Early antibiotic use can lead to inflammatory bowel disease, Rutgers researchers find

Overuse of antibiotics in kids has been linked to obesity, asthma and juvenile diabetes. 

“Other countries, like Sweden and Holland, are using antibiotics much less than we are, and those kids are pretty healthy,” Blaser noted.

More recently, Blaser has discovered another link, this one between the early use of antibiotics and later problems with inflammatory bowel disease.

“We gave mice antibiotics very early in life, or not, and then we gave them a chemical that inflames their colon, which we know will inflame their colon,” he explained. “Then, we asked, whose colons were more inflamed? It turns out the mice that got the antibiotics early in life — even if they got the chemical when they were adults — they still had more inflammation.”

Blaser said his study provides more evidence that the use of antibiotics in children under 1 year old disrupts the beneficial microorganisms that live in our bodies, which play a key role in the health of the immune system.​