Children given antibiotics are far more likely to suffer from an impaired immune system that leaves them more susceptible to disease as an adult.
Antibiotics are the most common prescription drugs given to children, and account for 25 per cent of all drugs they take.
But they also cause dysbiosis, or changes to the gut bacteria, which raises the risk for infectious disease, allergies and other auto-immune diseases, including obesity. Gut bacteria help maintain a healthy immune system.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota reviewed hundreds of studies and discovered a strong link between antibiotic use in childhood with unbalanced gut bacteria and adult diseases.
(Source: Cell Host & Microbe, 2015; doi: 10/1016/j.chom.2015.04.006)