NJ Allergy Doctors Blog

Do Antibiotics Cause Food Allergies?

tom murphy - Tuesday, April 30, 2013



A study presented at the 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology showed a link between antibiotic exposure in infancy and the later development of food allergies. Researchers from South Carolina presented a study in which three or more rounds of antibiotics in the fist year of life (7-12 months) doubled the risk of food allergies. The study looked at 1,100 children diagnosed with food allergy before the age of three years and compared them with 6,433 control subjects.

The lead investigator stated his belief that the development of food allergies was linked to “a disruption of normal gut flora”, the beneficial bacteria that inhabit our bodies. It is well known and accepted that antibiotics kill not only disease-causing bacteria, but susceptible beneficial bacteria as well. Other studies have shown that beneficial gut bacteria do re-appear but their numbers take weeks to reach former levels and diversity is limited.

While this study is certain to be replicated by others and full results are still to come, there is ample reason to be cautious with antibiotics in all children and particularly during the first year of life. Antibiotics are invaluable for treating disease and have saved millions of lives, however overuse or usage that is not appropriate can cause harm. The physicians at Allergy & Asthma Specialists support the proper use of antibiotics. www.njallergydoctors.com

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