How Badly Do Antibiotics Damage Our Gut Flora
There are around 100 trillion bacteria in our guts, so its impossible to know the precise composition of anyones microbiome before they start a course of antibiotics, or after they finish. But modern gut testing can give us a good idea.
Research has revealed that antibiotics have the potential to decimate our gut bacteria. That means that the round you took for your sinus infection could have cut your gut flora down to one tenth of its previous level. Not by one tenth, to one tenth: thats a 90 percent reduction .
The damage done appears to depend on a few factors.
How Soon After Antibiotics Can You Take Probiotics
Once a day, about 4 hours after taking an antibiotic, I took a Synbiotic 365 pill.
You can take S. boulardii at the same time as your antibiotics because S. Boulardii is a probiotic yeastand probiotic yeast are unharmed by antibiotics .
Each course of antibiotics I will take Synbiotic 365 as well as a S. Boulardii.
I used to think that pure Saccharomyces boulardii was the best way to go. But, looking deeper into it, I think the research better supports taking a broad spectrum probiotic like Synbiotic 365 which also has Saccharomyces boulardii. Ill keep an eye on the research and maybe well get a definitive answer on the best probiotic combination to take with antibiotics.
How Do Probiotics Work
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
- Create vitamins.
- Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed from entering your blood.
- Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You dont actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
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Effect Of Antibiotics On Your Microbiome
Even if antibiotics are prescribed responsibly and by responsibly, I mean for serious bacterial infections, not viruses they are associated with some significant negative health effects.
You see, in a balanced microbiome, probiotics comprise 85 percent of all the bacteria that leaves only 15 percent of the bad guys. With beneficial bacteria solidly in the majority, your probiotics can work hard to keep you healthy and harmful bacteria are unable to gain a foothold.
But, what if antibiotics knock that probiotic percentage down to 50 percent, 40 percent, or even 20 percent?
Think of your gut as a parking lot full of spaces for bacteria to park and make a home. If the spots are full with mostly good microbes and a bad guy gets in, he has nowhere to park and must leave.
Antibiotics clear out the parking spaces, getting rid of most of the pathogens but wiping out the good guys, too. Now, what if a bad guy gets in? You guessed it with plenty of open parking places, he can settle in and take over.
Probiotics And Antibiotics In
There is no doubt that antibiotics have an essential role to play in modern medicine in preventing and curing bacterial infections. They have saved millions of lives worldwide since their development and mass distribution in the 1940s. Bacterial infections are no longer the most common cause of death in the modern world, predominantly as a result of the action of antibiotics1. However, in recent times it has become increasingly recognised that antibiotics negatively affect our gut microbiome2.
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Will Any Probiotic Work
If you are taking a probiotic other than the two Lactobacillus strains mentioned above, it is best to wait 1 to 2 hours after taking your antibiotics before taking the probiotic supplement. Ideally, any alternative probiotic strains taken should also have research demonstrating their efficacy during antibiotic therapy. If you are taking a probiotic from a different supplier, it is best to ask that supplier directly about the length of time to leave between taking their product and taking your antibiotics. As a general rule, many companies tend to recommend waiting 1 or 2 hours after taking antibiotics before taking their probiotics. After this length of time, sufficient levels of the beneficial bacteria are able to reach the gut alive. It is generally recommended to take probiotics every day during your course of antibiotics this way you can replenish your friendly bacteria on a daily basis, before your digestive system is upset by a longstanding microbial imbalance.
Take Probiotics To Restore Gut Flora
Probiotics are your good gut bacteriathe ones that support healthy digestion, produce nutrients and get rid of toxins and pathogens, among other key roles. A diet rich in probiotics can help good microbes colonize in your gut and keep the unfriendly ones at bay. Heads up:
The histamines in fermented foods mean that some choices, like miso and conventional yogurt, dont work for everyone. Probiotic supplements are super effective ways to get these beneficial bacteria in your diet.
Heres an easy win: Bulletproof Unflavored Gut Health Collagen Protein covers all your bases. It contains probiotics, plus prebiotic acacia , glycine and zinc carnosine to a healthy gut lining.
What to know about probiotics and antibiotics
Every dose of antibiotics wipes out a large portion of bacteria throughout your entire body, including the good guys. After that, the good microbes and the unfriendly ones slowly rebuild, and if all goes well, they come back into balance. But, it takes time, and they dont always colonize in harmony.
To keep one strain of gut flora from taking over, take a probiotic supplement while youre taking antibiotics. The friendly probiotic bacteria may not colonize in the gut, but they can still help you through a course of antibiotics.
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Probiotic Pearls Acidophilus Nutritional Supplement
The Probiotic Pearls Acidophilus Nutritional Supplement is a great daily probiotic that helps to promote your digestive balance and colon health. This supplement also aims to support your bodys immune defense.
An added bonus is how this probiotic supplement gives you a ton of flexibility and is convenient since it doesnt need to be refrigerated and can be taken with or without food!
One of the greatest features of this particular probiotic supplement is that uses what the manufacturer calls True Delivery Technology. This supposedly allows the probiotic to be protected enough to successfully deliver the probiotic bacteria to your digestive tract. These capsules are designed to withstand the harsh stomach acids and ensure that the probiotics you are taking make it all the way to where they are needed most. This is an amazing feature as there are many other gelatin capsules that simply cannot stand against the acidity of your stomach acids. Most capsules are disintegrated and digested long before they even may it to the latter stages of the digestive system.
Prebiotics To Help Restore Gut Health After Antibiotics
To help boost the effectiveness of taking probiotics after antibiotics, you should also take prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that act as a food source for good bacteria in your gut.
The British Journal of Nutrition reported that prebiotics help to strengthen the gut against pathogens. Prebiotics have a positive impact on the health of the large intestine in humans.
For example, the prebiotic supplement galacto-oligosaccharides has been shown to help prevent the negative impact of taking amoxicillin on your gut. The prebiotic helped increase the activity of bifidobacteria and improve gut health.
Other studies have proved that prebiotics like fructooligosaccharides can help prevent various gastrointestinal infections. These can also help good gut bacteria strains such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium to flourish in the gut.
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Can I Take Probiotics At The Same Time As My Antibiotics Or Will It Just Cancel Out
When on antibiotics, the NIH recommends taking probiotics twice a day, two hours away from the prescription to avoid killing the supplemented probiotics.
This recommendation seems to be based on common sense of digestion timing rather than specific research that I can source. Whether theres been any official research on whether the antibiotics just wipe out all the probiotics the next time you take them and therefore you should take a break from probiotics during your actual abx regiment I am not sure.
But my own common sense says that were only talking about a 5-10 day period, and thats not very much probiotics to waste if its going to be wasted anyway. If it doesnt bother your stomach, Id keep taking them right through the prescription.
A reader shared that taking them at the exact same time caused her extreme digestive distress so do follow the 2-hour guidelines and listen to your body. Again, its only 5-10 days, so skipping probiotics during that time isnt going to set you back so far that you cant recover.
What Is Gut Flora
You have a world of microorganisms living in your digestive system. This collection of microorganisms is your gut flora, also known as the gut microbiotaa complex ecosystem that consists of approximately 300 to 500 bacterial species. Thats nearly 10 times the number of cells in the human body.
Our knowledge of the interaction between gut health and overall health is still in its early stages. We do know that colonies of beneficial bacteria help you digest and absorb your food, fight off germs that make you sick and even make a large portion of your serotonin, which helps keep your moods level.
Science is continuing to discover ways that gut bacteria are directly linked to your health. We know that its normal to have balanced populations of beneficial gut bacteria and bad bacteria, and a healthy gut is able to keep the bad guys in check. But researchers are just now beginning to understand what happens when other factorslike antibiotics, diet and stresstilt the scales in the wrong direction.
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Plan For A Healing Anti
Those of you whose children are experiencing limited healing in their gut should opt for a special healing diet, which can help their gut recover a lot faster. Anti-inflammatory foods, such as bone broth and gelatin, can be included as they help heal and restore the mucosal lining in your digestive system.
Taking Antibiotics And Probiotics
You can take probiotics while you are taking a course of antibiotics but you shouldnt take them both at exactly the same time.
Antibiotics are designed to kill off all bacteria in your gut harmful and beneficial bacteria. So, taking a probiotic supplement right after taking an antibiotic pill may result in all the good bacteria getting destroyed as well.
The journal Antibiotics reports on various studies on when and how long you should take probiotics. Some studies indicate that you should take probiotics 5 to 10 days during antibiotic treatment and continue for one week after finishing the course of antibiotics.
Other studies recommend taking probiotics for as long as the antibiotic treatment lasts. However, some reports indicate that taking probiotics for as long as 8 weeks can help to restore healthy gut flora.
To get the most benefit from probiotics, it is good to wait for around 2 hours after taking an antibiotic pill. This will help to offset the negative impact that antibiotics have on your gut and prevent diarrhea.
To make sure that you get the full benefit from probiotics, you should always take probiotics with food. The journal Beneficial Microbes advises to take a probiotic supplement with a meal or 30 minutes before it. Also, you should preferably take probiotics with a meal containing some fats.
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Whats The Best Probiotic To Take After Antibiotics
There are two main bacteria strains that have been studied for effectiveness in reducing digestive distress after antibiotics. They are Lactobacilli and Saccharomyces. And while there are many bacteria strains that are beneficial for healthy digestion, these two are key when it comes to rebalancing your microbiome after antibiotics.
Take Probiotics To Reduce Antibiotic
Diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotics. However, preliminary research suggests that taking probiotics may help prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea .
For example, one review of 17 studies found that taking a probiotic may reduce the risk of developing AAD by 51%.
Moreover, some antibiotics can leave you more vulnerable to certain infections, like Clostridium difficile . This is a bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea, an inflamed colon, and, in severe cases death.
However, preliminary research found that taking probiotics may help prevent diarrhea from C. diff infections, though the correlation was weak. For example, based on a review of 31 studies, researchers report that one case of diarrhea for every 42 C. diff-infected patients may be prevented from taking probiotics.
As for what type of probiotic to take, one option is a yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745, sold under the brand name Florastar. This probiotic supplement is used to help prevent and treat diarrhea.
Those who are immunocompromised may not benefit from probiotics and should discuss other options with a doctor.
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When To Take Probiotics After Antibiotics
Heres the catch though dont take them at the SAME time. If youre wondering when to take probiotics with antibiotics, a good rule of thumb is to wait two hours after your dose of antibiotics. This gives the antibiotics time to get through your digestive system and into your bloodstream. If you take them together, the antibiotics will wipe out the bacteria in your probiotic supplement.
Its a great idea to take your probiotics an hour after your morning dose and right before bedtime. That way your probiotic will be busily working all night long while you sleep.
Can I Get Probiotics From Food
You can absolutely increase beneficial microbes in your body from the foods you eat. Certain foods have probiotics in them and can benefit the health of your microbiome.
These foods can be introduced into your diet at any point of the day. You may even be regularly eating them now and not realize that they contain probiotics. You will want to check the food label for live and active cultures. A few suggestions for just some of the probiotic-rich foods you can add to your diet and some times to try them include:
For breakfast, try:
Probiotic supplements may be combined with a prebiotic. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates that feed the microorganisms in your gut. Basically, prebiotics are the food source for the good bacteria. They help feed the good bacteria and keep it healthy. Prebiotics include inulin, pectin and resistant starches.
When you have a supplement that combines a probiotic and prebiotic, its called a synbiotic.
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How Long Should A Dog Fast Before Taking Antibiotics
A vet will generally recommend that your pet fasts for at least 12 hours prior to allow the intestinal system to relax. 8 One of the reasons that humans take probiotics with antibiotics is because of the potential to end up with a yeast infection. The same goes for pups.
From what I have read on the internet, some doctors prescribe not only probiotics while on antibiotics, but say you should keep them up for a week or two after you get off the antibiotics to give your guts a chance to repopulate the bacteria.
The message we are shifting to is that we need to be using short-course antibiotic regimens, Spellberg said. Today the standard practice is to prescribe courses of antibiotics for one or two weeks.
Are There Any Risks Related To Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, there are some risks linked to the supplements. These risks are increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, have recently had surgery or have other serious medical conditions.
Unlikely, but possible, risks can include:
- Developing an infection.
- Developing a resistance to antibiotics.
- Developing harmful byproducts from the probiotic supplement.
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Given The Very Heavy Involvement Of The Industry Clear Conclusions As To Whether Probiotics Are Truly Helpful To Humans Remain To Be Proven Erin Elinav
The rate of continued moderate to severe gastroenteritis within two weeks was slightly higher in the probiotic group than in the placebo group . And there was no difference between the two groups in terms of the duration of diarrhoea or vomiting.
Despite evidence such as this, the demand for probiotics is large and growing. In 2017, the market for probiotics was more than $1.8bn, and it is predicted to reach $66bn by 2024.
Given the very heavy involvement of the industry, clear conclusions as to whether probiotics are truly helpful to humans remain to be proven, says Elinav. This is the reason why regulatory authorities such as the USs Food and Drug Administration and European regulators have yet to approve a probiotic for clinical use.
Taking probiotics when your gut health is weak may not be a good idea
But that is not to write off probiotics completely. The problem with them may not be with the probiotics themselves, but the way we are using them. Often probiotics are bought off the shelf consumers may not know exactly what they are getting, or even whether the culture they are buying is still alive.
Elinav and his colleagues have also carried out research on who will benefit from probiotics and who wont. By measuring the expression of certain immune-related genes, the team was able to predict who would be receptive to probiotic bacteria colonising their gut, and for whom they would simply pass through without taking hold.