Antibiotics always seem to be bad news, no matter what they are used for. Even if they are supposed to cure many diseases, they often have negative effects on our health in the long run. This prompts many people who are concerned about their general health to avoid them altogether.
A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen now associates antibiotics use with type 2 diabetes. The idea is not entirely new, but it adds further evidence to an already known assumption.
“Although we cannot infer causality from this study, the findings raise the possibility that antibiotics could raise the risk of type 2 diabetes. Another equally compelling explanation may be that people develop type 2 diabetes over the course of years and face a greater risk of infection during that time,” said lead study author Kristian Mikkelsen, who is a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen.
The study, whose findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, reveals that people who use antibiotics very often, have a 50 percent higher chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, a person who is a frequent antibiotics user can be diagnosed with diabetes even after 15 years.
The researchers looked at the data of all the Danish citizens that were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 2000 and 2012. They also compared antibiotic use of these people with that of a control population.
The results showed that those who filled at least 5 antibiotic prescriptions were 53 percent more inclined to develop type 2 diabetes. It was also reported that the type of antibiotic these people ingested was not extremely important. However, narrow-spectrum antibiotics use was more strongly associated with the risk of developing diabetes compared to broad-spectrum antibiotics.
What is more worrying is that the use of antibiotics over a longer period of time can have an impact on the person’s health even 15 years before the person is diagnosed.
Further research still needs to be carried out to check the causality of this connection. Moreover, according to Mikkelsen, it is important to take a closer look at narrow-spectrum penicillin, which seem to be more closely linked with the development of type 2 diabetes.