Can antibiotics make you gain weight?

Can antibiotics make you gain weight?

Have you ever completed a course of antibiotics and noticed how hungry you are all the time? If this is you, then you may be wondering if antibiotics can make you gain weight.

The answer isn’t as straightforward as I had hoped.

So can antibiotics make you gain weight?

Assuming you have access to food, the follow up questions to this should be – “How good is your willpower?” Antibiotics can lead to an increase in body fat and huger hormones which will make it more difficult for you to control your eating habits.

It’s long been acknowledged that antibiotics disrupts the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. It kills off both beneficial and harmful microorganisms without any distinction.

70 Percent of all antibiotics produced in America are given to livestock and not necessarily to fight disease as many believe. It’s foremost function is to promote expeditious weight gain.


How does it work?

Your hunger hormone should drop after eating in order to signal your brain that you’re full. An increase would tell your brain to continue eating, irrespective of whether you are hungry or not.

Overexposure to high levels of this hormone can lead to something called leptin resistance. This means that your body becomes incapable of properly understanding leptin signals.

The way your body stores fat is a regulated process largely controlled by leptin. If you gain weight, the additional fat should produce extra leptin alerting your brain that your body is storing too much fat.

Signals are sent to your brain to stop being hungry and to stop eating. When you become leptin-resistant, your body can no longer hear these messages. This means that you will never receive this message and continue to overindulge.

You can become leptin resistant by simply eating a diet full of sugar, refined and processed foods. These, like antibiotics, will upset the bacteria equilibrium in your gut.

How long will this effect last

Research conducted by Dr. Blaser shows how 18 months after completing a course of antibiotics there is an increase of up to 6 times in the lease of ghrelin, aka “the hunger hormone” and a 20% increase in leptin levels or otherwise known as the “body fat hormone”.

Will taking a probiotic help?

Probiotics restores the good bacteria in your stomach and is believed to promote healthy weight loss. Try some yogurt with lactobacillus fermentum or lactobacillus amylovorus.

Other ways to try speed up your metabolism

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Drink black coffee or green tea
  • Eat spicy foods (This effect is quite small and works best when used in conjunction with other strategies)
  • Exercise
  • Drink cold water


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