SEOUL, Feb.23 (Korea Bizwire) – Antibiotics are often taken to ‘cure’ certain symptoms that occur in the human body, such as inflammation. They are often prescribed as necessary treatment since they work quickly and seem to show actual progress in curing illnesses, but controversy has clouded the usage of antibiotics and their effects for a considerable amount of time.
For the first time in the world, a Korean research team proved that when antibiotics are over-prescribed, the balance between the microorganisms living in our bodies could be broken, and the ability to defend the body from illnesses is lowered.
The research team led by professor Lee Heung-gyu at KAIST announced that they had identified the mechanism through which the imbalance of symbiotic microorganisms in the body could influence the immune system when defending against herpes.
The results were published in the online January issue of the international science journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ (PNAS).
Symbiotic microorganisms are microorganisms that coexist in the human body, playing various roles to maintain health. An imbalance in the microorganisms can cause inflammable intestine illnesses, as well as allergies, diabetes and cancer.
When the research team injected lab rats with antibiotics, they observed an imbalance of microorganisms. Helpful microorganisms decreased and harmful microorganisms that could not exist in a natural state increased.
When the same rats were then infected with herpes, they died earlier than other rats that were not injected with antibiotics.
The research team anticipated that the results of the research would raise awareness on the harm antibiotics can cause to the human body.
However, antibiotics are everywhere. They are not only injected into humans to treat illnesses, but they are also injected into livestock that ends up on our dinner tables.
According to a Chinese publication, antibiotics for animals were detected in 80 percent of Chinese children.
When the research team analyzed the urine of children between the ages of eight and 11, 21 different types of antibiotics used on animals were detected in 79.6 percent of the children.
The problem is that the incidence of animal antibiotics was directly related to obesity among children.
Low density antibiotics led to a 1.99 point higher risk of obesity, and the presence of mid to high density antibiotics resulted in children three times more likely to be obese.
With multiple reports from around the world alerting to the dangers of antibiotics, it is time for governments to take steps to safeguard their citizens.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)