How Antibiotics in Food Affect Weight

It is widely known that when you are ill, antibiotics are prescribed by your doctor, much the same as the antibiotics that farmers feed to their cows in order to make them gain weight. Just the fact that these antibiotics are being used affectively in order to make an animal gain weight proves that they would make people gain weight too, but it is a lot more complicated than that simple of an answer.

Good Bacteria

As hard as it may be to imagine, your body is full of good bacteria. When administering antibiotics, these medications don’t distinguish good bacteria from bad, simply killing all bacteria that they come in contact with. There are over one hundred trillion beneficial bacteria that occur naturally within our bodies. We often call them flora, and they live inside your intestinal system. Somewhere around 85 percent of the bacteria found in your body complete important functions, like boosting your immunity and helping you digest the foods you eat. Some bacteria are considered to be so good for you that they are being sold in stores, marketed in foods and labeled as diet foods.

Yeast Overgrowth

One fungus is known to over grow itself during times of long-term antibiotic use and that fungus is yeast. Yeast is also known as candida and is known to reside within your digestive system, on your skin and in your mouth. It is not harmed by antibiotic medication, and it begins to grow when all other bacteria are wiped out and there is no other competition. Yeast feeds on sugar that you eat, and it’s proven that yeast overgrowth can cause hormonal imbalances and sugar cravings.

Other research has also proven that an over abundance of yeast can hurt your thyroid’s ability to function, which will lead to a lowering in your metabolic functioning. When your metabolism slows down, it means your body can burn fewer calories than normal for food and the rest will be placed in fat storage and add to your weight.

The Digestive Tract

Before any of this other research, the first ever encounter with proof of antibiotics being linked with weight gain occurred on a naval ship when perfectly healthy recruits were given penicillin in order to prevent an outbreak of strep throat. These recruits gained an average of more than four pounds in seven weeks. The reasons why something like this would happen are very complex and were very hard to explain or understand at the time.

One would be hard pressed to say that taking antibiotics when you are sick is a bad idea, but it is definitely bad for your health to take them continuously. Another factor to think of is the food you eat, because certain foods do contain trace amounts of antibiotics hidden within them. Most of these are animal byproducts, like dairy and meat. Milk is known to contain an abundance of antibiotics, for example.


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