The metabolic consequences observed indicate that micobiota disruption during a critical development window can explain later life phenomena, including adult obesity. LDP [low-dose penicillin] may decrease particular early-life-protective bacterial populations, which is consistent with coevolution with microbes having specific interactions promoting metabolic fitness. As “keystone” species, their reduction could lead to broad intestinal ecologic changes, permitting increases in taxa having alternate roles in metabolic or immunologic development. That the microbiota recovers, yet the phenotype remains, suggests that microbiota changes can affect metabolic programming; studies examining epigenetic regulation could help elucidate mechanisms of host-microbe interaction.
Altering the Intestinal Microbiota during a Critical Developmental Window Has Lasting Metabolic Consequences. (1)
This quotation is from a recently published study demonstrating how antibiotics given to rodent mothers right before birth, or to their pups after weaning, can affect weight regulation for these offspring well into adulthood. One of the researchers on this study is Dr. Martin J. Blaser, author of: Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues. I highly recommend reading this book if you haven’t already.
Unfortunately, time constraints keep me from blogging about this study, so I’m just going to link to an article on Science Daily that reported on its results. You can find it here.
For those interested in reading the original, you can download a PDF here. My understanding is that it will be available as a free download for a limited time.