Potential Benefits Of Probiotics
Arjun Avila, a product development consultant specialized in vitamins and probiotic supplements, says probiotics are essentially very tiny living microorganisms and there are thousands of probiotic strains that offer different health benefits.
Probiotic strains are diverse, Avila says. If you think of dog breeds, it can range from chihuahua to pit bulls, and probiotic strains are very much like that as well.
Researchers are still studying these various probiotic strains to understand exactly how they work. But some studies have shown that probiotics may help improve heart health and support digestive systems, especially when the levels of healthy gut bacteria are off balance.
Probiotics are able to help you balance your gut so that you dont have as many unwanted side effects from the use of antibiotics, Avila says.
Probiotics can be found in yogurt, as well as a wide range of fermented foods like kimchi, miso, kombucha, and kefir. Its generally best to obtain probiotics from food sources since they also offer other nutrients. But probiotic supplements are convenient and easy to travel with, Merenstein adds, and they can last longer than many probiotic foods that need to be refrigerated.
Merenstein also stresses the importance of taking the probiotics as early as possible, before any antibiotic symptoms emerge. In the study, participants started the probiotics regimen the same day they started taking the antibiotics.
The Microbiome And The Importance Of Gut Replenishment
Our sinuses and mouth have various bacterial species that, when in good health, guard against colonization by pathogenic viruses and bacteria that could cause a variety of contagious illnesses . The delicate balance of these bacteria, however, can be disrupted by the food we eat, certain exposures to microbes or environmental toxins such as toxic molds, which can then increase our risk for various kinds of infections and other symptoms.
When we travel downstream into the stomach and eventually the intestines, eventually we reach what is called the microbiome, which is a collection of bacteria, yeast, viruses and fungi that perform many vital functions. These include digestion, production of vitamins, detoxification, protection against pathogenic organisms and facilitating elimination through the bowel.
Unfortunately, this collection of microorganisms can be damaged in many ways nowadays. This includes but is not limited to:
- Pesticides including glyphosate , which is commonly added to all non-organic grains to dry them more quickly
- NSAIDs and other pain meds including Tylenol, ibuprofen, aspirin, narcotics, opioids, Advil, and more
- Refined, sugar-laden foods of many types
What Type Of Probiotics Should I Take
Foods with naturally occurring probiotics such as yogurt and sauerkraut are recommended as part of your daily diet even when you arenât taking antibiotics. Continue consuming these âgoodâ bacteria powerhouses. There are a wide range of supplemental probiotics and they come in many forms, liquid, capsule, pill, even powders. They have different strains and varying levels of probiotic strains . Different strains of bacteria will interact differently with each antibiotic. Additionally, how the probiotic is designed to be broken down will affect the number of CFUs that you need. Discuss this with your healthcare provider and research the probiotic you are considering.
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Tips For Taking A Probiotic While Taking Antibiotics
order to ensure that you get the best results from taking a probiotic supplement, it is important to purchase from a reputable source and also follow the directions that are provided by the manufacturer of your product. You can also take a few other steps in order to improve the health of your gut and boost the effects of the probiotics.
First, you should avoid antibiotics whenever possible because these medications will kill off all of your good bacteria. If this is not an option for you, it may be helpful to switch out one antibiotic that you are currently taking with another antibiotic that has a similar mechanism of action.
In this way, you will still kill off the harmful bacteria but your good bacteria should remain intact. This is only possible when switching from one class of antibiotics to another such as from penicillin to amoxicillin or from erythromycin to azithromycin.
Second, you should limit the amount of sugar and high fructose corn syrup that is in your diet. Not only will these ingredients feed the bad bacteria but they will also prevent your probiotics from working as effectively as possible. Since both of these sugars are found in many foods, it may be difficult to avoid them entirely.
It is important to remember, however, that drinking too much water can lead to adverse symptoms such as frequent urination, nausea, fatigue, and headaches so you should talk to your doctor about how much water is right for you.
What Kind Of Yogurt Do You Eat When On Antibiotics
The probiotics, or live microorganisms in fermented foods such as yogurt, are also found in our very own gut.
These are good types of bacteria that are essential to regulating the immune system and keep us healthy. However, medicating with antibiotics can disrupt the population of good bacteria in the gut and cause other side effects such as diarrhea, yeast infections, nausea, or vomiting.
Yogurt is an effective remedy for that, but all yogurt is not made equally. Heres what you should look out for:
Read Also: Purpose Of Taking A Probiotic
When Should I Take Probiotics When Taking Antibiotics
Generally, with a few exceptions aside, it is best to take our probiotic supplements in the morning with breakfast. If you are taking a probiotic containing the strains Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94, you would still be able to follow this recommendation alongside antibiotics and take both with your brekkie.
However, if you are taking different strains, it is best to give a 2 hour gap between antibiotics and taking the probiotic supplement. So, if you have been instructed by your doctor to take your antibiotics with breakfast, you would take the medication first in this instance and leave a 2 hour gap before taking the other probiotics. Its a good idea to take our supplements with food, so in this case, with your lunch or a mid-morning snack.
Benefits Of Taking Probiotics
Taking probiotics during your period can help alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms that you may experience. Probiotics can help with bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
They can also help reduce the severity of cramps. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be worth taking a probiotic supplement during your next period.
Recommended Reading: Best Probiotic For Cystic Acne
How Safe Are Probiotics
Because microbes used as probiotics already exist naturally in your body, probiotic foods and supplements are generally considered safe. They may trigger allergic reactions, and may also cause mild stomach upset, diarrhea, or flatulence and bloating for the first few days after starting to take them.
There are certain people who need to use caution when using probiotic supplements. There is a risk of infection in some people. These people include those who have:
- A weakened immune system .
Caution should also be used when giving probiotics to very sick infants.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement.
Probiotics Before With Or After Antibiotics
As mentioned above antibiotics do not have a clear-cut line between beneficial and pathogenic bacteria. They kill without discrimination and would therefore be important to know how to take probiotics with antibiotics.
This is applies to those who are on amoxicillin, tetracycline, doxycycline and penicillin and those who have finished their antibiotic course.
So, when is taking probiotics with antibiotics recommended? How long should wait before or after antibiotics?
Pharmacists and physicians normally recommend probiotics with antibiotics to regulate the intestinal normal flora. This strategy also prevents diarrhea induced by drugs as a result of predomination by Clostridium officinale. Here are some guidelines on how to go about it.
What is the best brand of probiotics to take with antibiotics?
Recommended Reading: What Do Probiotics Help You With
Why Take A Probiotic With An Antibiotic
Replenishing the gut with probiotics helps to rebalance the gut microbiome following antibiotic use. The NHS has recognised the beneficial effects of probiotic supplementation7. When prescribed antibiotics, many individuals now choose to supplement their natural bacteria with a probiotic supplement. Your local pharmacist may even recommend probiotics when dispensing antibiotics.
Antibiotic-associated diarrhoea is one of the most common side effects of antibiotics, with a prevalence of between 5 to 35%, depending on the type of antibiotic8 taken. A meta-analysis of 23 studies carried out in 2012 supported the use of probiotics in antibiotic-associated diarrhoea9. One particular form of AAD is Clostridium difficile infection, which manifests as chronic diarrhoea and in severe cases, colitis. This is of particular concern in the elderly and can sometimes be fatal. Based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of 23 randomized controlled trials including 4213 patients, evidence suggests that probiotics are both safe and effective in helping to support the health of the gut microbiome and reducing digestive upset related to Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea10. Health professionals can visit this article in the Professionals site to find out more about Probiotics and Clostridium difficile.
Antibiotics And Your Gut: Harmful Side Effects On Your Healthy Intestinal Flora
There are six primary forms of antibiotics used in the UK:
Penicillins for general infections like skin infections or urinary tract infections
Macrolides for those who have a penicillin allergy or who have an infection from a penicillin-resistant bacteria strain
Cephalosporins for more severe infections, such as meningitis
Aminoglycosides, which are typically used in hospitals due to their severe side effects
Tetracyclines for many skin conditions
Fluoroquinolones, which are slowly being phased out of general usage
While each drug is different, they have one thing in common: while they can effectively target the bacteria that makes you sick, they also have widespread collateral damage on all bacteria in your body.
Antibiotics may are also heavily over-prescribed . This is especially alarming in light of the increasing usage of antibiotics in the UK, and also due to the important connection between good bacteria and your general health and wellness.
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Does Everyone Need To Take Probiotics While On Antibiotics
Generally speaking, taking probiotics may be helpful while youre taking antibiotics for a few reasons.
If youve been colonized by C.difficile but dont yet present with an infection, probiotics may be helpful when taking antibiotics. The stats speak for themselves if probiotics are recommended along with antibiotics, the risk of developing C. difficile-associated diarrhea is reduced by 60% on average according to a 2017 Cochrane review of 39 randomized trials.
Specifically, S. Boulardii can be a great option especially if you tend towards soft or loose stools when on antibiotics.
Another concern is if you have had a history of fungal overgrowth or yeast infections because the use of antibiotics can allow the yeast to essentially flourish by reducing the healthy gut flora thats keeping it in check.
But the truth is, not everyone needs probiotics while taking antibiotics.
Those who are immuno-compromised need to talk to their doctor first about whether it is safe for you to take probiotics, PERIOD.
There are some instances where overgrowth patterns in the GI tract ) may make the need for probiotics unnecessary because theres already too much bacteria present in the GI tract.
Typically I can make a recommendation for the appropriateness of taking probiotics during antibiotics based on a comprehensive stool test. Thats why a more personalized approach can inform the need for probiotic supplementation.
Not on what I personally did because you are unique.
The Best Time To Take Probiotics: During And After Treatment
Bedford recommends that you start taking probiotics the same day as an antibiotic treatment.
While you’re on antibiotics, take those first before the probiotics. Don’t take them at the exact same time because the antibiotics could destroy the bacteria from the probiotic and cancel out any beneficial effects, Bedford says.
“You don’t want the probiotic on board until a couple of hours after the antibiotic itself is taken,” says Bedford.
Moreover, Bedford highly recommends that you continue to take probiotics for two weeks after you’ve completed your antibiotic dose to get your gut microbiome back to normal.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Probiotic To Prevent Yeast Infections
How Do Probiotics Restore Gut Flora
Probiotics contain the same beneficial organism as those in your gut.
After an antibiotic course, the gut flora takes time before it can resume normalcy.
This may put your health at risk, and instead of waiting for the gut to slowly restore itself, boosting it with a good probiotic comes a long way.
And even though probiotics may not restore the gut flora immediately, taking them will help prevent harmful bacteria from taking over during the course of antibiotics.
And if your timing is right, the good bacteria will begin to do their job until the next dose of antibiotics wipes them.
Taking a prebiotic 2 hours before or after probiotics will help you reap as many benefits as you can.
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Answer : Yes, and it’s a very good idea to do so. Here’s the thing: folk wisdom holds that when you takeantibiotics you kill off the beneficial bacteria in your gut, and after you takeantibiotics you need to restore them with probiotics. It’s a story that only partially matches up wit.
Unfortunately, the literature leaves much to be desired in pinpointing the best time to takeprobioticswhile on antibiotics. Most resources, including the websites of probiotic manufacturers, suggest taking them at least 2 to 4 hours after the antibiotic based on the theoretical evidence that antibiotics will kill the probiotics.
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In other words, probiotics made the diarrhea go away faster in 21 out of 100. Before we wrap up, a quick note on how probiotics might indirectly help with diarrhea associated with viral infection, such as with COVID-19: This kind of infection is known to deplete levels of zinc, an important nutrient for immune function .
This article reviews whether timing matters when it comes to taking probiotics. Probiotics contain live microorganisms that can support and enhance your healthy gut bacteria. This article reviews whether timing matters when it comes to taking probiotics. Health Conditions. Featured. Breast Cancer .
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How Should Probiotics Be Taken For Best Results
In order to ensure the best results from probiotics, it is important to take them in a timely manner. Most doctors recommend taking probiotics at least 1 hour before a meal. This will provide optimal protection against stomach acid and also minimize the amount of food that needs to be digested after taking your probiotic supplement.
Taking probiotics with food may allow for better absorption by the intestines but it may also increase symptoms such as bloating or gas. Probiotics should not be taken on an empty stomach because this can cause indigestion or nausea which can lead to other symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, cramps, and pain in your abdomen area.
Additionally, you should never drink alcohol while taking probiotics since alcohol will kill off many of your good bacteria. Therefore, you should never take a probiotic supplement on an empty stomach or with alcohol.
Antibiotics Upset Intestinal Balance
Thousands of species of bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms live on our skin, in our intestines, and on other body surfaces. Theyre known as our normal flora. When it is in balance, these microbes stay put and many of them contribute to good health. Bacteria in the gut, for example, help break down food.
Antibiotics kill these good microbes along with bacteria that are causing an infection. This upsets the balance of the normal flora in the intestines. The result is often loose, watery stools known as antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
The idea behind using probiotics is that they may help populations of good bacteria recover more quickly and restore order to the intestines. Theres no good evidence that probiotics are helpful in otherwise healthy people. But earlier research has suggested they can be helpful in:
- treating recurrent or persistent C. difficile colitis, when repeated courses of other therapies have not been successful
- preventing complications from pancreatitis
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Do Opposites Attract Or Cancel Each Other Out We Asked The Experts For The Bottom Line
by Health Writer
In short: Yes, you can take a probiotic while youre taking an antibioticits perfectly safe to do so. In fact, experts generally agree that probiotics may help ward off the gut reaction that comes from taking antibiotics , but the data is limited. On the other hand, to reap the maximum gut flora-restoring benefits that probiotics offer, it may be better to wait until the tail-end of your course of antibiotics before starting to take them, says Eric Goldberg, M.D., an internist and medical director of NYU Langone Internal Medicine Associates in New York City.
To understand how probiotics and antibiotics work together, lets first talk about the gut microbiome. The microbiome is where trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses live. We all have a balance of good and bad bacteria in our gut microbiome. When levels of the harmful bacteria get too high, you get sickin the form of stomach bugs, fungal infections, and a hit to your immune system, making you more vulnerable to future infection.