Brain Health

Does antibiotic use contribute to cognitive decline?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 20, 2022

Did you know that the frequent use of antibiotics may negatively impact cognition? Research suggests that antibiotic use should be kept to a minimum for preserved cognitive function.

Study Summary

Recent research has linked higher antibiotic use to lower cognitive function for middle-aged women. The research analyzed the antibiotic and cognitive data of 15,129 female nurses, finding that those who used antibiotics for at least two months had lower cognitive scores when compared to those who had taken antibiotics briefly or had not taken them at all. Researcher suggested that the decline, was equal to 3-4 years of aging.

A review and a case-control study suggest that a single antibiotic course likely increases the risk for depression and anxiety. Research also suggests that recurrent use of antibiotics may have a greater impact on these aspects of mental health.

The Hearty Take

Antibiotics disrupt the microbiome, our bodies collective of microbes. The gut and the brain are connected both biochemically and physically. A poor microbiome has been connected with various mental health outcomes. Problems in the gut negatively impact mental health. Talk to your functional doctor before taking antibiotics!

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