What Are The Best Probiotics To Take After Antibiotics
Even if you have taken a probiotic designed to be taken alongside your antibiotic medication, it is always a good idea to take a good daily probiotic after antibiotics for at least a month or so to replenish the gut microflora. Scientists are not really sure exactly how long it will take to rebuild the gut flora after antibiotics it will depend on several different factors such as the individual gut microbiome, the length of the course, the strength of medication, diet and lifestyle etc. So, what are the best probiotics after antibiotics? Well, studies show taking a probiotic supplement that contains the strains Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07® after antibiotics may help to stabilise Lactobacillus populations in the gut13. The Lactobacillus genus of friendly bacteria helps to crowd out the bad guys and keep our gut environment healthy.
Can Some Peoples Gut Bacteria Recover From Antibiotics In Around Six Months
Some research released in 2018 found that it took around six months for our gut flora to get back to normal after antibiotics . The media picked up on it, and so a lot of people today think that you get your old gut back precisely six months after antibiotics. This study is just one of many though, all with different results.
If youre feeling overwhelmed by all this information, you can get some strategic help with our no obligation symptom checker.
Its possible that your gut bacteria might never return to normal. But that doesnt mean that you cant take steps to increase your diversity. Everyone can benefit from taking care of their gut, but if youve taken antibiotics recently theres an even bigger reason to do it.
Knowing The Answer Can Protect Your Gut
You may have wondered whether or not you should take probiotics after antibiotics. Perhaps youve read about this strategy or maybe your doctor recommended it. Either way, do you really know everything about the supplements youre taking? Should you even take them in supplement form, or is food better? Read on to learn more about probiotics and antibiotics.
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What Is Antibiotic Resistance
Theres no doubt that antibiotics have a crucial place in modern medicine, but their use does come with some significant downsides.
The overuse and misuse of antibiotics have led to antibiotic resistance, which is when bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.
This trait can be passed on from bacteria to bacteria even among different species! which leads to even more resistance.
Heres how it works:
- Lets say you have a population of harmful bacteria causing problems some of these are naturally resistant to antibiotics.
- Antibiotics kill both the good and bad bacteria in your body, but the naturally antibiotic-resistant bacteria stand strong.
- Without all the antibiotic-susceptible bacteria taking up space, the resistant bacteria have room to multiply and they pass their resistance on to other bacteria.
- These super bugs no longer respond to certain antibiotics, leading to longer, more intense, and sometimes untreatable infections.
Every time we take antibiotics, more resistant bacteria have the opportunity to flourish and some even become resistant to several different antibiotics, turning them into dangerous pathogens.
This is where taking probiotics with antibiotics can make a critical difference in your health.
Why Take Probiotics After Antibiotics
When you take antibiotics, they kill the bad and the good bacteria in your body, and this can cause a number of antibiotic side effects. Some people experience gastrointestinal side effects such as abdominal pain and diarrhea, and women can get vaginal yeast infections.
In the case of diarrhea, which is common when taking antibiotics, its referred to as antibiotic-associated diarrhea . Analyses published in a 2017 issue of Antibiotics notes that using probiotics for the prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea reduces the risk of AAD by 51%, adding that its also considered a safe method. Taking probiotics with antibiotics can help replenish the amount of good bacteria and help maintain your balance of good and bad bacteria.
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Mistake #: You Store Probiotics In Your Medicine Cabinet
The bathroom medicine cabinet can have fluctuating temperature changes, which will affect moisture in the air, and can compromise the quality of your probiotics.
Its important to note that there are a few ways to take probiotics. While one is in food , you can also take probiotic supplements. They are available in refrigerated or dry formulas. The latter can be kept at room temperatures. Foods and refrigerated supplements must be kept in a cool fridge to keep the bacteria alive. For dry probiotic supplements, check the packaging on how to store them, but generally they must be kept in a dry, dark place thats free of moisture. However, some probiotic capsules are better kept in the fridge, says BioK scientific director Mathieu Millette, PhD, Mcb. A., RMCCM. Check the instructions on the package to ensure youre storing them properly.
The Type Of Antibiotic
If you go to your doctor with an infection, youre very likely to come away with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Thats because unless your doctor takes a sample and sends it to a lab to be cultured, they dont know what type of bacteria is causing your infection. Prescribing a broad-spectrum antibiotic makes it more likely to work on your infection, but your gut bacteria will take a harder blow.
When researchers gave mice either a broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic, or a combination of three antibiotics , both antibiotic treatments caused significant changes in the gut microbial community.
The mice given the broad-spectrum antibiotic didnt recover their normal diversity, but the other mice given the amoxicillin-containing combination mostlybut not completelyreturned to pre-treatment levels .
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Make The Most Of Prebiotics
Another strategy to restore your gut flora after antibiotics is to make sure you feed it well: with foods that your gut bugs love. This means eating foods that contain high levels of prebiotics.
Prebiotics are food for bacteria in our large intestines because they arent digested further up in our small intestines. Prebiotic foods are usually high in fibre and plant polyphenols. So eat lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.
You could also try prebiotic supplements like inulin: a plant sugar thats been found to reduce the diversity-busting effects of the antibiotic ampicillin in bacterial cultures .
Can You Drink Alcohol With Your Antibiotic
Drinking alcohol with antibiotics is not advised and can be dangerous. You should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking certain types of antibiotic medication because the combination may cause side effects, such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.
In addition to not consuming alcohol when on prescription medications, you should also not drink excessively in general if your doctor has told you that you should not drink alcohol at all.
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Does Your Gut Need Probiotics After Antibiotics
If you take antibiotics, theres a good chance youll also get diarrhea.
Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria that cause disease. But they also cause collateral damage to the microbiome, the complex community of bacteria that live in our gut. This results in a profound, though usually temporary, depletion of the beneficial bacteria.
One popular strategy to mitigate the disruption is to take a probiotic supplement containing live bacteria during, or following, a course of antibiotics.
The logic is simple: beneficial bacterial in the gut are damaged by antibiotics. So why not replace them with the beneficial bacterial strains in probiotics to assist gut bacteria returning to a balanced state?
But the answer is more complicated.
There is currently some evidence that taking probiotics can prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea. This effect is relatively small, with 13 people needing to take probiotics for one episode of diarrhea to be averted.
But these studies have often neglected to evaluate potential harms of probiotic use and havent looked at their impact on the wider gut microbiome.
What Foods Are Good For Gut Health
Fruits and vegetables are your best source of nutrients for a healthy gut. Theyre high in fiber, which your body cant digest. But, certain bacteria in your gut can digest fiber, which stimulates their growth.
Eating fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut is also beneficial to your gut. Research shows that people who eat a lot of yogurts appear to have more lactobacilli in their intestines. They also have less Enterobacteriaceae which is a type of bacteria that causes inflammation and a number of chronic conditions. Less bad bacteria, more good bacteria, in a nutshell.
The best way to maintain a healthy microbiome is to eat a range of fresh, whole foods, mainly from plant sources like fruits, veggies, legumes, beans, and whole grains. Eating as many things as possible off of this list is also a sure way of restoring your gut flora to a healthy level.
Weve covered what you should eat, but lets dive deeper into the dont eat category. How many can you check on your list?
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Take Probiotics At The Appropriate Time
Remember, probiotics are living organisms, and they must be taken in a way that maintains their integrity and nutritional value. If you purchase a powdered probiotic mix, dont swirl it into a boiling liquid that will kill it on contact.
Keep probiotics that need refrigeration refrigerated and always use the product before its expiration date. Theres also the issue of when to take your probiotics with antibiotics.
One of the most common questions people ask is How long after taking antibiotics can I take Probiotics? Taking antibiotics at the same time as your probiotics can expose your probiotics to antibiotics that kill them. For that reason we recommend taking the probiotics as far apart from your antibiotic as possible to minimize the chances that they will come in contact with one another.
For example, if you need to take your antibiotic at 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM then we recommend taking your probiotics at 9:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 9:00 PM. If you need to take your antibiotic every 4 hours then time your probiotic dose to be halfway between your doses of antibiotic. For specific advice please consult your doctor.
It is best to take your probiotics 30 minutes before breakfast. Moreover, you should continue your probiotic for four to six weeks after your course of antibiotics is done.
What Studies Do Not Recommend Giving Probiotics With Antibiotics
Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and other institutions reported that the gut microbiome took longer to return to normal in those people given an 11-strain probiotic treatment for four weeks following a course of antibiotics. This was despite the probiotics effectively colonizing the gut with healthy bacteria. The trouble was the presence of the new bacteria and yeasts strains prevented the gut microbiome from returning to normal for the full six month study period.
Conversely, the gut microbiome in those given no probiotics returned to normal within three weeks of going off the antibiotics. The authors did conclude that this study just examined one type of probiotic, and a different probiotic may be helpful in patients taking different antibiotics. However, they did point out the findings of the study imply that the traditional practice of taking a probiotic after antibiotic may not be beneficial.
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Probiotics Instead Of Antibiotics
As the field of microbial research continues to expand, we expect the future of medicine will include targeted probiotic prescriptions in lieu of antibiotics, and that antibiotics will be reserved for specific or emergency scenarios.
In fact, probiotics are already proving to be more effective than antibiotics at treating and preventing certain diseases and infections, such as mastitis.
In one study, researchers analyzed 352 women suffering from mastitis, a painful breast infection often associated with breastfeeding. After 21 days, women who took probiotics saw more improvement and fewer recurrences than those taking antibiotics .
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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Antibiotics And Gut Health
There is no doubt that antibiotics have an essential role to play in modern medicine in preventing and curing bacterial infections. Thanks to antibiotics, bacterial infections are no longer the most common cause of death in the modern world1. However, in recent times it has become increasingly recognised that antibiotics negatively affect our gut microbiome2.
The gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of trillions of microbes that live together in harmony in our gastrointestinal tract. These microbes have far reaching effects on human health, enhancing digestion, immunity, skin health and energy3,4,5. A balance is required between beneficial microbes and more harmful microbes that naturally colonise the gut. This balance can be disturbed by various lifestyle factors including low-fibre diet, travel and infection, among others.
So, what happens to our gut microbiome when we take an antibiotic? Unfortunately, taking antibiotics can be detrimental to our gut health. Whilst effective in killing bad bacteria antibiotics are essentially non-selective and can also deplete the beneficial bacteria residing in the gut. This is thought to contribute to the development of diarrhoea, constipation and/or vaginal thrush when taking an antibiotic. In certain cases, this disruption to our gut microbiome can result in an overgrowth of unwanted, pathogenic bacteria such as Clostridium difficile.
People taking antibiotics may experience6:
What Makes A Probiotic A Probiotic
Definitions of the terms probiotic, prebiotic and synbiotic are provided in . This review focuses on probiotics, though some probiotics have been tested as part of a synbiotic product. Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species are the most commonly used probiotics. However, one of the first probiotics, which is still in use, is the non-pathogenic Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 . Most probiotics were initially cultured from humans and resemble known commensal gut bacteria. However, the commensal population they resemble typically represents only a fraction of the total luminal bacteria. Saccharomyces boulardii is a probiotic yeast strain with the potential advantage of having resistance to most antibiotics.
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What About Probiotic Foods
One way to add probiotic bacteria to the gut is through diet. A number of fermented foods, such as kefir, kimchi, Lacto-fermented sauerkraut, and many types of yogurt, are rich in probiotics.
However, as you can see in this chart, its difficult to eat enough fermented foods to get a therapeutic dose.
|Weissella koreensis, Lactobacillus sakei, Lactobacillus graminis, Weissella cibaria, Leuconostoc mesenteroides||11.5 billion CFU per ½ cup||½ capsule Lacto-Bifido Blend Probiotic|
If you want to enjoy the benefits of fermented foods, you can eat these as well. However, if you are taking a course of antibiotics, I highly recommend probiotic supplements.
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.
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Not So Long Ago In Pharmacies Nationwide
Hundreds of times a day in communities all across the country, people are diagnosed with bacterial infections and prescribed antibiotics. These antibiotics are heroes, but they are also imperfect. Their lightsaber wielding may cause damage on their own. With antibiotics, this is extra true, as not only do they cause side effects, but if those arent managed correctly, they can lead to more serious complications. We look towards probiotics to be the Rebel Alliance and help us topple the evil Empire.
To clear up the confusion on why a probiotic is needed and how and when to use it, we present to you Gut Wars.*
*NOTE: We will not be discussing the prequels because they are just horrible.
What Are The Side Effects Of Probiotics
What are the risks of taking probiotics? Although probiotics are freely available to purchase without prescription or full regulation, there are risks associated with them. Hospitalised patients are increasingly are increasingly being treated with probiotics, but there are now reports of patients in intensive care becoming seriously ill with the same strain of bacteria found in the probiotics . While for most people who have a healthy immune system, this risk is low, it highlights the need for greater understanding about possible risks and benefits.
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Mistake #: You Take More Than One Type Of Probiotic Supplement
If you are considering layering your probiotic supplements for different health concerns, know that different bacteria can interact. Think of it this way: part of the reason we take probiotics is to fight off other bacteria, says Nielsen. It is possible, in a multi-strain product and if you take two different probiotic products at the same time, that they can out-compete each other. Research supports this: you can include 10 strains in a single product but without proper study, you cant be sure that one strain isnt out-competing the other nine. Nielsen says to check out the manufacturers website for clinical studies that the strains were tested together.