Children Taking Antibiotics In Early Years Grow Up As Angry Adults, Study Claims

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald April 06, 04:00 am
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Experts at McMaster Brain-Body Institute said antibiotics make children angry adults but probiotics could lessen its long-term effects.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Children who take antibiotics in their early years could grow up as angry adults, according to a new study. The same effects and manifestations of aggression were also seen in children whose moms took antibiotics during pregnancy.

Experts at the McMaster Brain-Body Institute in Canada conducted the research on the effects of antibiotics or penicillin in children. Nature Communications journal published their findings.

Antibiotics fight infection like UTI in pregnant moms or strep throat in young children. Doctors commonly prescribe amoxicillin as the safest medication.

Experts, however, wondered whether taking low doses of antibiotics have long-term effects. The researcher used pregnant mice and their infants as subjects in testing their hypothesis.

One group served as the control group and another group received penicillin shots. Another group received both penicillin shots and probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus doses.

Experts saw the mice injected with low doses of penicillin manifested anxieties and social aggression. It altered the balance of the gut microbes that also triggered changes in the blood-brain barrier in their brain, as per Health Line.

Experts also noted changes in behavior in the mice injected with both penicillin and probiotic. The aggression, however, were noticeably less obvious.

"In this paper, we report that low-dose penicillin taken late in pregnancy and in early life of mice offspring, changes behavior and the balance of microbes in the gut," Dr. John Bienenstock said, as per Medical Express. "While these studies have been performed in mice, they point to popular increasing concerns about the long-term effects of antibiotics," he said, adding the study also showed probiotics as a counteractive to antibiotics.

Bienenstock said some infections necessitate antibiotic treatment that's meant to improve health and save lives. The study, however, serves as a warning that medicating could also cause harm, in the long run, especially in younger children.

"Those effects are largely prevented by taking the probiotic," Bienenstock said. He recommended further studies on probiotics since there are currently no concrete recommended doses or daily allowances for this.

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