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America’s Obesity Problem Linked To Overuse Of Antibiotics

January 11, 2010: 06:04 AM EST
The lack of so-called good bacteria in the human digestive system – and not Big Macs or a lack of exercise – could be the key to the obesity epidemic in the United States, according to a medical school professor. Chronic antibiotic overuse is making kids fatter by destroying the good bacteria needed to efficiently digest food, he says, noting that “our ancestral microbes are disappearing." Those good bacteria residing in the gut and other places may also protect people from diabetes, asthma, and immune system problems, while bacteria on the skin may actually help prevent infections.
Matthew Herper, "Germs That Are Good For You", Forbes.com, January 11, 2010, © Forbes.com LLC™
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