believe that kids who had taken macrolide antibiotics–ones that are often used to treat bacterial infections–likely experienced a greater destruction of their natural gut microbes that they need and become more apparent later on in life. more recent findings published in Gastroenterology , concluded that children were at greater risk of childhood obesity if more than three courses antibiotics were introduced before the age of 2.

While it may be easier to get a prescription for antibiotics to get your kids back on track in the short-term parents should consult their physician, and ask questions to make sure they are getting all the facts.

Antibiotics PIC


Antibiotics & Your Kid’s Microbiome


Korpela, Katri, Anne Salonen, Lauri J. Virta, Riina A. Kekkonen, Kristoffer Forslund, Peer Bork, and Willem M. De Vos. “Intestinal microbiome is related to lifetime antibiotic use in finnish pre-school children.” Nature Communications Nat Comms 7 (2016): doi: 10.1038/ncomms10410

Scott, Frank I. Horton, Daniel B. Mamtani,Ronac,  Haynes,Kevin, Goldberg,David S. Lee,Dale Y. and Lewis, James D. Administration of antibiotics to children before age 2 years increases risk for childhood obesity. Gastroenterology , Volume 151 , Issue 1 , 120 – 129.e5:

Wachter, H. (2016, March). Antibiotics & your kid’s microbiome, Experiance Life. Retrieved from

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