Taking certain types of antibiotics repeatedly may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by upto 23%, the findings of a new study published in the European Journal of Endocrinology has revealed.
The researchers looked into a database which had over a million people from United Kingdom, and found that individuals who were prescribed 2 or more course of certain types of antibiotics over a period of time had a much higher risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as compared to those who had never been prescribed, or those who had taken just a single dose.
To be specific, the researchers considered 200,000 diabetic patients and checked their history of antibiotic prescriptions atleast a year prior to their diagnosis.
They then compared this number of antibiotics to another number of antibiotics which were prescribed to 800,000 non-diabetic patients.
They found that around 50 percent of the participants were prescribed with antibiotics at some point of time during the study period, and the chances of these subjects developing diabetes grew with the number of antibiotic courses prescribed to them.
While it is not yet clear as to how the repeated use of antibiotics could be linked to diabetes, the researchers believe that these drugs could be causing an imbalance in the gut bacteria, which may in turn, raise the risk of diabetes.
“Gut bacteria have been suggested to influence the mechanisms behind obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes in both animal and human models. Previous studies have shown that antibiotics can alter the digestive ecosystem,” the researchers explained. “While our study does not show cause and effect, we think changing levels and diversity of gut bacteria could explain the link between antibiotics and diabetes risk.”