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.
Should You Take Probiotic Supplements While Taking Antibiotics
Antibiotics are an important class of drugs that are prescribed by healthcare providers to treat harmful bacterial infections in the body. However, they have not been proven useful for treating illnesses like the common cold or flu, which are viral infections. Moreover, current research suggests that antibiotics may have been over-prescribed in recent years as a preventative medication to reduce the risk of secondary infections. Since antibiotics kill all kinds of bacteria, including helpful gut bacteria, side effects of antibiotic use often include stomach upset, diarrhea, or thrush.
Probiotics are often called “the good” bacteria because, along with yeasts, they help keep your gut healthy. Probiotics help food pass through your digestive system by affecting the nerves that cause gut movement. Researchers are still actively trying to figure out how probiotics work but doctors often suggest taking probiotics to help with antibiotic-related diarrhea, such as clostridium difficile infection commonly associated with taking fluoroquinolones, such as ciprofloxacin or Cipro.
Tips for Taking Antibiotics
Anytime you are prescribed an antibiotic, you should take the meds exactly as prescribed. You are sick, so don’t be too anxious to restore absolute balance to your system. Listed below are few helpful tips for taking antibiotic drugs:
New Research on Side Effects of Taking Probiotics
What Is The Rationale Behind Taking Probiotics With Antibiotics
Taking an antibiotic for an infection can kill beneficial bacteria that live in your gut.
Probiotics may be taken orally to restore any imbalance in the normal intestinal or urogenital flora. This is the rationale behind taking probiotics with antibiotics. Severe antibiotic-induced diarrhea can also lead to an infection with Clostridium difficile, also known as C. difficile, a bacteria which can cause dangerous inflammation in your colon .
Experts have hypothesized that If you suffer from stomach cramping, gas or diarrhea when you take antibiotics, adding a probiotic may help to lessen, or even prevent, these symptoms. The addition of a probiotic will also reintroduce helpful bacteria into your digestive tract that have been killed or had their numbers reduced by the antibiotic.
You May Like: Soothe Probiotic Colic Drops Reviews
Which Probiotics Should You Take With Antibiotics
Your pharmacy probably has shelves filled with different bottles of probiotics. How do you choose the right probiotics to take with your antibiotics? Dr. Bryan Tran, cofounder of DrFormulas, recommends looking for probiotics that have the three Ds:
Dose: The amount of active micro-organisms in a probiotic is measured in colony-forming units, or CFUs. You want a dose with 10 billion CFUs or higher, Dr. Tran says. This dose may appear on the product label as 1 x 1010. And while you may see probiotics with 100 billion or more CFUs, according to Dr. Hoberman, you generally stop reaping added benefits after about 20 billion.
Diversity: The label on a bottle of probiotics will also tell you which bacteria strains the capsules contain. Look for probiotics that have five to 10 unique strains. Studies that compare single-strain probiotics to multi-strain probiotics have found that a variety of strains is more effective at reducing diarrhea, Dr. Tran says.
Delayed-release mechanism: Finally, look for probiotics that use delayed-release capsules. When you take probiotics orally, you expose them to your stomach acid and that reduces the effective dosage that makes it to the gut, Dr. Tran says. Probiotics with delayed-release mechanisms wont release the microorganisms until they go past the stomach.
Caveats: Limited Data On The Safety Of Probiotics Exist
There was some heterogeneity among the studies in the meta-analysis by Hempel et al, and some of the studies were of poor quality. Because of this, the authors used subgroup and sensitivity analysis, which supported their initial conclusion.
Probiotics have generally been considered safe however, there have been rare reports of sepsis and fungemia associated with probiotic use, especially in immunosuppressed patients. Fifty-nine of the included studies did not assess adverse events, which limited the ability of this meta-analysis to assess safety. Patients taking probiotics should be monitored for adverse effects.
Recommended Reading: Do Probiotics Help Bloating And Gas
The Effects Of Antibiotics On The Microbiota
To eradicate an infection, a doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics. Some antibiotics acts in a targeted manner on certain bacteria – they are known as narrow-spectrum antibiotics. Antibiotics that are effective on a wide variety of bacteria are called broad-spectrum antibiotics. Taking a broad-spectrum antibiotic or a combination of antibiotics can disrupt the balance of the intestinal microbiota by destroying some of the beneficial bacteria. This dysbiosis can lead to diarrhoea. Up to 49% of patients treated with antibiotics1 experience diarrhoea. The diarrhoea often begins a few days after the start of the course of antibiotics, but can occur up to 6 weeks after the end of the treatment2 3.
Why You Should Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Antibiotics play a critical role in killing bad bacteria. But as they destroy infections, they can also cause collateral damage to the good bacteria in your gut, which could result in diarrhea for a couple of daysor even weeksafter you stop taking the medicine.
So how can you get the benefits of antibiotics without the nasty stomach side effects? The answer might be found in probioticspills or even powders with live microorganisms that offer health benefits.
Your intestines contain around 1,000 different species of bacteria, with 100 trillion bacteria in total, says Dr. Lawrence Hoberman, president and chief executive of Medical Care Innovations Inc. If 80% of that bacteria is the good, healthy kind, the harmful bacteria stay at bay. But antibiotics change the balance in the microbiome, which may result in an increase in the harmful bacteria, he explained.
The immune system recognizes the bad guys and will try to destroy them. But in the process, it breaks down the intestinal lining and causes inflammation, and thats how we get antibiotic-associated diarrhea, Dr. Hoberman explains.
One study found that antibiotic-associated diarrhea affects between 5% and 39% of patients, depending on which antibiotic they take. But research shows that probiotics can curb digestion problems. A meta-analysis of 34 other studies found that probiotics reduce instances of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 52%.
Also Check: Can Probiotics Prevent C Diff
Why You Need To Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Antibiotics are essential in killing harmful bacteria, but they can cause collateral damage to the good bacteria in your gut. The result may be diarrhea for a couple of days and sometimes weeks after stopping to take medicine. However, how can you benefit from the antibiotics without having to deal with nasty stomach side effects? The solution you are looking for can be found in probiotics, either in pills or even powders containing live microorganisms that provide health benefits.
There are about 1000 different species of bacteria with approximately 100 trillion bacteria in your intestines. When 80% of the bacteria are good bacteria, the harmful ones are kept at bay. However, when you take antibiotics, you change the microbiomes balance, which results in increasing numbers of harmful bacteria. The following are some of the reasons why you should take your probiotics with antibiotics
Which Are The Best Probiotics To Take Alongside Antibiotics
A question we often get asked is, which are the best probiotics with antibiotics, in terms of the associated diarrhoea? As seen above, it seems that this is the main area of concern when taking this type of medication.
Its important to select strains of probiotics that have been tested in clinical trials and have been shown to reach the gut alive when taken alongside antibiotics. The more friendly bacteria present in the gut, the lower the chance of developing digestive issues like diarrhoea. Three strains of probiotics in particular, Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94 have been shown to do this. They can safely be taken at exactly the same time as antibiotic medication. The recommended use for a supplement containing this probiotic combination is as follows:
- Take one capsule daily with breakfast, even with your antibiotic medication.
- Take daily until the antibiotic course is finished, and preferably for one week after.
- Continue until the pack is completed and add a second pack if the antibiotic treatment lasts more than one week.
In clinical trials involving those undergoing antibiotic treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection, participants were given Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94 alongside antibiotics all three strains were proven to survive alongside the medication11,12.
Recommended Reading: Best Refrigerated Women’s Probiotics
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 .
- A critical illness.
Caution should also be used when giving probiotics to very sick infants.
Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement.
The Problems Associated With Taking Antibiotics
Researchers have learned that antibiotics cant distinguish between good and bad bacteria.
Unfortunately, this means antibiotics tend to wipe out both types to ensure that harmful pathogens are destroyed as needed . While clearing out toxins is helpful, when antibiotics kill good bacteria, they become an issue.
In a meta-analysis of studies, scientists discovered that taking antibiotics can decrease your guts microbial diversity by 25% in as little as seven days .
When this happens, you may become more vulnerable to overgrowths of bad pathogens such as Salmonella Typhimurium which can lead to more severe health problems and symptoms .
Another systematic review of research found that many broad-spectrum antibiotics negatively impact gut balance by leaving it susceptible to colonization from bad pathogens.
This may cause an overgrowth of Clostridium difficile, a type of harmful bacteria . The C. diff strain can lead to diarrhea, bloating, gastritis , and intestinal pain .
Read Also: Do Breastfed Babies Need Probiotics
How And When To Take Probiotics For Maximum Benefits
So you’re taking a probiotic supplementcongratulations! By adding just one tiny pearl to your daily routine, you’re giving your gut microbiome a huge support system that can translate into benefits that literally run from head to toe. But have you given any thought to how and when you’re taking it?
Even veteran probiotic enthusiasts sometimes don’t consider the other factors that go into helping probiotics do their work. Timing, diet, and even what your probiotic formula is made of all play a role, and there’s a lot of conflicting information out there, leaving a lot of people unsure about the best time to take probiotics and just how to take a probiotic supplement for maximum benefits.
Right off the bat, you may be wondering, When should I take probiotics? Do you take them morning, noon, or night? Do you eat before or after? What about when you’re taking other medications? Does it even matter?
The short answer is that while the most important thing is to take probiotics, period, how you take them can go a long way in determining how effective they are.
How to Take Your Probiotics
Cover all your microbe-supporting bases by following these three tips:
1. Take your probiotics in the morning, before breakfast.
2. Drink lots of water.
3. Follow up with a healthy breakfast and prebiotics.
The Secret to Supercharging Your Probiotic Use
Taking Probiotics With Antibiotics
Do Prebiotics Help Return The Gut Microbiome To Normal
Prebiotics are foods for probiotics and include fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals.
Mixing prebiotics with probiotics, such as yogurt with fruit and cereal or sauerkraut with a vegetable stir fry could be helpful for your gut, although there is no scientific evidence to support this.
Good prebiotic foods include vegetables such as artichokes, asparagus, garlic, onions, and any green vegetable fruits such as bananas, berries, and tomatoes herbs such as chicory or garlic grains like barley, oat, and wheat and other fibers such as inulin that may be available on its own or added to foods such as granola bars, cereal, and yogurt.
Don’t Miss: Do You Take Prebiotics And Probiotics At The Same Time
Foods To Eat While Taking Antibiotics
Posted on by Burt’s – Medicine
Antibiotics are a common way to fight infections, but many dont realize there are certain foods to eat while taking antibiotics.
Antibiotic therapy is the first line of treatment for the majority of bacterial infections. Unfortunately, these drugs arent without side effects.
Rarely, they can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms like
- Abdominal pain
Although these side effects are usually mild, transient, and harmless, they can become severe and signal the need for a change in medication.
Sometimes, patients find they can control these side effects, or even eliminate them completely, with just a few basic diet changes.
In other cases, its the food causing the problem and removing it from their diet is enough.
In this post, well tell you about six of the best foods to eat while taking antibiotics and the four you should always avoid, too.
Restoring Your Bodys Microbiome
It is essential to take a high-quality probiotic supplement when completing antibiotic treatment in order to restore your gut microbiome with good bacteria and maintain its diversity. It is best to start taking a probiotic within the first 48 hours of starting your antibiotic treatment.
Make sure to space out taking your antibiotic and your probiotic. Try to leave as much time as possible each day between taking your antibiotic and your probiotic. If you take your antibiotic and probiotic too close to each other, you run the risk that the antibiotic will kill the good bacteria that you are feeding your body by taking a probiotic supplement.
In terms of how long to take a probiotic to repair your gut microbiome due to antibiotic treatment, a good rule of thumb is: take a probiotic for each day you take an antibiotic and then continue for the same amount of days you took the antibiotic for.
For example, if you would be prescribed a ten-day antibiotic treatment, you would take a probiotic for at least twenty days.
Keep in mind that probiotics have many health benefits, and therefore you should strongly consider adding a probiotic supplement to your daily wellness routine regardless of whether or not you recently completed an antibiotic treatment. Fact is that a healthy life starts with a healthy gut.
Also Check: How Many Carbs In Activia Probiotic Dailies
Best Probiotics To Take With Antibiotics
There are many probiotic supplements on the market, so how do you know which one to choose?
Well, the right probiotic to choose depends on what youd like it to do. Probiotic effects are strain-specific, meaning that different strains have different effects on the body. If you want to reduce anxiety you could take a strain called Bifidobacterium longum R0175, while this strain may not be as effective if you wanted to prevent c.diff infection.
So as you can see, its important to choose the right probiotic strain for the job!
Pros And Cons Of Probiotics
The assumption that there is little downside to taking probiotics was challenged in a recent Israeli study.
The participants were given antibiotics and split into two groups: the first group was given an 11-strain probiotic preparation for four weeks the second was given a placebo, or dummy pill.
The researchers found the antibiotic damage to the gut bacteria of those in the first group allowed the probiotic strains to effectively colonise the gut. But this colonisation delayed the normal recovery of the microbiota, which remained perturbed for the entire six month study period.
In contrast, the microbiota of the second group returned to normal within three weeks of finishing antibiotics.
This research exposes a perhaps unexpected truth: we still don’t know what types of bacteria are truly beneficial or even what constitutes a healthy microbiome.
The answer is unlikely to be that individual bacterial strains are particularly helpful.
It’s more likely a diverse community of thousands of different types of microbes working together can provide health benefits. This microbial community is as individual as each one of us, meaning there is not just one configuration that will result in health or illness.
So, it’s unlikely that the addition of one or even 11 strains of bacteria in a probiotic could somehow balance this complex system.
You May Like: Best Probiotic For Toddlers With Constipation