An expert's opinion on whether we should pay attention to the link between antibiotics and weight loss. Read more at womenshealthmag.co.uk.

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You’re running a fever, coughing up phlegm and totally out of commission with a chest infection.

At least the antibiotics you were prescribed are helping you get back to normal.

So you get back on your fitness routine and decide to do a weekly weigh-in, to be greeted with a number that’s definitely higher than it was last week. Just what you need.

So was it the side effects of being ill? Or is there a link between taking antibiotics and weight gain?

ANTIBIOTICS AND WEIGHT GAIN: ARE THEY LINKED?

While not yet conclusive, evidence suggests that there is a link between antibiotics and weight gain.

Antibiotics have long been used to fatten up livestock, suggesting that taking antibiotics and weight gain are linked. Research on rats also shows antibiotic exposure disrupts gut microbiota and increases body fat.

Now, research shows that children who regularly take the drugs gain weight faster, demonstrating the link between antibiotics and weight gain.

“It’s entirely possible it could do the same in adults,” says Dr Martin Blaser, director of the Human Microbiome Program at NYU Medical Center.

But before you elect not to treat that infection because of the link between antibiotics and weight gain, note the caveat: “The effect is probably cumulative,” Blaser says.

“My message isn’t ‘don’t take antibiotics at all’, but take them judiciously as prescribed and don’t push your doctor into giving them to you.”

So if you need the meds, do take them, just be aware of the relationship between antibiotics and weight gain.

Want to be more aware of what’s going on in your body? Find out the answer to the question can the pill cause depression and read the truth about type 2 diabetes.

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