Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph sh...

Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cattlemen have known for decades that feeding antibiotics to animals fattens them up quickly for market. Does the same thing happen when children are given lots of antibiotics early in their lives?

Dr. Jan Blustein, MD, PhD, told in a recent article discussing a study of antibiotics contributing to childhood obesity, “While we need more research to confirm our findings, this carefully conducted study suggests that antibiotics influence weight gain in humans, and especially children…”

Another author of the study Dr. Leonardo Trasande, MD explained, “Microbes in our intestines may play critical roles in how we absorb calories, and exposure to antibiotics, especially early in life, may kill off healthy bacteria that influence how we absorb nutrients into our bodies, and would otherwise keep us lean.”

According to a Washinton Post article, “The use of antibiotics in young children might lead to a higher risk of obesity … Changes of the intestinal bacteria caused by antibiotics could be responsible.” According to the lead author of another study published in the International Journal of Obesity, treating babies before 6 months old appears to signal a predisposition to being overweight in childhood. Children older than that didn’t seem to be influenced.

Other studies show the correlation between children with unbalanced gut flora and various neurological disorders such as ADD/ADHD and various learning disorders.

Children not only need good nutrition to help them stay healthy and prevent obesity and other health conditions that a poor diet would encourage, but they need to be feeding their beneficial bacteria and not depleting them with antibiotics and other toxins. The best way to feed your healthy flora ecosystem is with traditionally fermented foods like fermented vegetables and kefir.

Then do all you can to avoid killing the beneficial bacteria, particularly in the first 6 months of life. Avoid antibiotic use and use instead safe, gentle, pleasing essential oils to help your children stay healthy and if they are infected, to gently restore them to health without killing the good bacteria in their gut. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to make all this work.


  1. Learn to ferment vegetables. There is excellent training on the Internet, and it’s easy to do. You can also ferment milk to make kefir. You can learn to incorporate these foods into many recipes your family enjoys. If you don’t wish to prepare these foods yourself, be sure to give your children a high quality probiotic supplement and take one yourself.
  2. Talk to your health care provider and express your wishes to avoid antibiotics during the first 6 months of life at least. Discuss with him or her the safe and healthy alaternatives using essential oils. Show him or her our website.
  3. Make sure you have a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables, which offer the right kind of food to grow probiotics in your intestines.
  4. Greatly reduce highly processed grains and starches, pasta, white rice, and potato chips, which feed the bad bacteria and encourage all the problems listed in this article. Limit grains (especially breakfast cereals) because they convert to sugars quickly and have been shown to feed harmful bacteria and contribute to many behavior problems.
  5. Look through website to discover all the ways you can use essential oils instead of antibiotics. Essential oils have wonderful, safe antimicrobial properties that DO NOT damage the delicate balance between good and bad bacteria. Learn about Lemon, Lavender, BabyMe, Tranquility, Millenia, Sunburst and any number of other blends that the young children in your family would enjoy using. Use them on a daily basis.


“Babies Exposed to Antibiotics Predisposes Them to Being Overweight in Childhood.”, Aug. 24, 2012

“Early use of antibiotics linked to obesity, research finds.” The Washington Post Health & Science. August 22, 2012.

“The Wide-Ranging Influence of Gut Microbes on Your Mental and Physical Health.” e-newsletter, September 5, 2012.