Using antibiotics may raise your risk of type 2 diabetes

Recent research suggests a potential link between antibiotics and the development of type 2 diabetes. The study found that individuals who later developed type 2 diabetes had a higher frequency of antibiotic use in the years leading up to their diagnosis compared to those who did not have the disease.

In the study, individuals with type 2 diabetes were found to have significantly higher antibiotic usage up to 15 years before their diagnosis compared to healthy controls. While the study cannot establish causality, lead author Kristian Hallundbaek Mikkelsen noted that the findings raise the possibility of antibiotics contributing to the risk of type 2 diabetes. An alternative explanation could be that individuals are predisposed to developing type 2 diabetes over time and are more susceptible to infections during this process.

The researchers analyzed data from over 170,500 individuals with type 2 diabetes and 1.3 million individuals without diabetes, gathered from national health registries in Denmark. They observed that individuals with type 2 diabetes filled a higher average number of antibiotic prescriptions per year compared to control subjects. Furthermore, the use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics showed a particularly strong association with an increased risk of diabetes.

Previous studies have demonstrated how antibiotics can alter the composition of bacteria in the gut, potentially impacting the body’s ability to metabolize sugar, which is a characteristic feature of diabetes. These findings suggest a possible mechanism through which antibiotics may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.