New research from Aix-Marseille University in Marseille, France revealed that long-term antibiotic therapy caused weight gain along with changes in gut microbes. Forty-eight patients being treated with doxycycline and hydroxychloroquine for Q fever were compared to 34 control subjects.
Nearly one in four of the treated patients gained from two to 13 kg (five to 30 lbs). None of the patients without antibiotics gained weight. The study which appears in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy adds to the case that antibiotics contribute to obesity.
Treated patients had lower concentrations of beneficial bacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Lactobacilli. Gut microbes prior to treatment predicted who would gain.
According to the abstract here, Q fever causes endocarditis, an infectious inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Endocarditis can damage the heart valves, and has a high mortality rate. And hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug that is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus.
Probiotics along with a low-calorie diet may prevent some of this significant weight gain during the lengthy—18 months—antibiotic treatment.
Thanks to all who attended my pseudo-TED (Truly Enlightening Discourse) talk in Santa Monica on Saturday at Barnes & Noble on 3rd Street Promenade.I know it wasn’t easy given that the awesome SoCal beach was just two blocks away. There are still a few signed copies of Globesity: 10 Things You Didn’t Know Were Making You Fat available at the store (call 310 260 9110 to reserve or order). Hannah, thanks for the deck work. Frank, thanks for the lovely event set-up.
FYI: TED’s mission statement:
“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other…”
Community of curious souls. I’d be honored to be part of that.
Anti-psychotic medications are well-known to cause weight gain in both adults and children. First generation drugs as well as many popular second-generation can lead to considerable weight gain, often thrusting people of normal weight into obesity in less than a year. In addition, certain gut microbes—firmicutes– are associated with increased obesity.
Could they be related?
Researchers at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in the United States asked that question: is there a link between antipsychotic drugs targets and the microbiota?
Results of their investigation? There were “strong associations between protein targets of antipsychotics and microbiota sequences directly related to weight regulation in human body.” Read the study here.
While this demands further study, the possibilities are promising. The weight gain associated with these drugs often leads patients into other obesity-related disorders, including diabetes. Good questions lead to good science.
Medications may cure what ails us but many are dangerously obesogenic.
- High blood pressure drugs
- Antiretroviral therapy and protease inhibitors
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease drugs
- Asthma medications
- Oral contraceptives
- Allergy drugs
- Solutions follow each drug section