(NaturalPath) According to a study out of Greece that was presented at the Endocrine Society meeting, young children who take antibiotics may disrupt their gut’s microbial ecosystem and be more likely to develop prediabetes in adolescence.

“Increased consumption of antibiotics up to the age of three seems to decrease beneficial gut microbes and alter nutrient absorption and metabolism. This may lead to prediabetes, an early high-risk stage of Type 2 diabetes mellitus,” said the main researcher on the project. She continued to say doctors need to be careful with antibiotics because the gut microbes are delicate.

The researchers used both male and female adolescents between 12-17 years of age, analyzing their fecal samples to understand more about the relation between the gut microbes and antibiotics. They used ten prediabetic adolescents and 14 healthy controls. The prediabetc group had taken antibiotics over three times a year by the time they were three years old.

The healthy control group was 8.5 times less likely to have taken antibiotics by the age of three, and 1.75 times more likely to have a positive family history of autoimmune diseases. The result from the study was that the depletion of the gut’s beneficial bacteria leads to unfavorable changes in the gut flora and may lead to adolescent prediabetes. Also, the authors suggest that prebiotics – non-digestible fibers that nourish beneficial microbes – and probiotics – living beneficial microorganisms – may help restore proper balance in gut bacteria and help prevent prediabetes, and its progression to diabetes.

raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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