Home / Food For Thought / Antibiotics / Does the use of antibiotics help animals gain weight?

Does the use of antibiotics help animals gain weight?

Dr. Sid Thakur, Associate Professor, Population Health and Pathobiology, NC State College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Sid Thakur, Associate Professor, Population Health and Pathobiology, NC State College of Veterinary Medicine

For Dr. Thakur: I just heard that antibiotics are fed to pigs to make them gain weight. Is that true?

Dr. Thakur: Let us review the scientific information available on this topic. As indicated in my previous response, antimicrobials are used in raising pigs and other food animal production for improving the feed efficiency, which in turn, leads to gain in weight. The exact mechanism is not known but the proposed theories include keeping the bacterial population growth in the animal gut under check, reducing the toxin release from pathogens and increasing the absorption of nutrients across the gut membrane. So the weight gain is in fact due to improvements in the animal health as a consequence of the proposed hypothesis stated above.

 

 

 

Click Here for a complete list of questions! Click Here to view Food Dialogues®: North Carolina videos!!
FeedTheDialogueNC
Member comments are subject to the following Comments Guidelines.