Another reason to avoid antibiotics?

Antibiotics may increase the risk of juvenile arthritis

  • Likelihood of those affected is double that of same-aged children who did not receive these medications.

Taking antibiotics may increase the risk of developing juvenile arthritis. This is indicated by a study carried out by US researchers published in “Pediatrics”. According to the study, the more antibiotics prescribed to children, the higher their risk.

Scientists analysed data of approximately 450,000 children. Of these, 152 were diagnosed with juvenile arthritis.

The study showed that taking antibiotics was associated with a higher risk of developing the autoimmune disease was double that of same-aged children who had not been prescribed antibiotics. The more antibiotics a child had taken, the higher the likelihood of developing juvenile arthritis.

Other studies had linked viral upper respiratory tract infections to juvenile arthritis. But the results now indicate that children who had received antibiotics to treat infections of the upper respiratory tract had a higher risk of developing the disease than children with an untreated upper respiratory infection. Antiviral and antifungal drugs were not associated with an increased risk of juvenile arthritis.

It could be that the effect of antibiotics on gut bacteria is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic diseases -by affecting immunity. It may also be possible that the abnormal immune system makes children more susceptible to serious infections even before they are diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. In the latter case, antibiotics would be a marker for abnormal immunity rather than a cause of arthritis.

Either way, generally we should trust our immune systems to work well if we let them.

Original article from Univadis

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