A study has found that if antibiotics are given to babies, they may have digestive issues when they grow up. The research, conducted on mice by a team at the University of Melbourne, Australia, was published in The Journal of Physiology. 

   

Antibiotics given to babies may cause gut issues later: Study

WHAT?

A study has found that if antibiotics are given to babies, they may have digestive issues when they grow up. The research, conducted on mice by a team at the University of Melbourne, Australia, was published in The Journal of Physiology. 

HOW?

The study found that early-life exposure to antibiotics in neonatal mice has long-term effects on their microbiota, enteric nervous system and gut function.

If infants are exposed to antibiotics, there is an increased susceptibility to diseases including gastrointestinal disorders later in life. However, the lasting impact of this isn't clear.

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"We are very excited about the findings of our study which show that antibiotics given after birth could have prolonged effects on the enteric nervous system," lead researcher Dr Jaime Foong said as quoted by news agency PTI.

The team gave mice a daily oral dose of vancomycin (an antibiotic medication) for 10 days. They were then reared normally till they became young adults (six weeks old). Their gut tissue was looked at to measure its structure, function, microbiota and nervous system.

It was found that the neonatal antibiotic treatment disrupted the gut functions of young adult female and the male mice differently. The team observed that females had long whole gut transmit, which is the measure of how long it takes food to move through the system. Males, on the other hand, had lower faecal weight.