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David Mittleman
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The Dangerous Side Effects of Antibiotics

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Antibiotics were considered a miracle cure when Sir Alexander Fleming first discovered penicillin in 1928. It opened up the horizons for treating and curing bacterial infections that we consider minor today, but were serious and sometimes deadly during Fleming's time. However, recent evidence suggests that we may have carried the benefits of antibiotics too far–in fact, we inject our farm animals with antibiotics to fatten them up and this has potentially devastating effects on our health. Additionally, the newest reports also argue that humans are more prone to lifestyle diseases such as Type II diabetes because of our over-reliance on antibiotics.

The non-profit group Extending the Cure recently conducted a study of antibiotic prescriptions by state and found that those states with the greatest antibiotic use had higher rates of individuals with diabetes, heart attacks, and obesity. While these findings don't prove a direct correlation between antibiotic use and lifestyle diseases, they do suggest that antibiotics change how our stomachs work, leading us to eat more.

Scientists first found evidence in 1954 suggesting that antibiotics cause weight gain. Furthermore, research also supports the idea that antibiotics kill helpful stomach bacteria that helps to prevent overating. If that's not bad enough, antibiotics were also found to cause a rise in leptin, the hormone that triggers hunger. Several other studies have found evidence of the harmful effects of antibiotics on the body, especially in regards to weight gain and related health problems. Overall, antibiotics are helpful if used appropriately, but it is best if they are used only when medically necessary.