Antibiotics are one of the most over prescribed medications in America. There is no argument that antibiotics can be lifesaving and necessary at times, but it is now estimated that at least 1 in 3 antibiotic prescriptions are completely unnecessary. This is because most colds are actually viral in nature, rather than bacterial. Remember, antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses. It is estimated that more than 75% of upper respiratory infections, sore throats and ear infections are actually caused by viruses.
Individuals who experience increased antibiotic use in childhood (especially within the first 5 years of life) are more likely to have long term consequences such as increased risk of obesity, asthma, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, allergies, bacterial resistant infections, depression/other mental illnesses and inflammatory bowel diseases. The mental health associations are being investigated as having a mechanism through the devastation of the gut microbiome (remember, 80% of your serotonin is produced in your gut). It's also important to know that antibiotics can induce the depletion of the following nutrients: vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, B1, B12, folate and B6.