Monday, December 19, 2011

Are Antibiotics Making Us Fat? from Yahoo News

Farmers have long used antibiotics to fatten up livestock—and now there’s growing evidence that these drugs may have the same effect on people. What’s more, instead of being miracle cures, there’s now scary speculation that antibiotics could be jeopardizing our health by making us more prone to lifestyle diseases, from type 2 diabetes to heart attacks and fatal strokes. If that sounds far-fetched, consider this: States with the highest rates of antibiotic prescriptions also rank as the least healthy, Wired magazine reported on November 25.

When the nonprofit research group Extending the Cure recently mapped antibiotic prescriptions by state, it found the heaviest use (measured per 1,000 people) in the eastern half of the US, particularly West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Alabama, all of which comprise the so-called Stroke Belt, due to the high rate of stroke fatalities. According to CDC data, Wired adds, these states (and to a lesser extent, much of the eastern US) also have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart attacks, compared to the western US. While these correlations don’t prove that antibiotic overuse triggers these diseases, studies suggest that it could drive up obesity by changing how our stomachs work. Here’s a look at the findings.

For the full article please go here.

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