antibiotics and type2 diabetes

Evidence linking gut bacteria to human disease is mounting, and a recent study has assessed whether use of antibiotics could be linked to development of type 2 diabetes


A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, has investigated the potential link between antibiotics and type 2 diabetes. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, assessed the involvement of antibiotic treatment in type 2 diabetes development due to the growing body of scientific studies that suggest a role for the microbiome (bacteria in the human gut) to influence nutrient metabolism and disease.

The researchers studied the incidence of type 2 diabetes and use of antibiotics in Denmark using data from the Danish National Registry of Patients, the Danish National Prescription Registry, and the Danish Person Registry. They found that risk of type 2 diabetes was increased with increasing antibiotic exposure. Filling between 2 and 4 antibiotic prescriptions per year was found to confer increased risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to filling either 0 or 1 prescription per year. The researchers found the association was present for 15 years prior to diabetes onset. Interestingly, the results showed a stronger association between bactericidal and narrow spectrum antibiotics and type 2 diabetes risk, compared to broad-spectrum antibiotics.

While the researchers cannot refute the possibility that the findings may be due to an increased need for antibiotics in patients with un-diagnosed diabetes, the results support the notion that increased exposure to antibiotics results in an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Kristian Hallundbæk Mikkelsen, Filip Krag Knop, Morten Frost, Jesper Hallas, and Anton Pottegård “Use of Antibiotics and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Population-Based Case-Control Study” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism First Published Online: August 27, 2015

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Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD

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