When you think about antibiotics, they’re usually for when you’re sick, right? Well, not really. Around 60 years ago, scientists figured out that giving healthy cattle, hogs, and poultry antibiotics in their feed or water helped them gain weight faster. Our first reaction to discovering this was: Good thing we aren’t getting antibiotics in our food or water, in case it’d make us gain weight faster. Oh wait, it turns out we do. Humans consume antibiotics not only through the meat we eat, but also via the water we drink (think manure contamination + groundwater).
In the third of our three-part series on antibiotics, we look at how the antibiotics we are unknowingly consuming can affect our health and microbiome. Plus, how the rise of antibiotic use in animals may be tied to the obesity epidemic.
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