Jill Brown / CC BY 2.0

Frequent users of antibiotics were about 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes than those who had taken the drugs infrequently, researchers in Denmark have found.

Increased use of antibiotics among people eventually diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes was seen as early as 15 years before diagnosis.

“Although we cannot infer causality from this study, the findings raise the possibility that antibiotics could raise the risk of Type 2 diabetes,” said Kristian Mikkelsen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Copenhagen who led the research, in a news release. “Another equally compelling explanation may be that people develop Type 2 diabetes over the course of years and face a greater risk of infection during that time.”

MedPage Today reports:

“What struck me about this study was there was almost no difference according to the type of antibiotic. To me that’s a red flag,” George Grunberger, MD, of the Grunberger Diabetes Institute in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, told MedPage Today.

“Every class of antibiotics works differently. They affect different bugs. If you tell me that there was no difference among them that tends to shoot down the theory that these antibiotics are altering gut flora — unless every class alters it in the same way,” Grunberger said.

However, “as with everything else in science, we need studies to show cause and effect,” he said.

In the meantime, the apparent antibiotics-T2DM link is another reason physicians should be cautious about over-prescribing antibiotics, Grunberger said.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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