It was quite a coincidence to read the following article in the NY Times on day 7 of my penicillin regimen.
The Fat Drug
I knew that antibiotics were given routinely to animals.
I did NOT know HOW LONG AGO this became accepted practice.
I did NOT know that the drugs were delivered constantly in their feed.
I did NOT know that increased weight was a side effect. (I thought that was a result of added hormones)
I did NOT know that tests were once done on humans, including children.
I learned that Alexander Fleming discovered penicillan.
The article states that on a visit to the USA, he was told about the agricultural uses of these drugs
… Fleming seemed disturbed by the thought of applying that logic to humans. “I can’t predict that feeding penicillin to babies will do society much good,” he said. “Making people larger might do more harm than good.”
Then the tone of the article changes with the statement.
“Of course, while farm animals often eat a significant dose of antibiotics in food, the situation is different for human beings. By the time most meat reaches our table, it contains little or no antibiotics”
I wonder if this is really true?
Over-prescription of antibiotics is said to be the cause of the emergence of “superbugs”
Now it’s also being investigated as one factor in the increase in obesity?
The problem I have with the last premise is that antibiotics were prescribed in the 50s almost automatically during doctor visits. I remember “mycin” and “sulfa” and “penicillin,” the last one usually by injection. Yet overweight or obese children were rare.
We were grateful for those miracle drugs. I had chronic respiratory problems. Of course no one considered the effect of my constant exposure to cigarette smoke. Even the doctor was smoking.
We’ve learned a lot since then. We still have a lot to learn.