Should I Give Probiotics To My Kids
Probiotics can be beneficial for both adults and kids. If your child has an illness that requires an antibiotic medication for treatment, taking a probiotic can help shorten symptoms. Probiotics can also be used to help relieve constipation, acid reflux, diarrhea, gas and eczema in children.
Introducing probiotics into your childs diet through food is typically a safe way to give them probiotics. Foods like yogurt and cottage cheese are often part of a balanced diet and can add in good bacteria without much risk.
There are commercially available probiotic supplements specifically designed for infants and children. However, it is important to talk to your childs pediatrician before giving them any probiotic supplement or changing the childs diet to include probiotic-rich foods.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Taking Probiotics While On Antibiotics
There are a few risks associated with taking probiotics while on antibiotics. The first is that the antibiotic may kill off the good bacteria along with the bad, leaving you without any probiotics. The second is that taking them together can lead to the overgrowth of some species of bacteria, which can cause unpleasant side effects.
Finally, if you are not careful about which probiotic you take, you may end up supplementing your gut flora with a species that is already present in large numbers, leading to no benefit at all.
What We Do And Dont Know About Concurrent Probiotic And Antibiotic Use
To begin, probiotics will not deactivate the antibiotic or make them not work. It is actually much closer to the opposite, where antibiotics will deactivate/kill probiotics when dosed too close together. The need and relevancy of taking probiotics when on an antibiotic is justifiably increased however, as antibiotics are typically not a very discriminatory killer.
That means that while antibiotics may kill off a lot of the bad bugs causing illness, they will also typically cause a lot of your beneficial bacteria to die and instigate a variety of potential side effects, including diarrhea. Probiotic supplementation can help to offset these potential issues.*
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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.
What You Should Eat During Antibiotic Therapy
And dont stop with supplementseating foods that are rich in probiotics and prebiotics can help your stomach stay strong. Prebiotics are the high fiber foods that your body cant digest. As they pass through your digestive tract, they feed the probiotics living there. In other words, they help the good bacteria in your gut flourish.
When youre taking antibiotics, its a good idea to eat a diet thats rich in both prebiotics and probiotics.
Try eating these prebiotic rich foods, such as:
- Leafy bitter greens, like dandelion greens, seaweed, and spinach
- Onions, garlic, and leeks
- Roots, like chicory root and jicama root
- Jerusalem artichoke
These can all help to increase beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.
Then, add more probiotic-rich foods to your diet, like:
- Fermented food like raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut , tempeh, and kimchi
- Yogurt , kefir, and buttermilk
If you are trying to incorporate pre-and probiotic foods into your diet, be sure to double check with your doctor or pharmacist about foods and drinks that may interfere with your antibiotics.
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What Is The Gut Microbiome
Our digestive tract is home to trillions of bacteria as well as fungi and viruses these are known as the gut microbiome.
The makeup of this biome is largely genetically determined however, it is heavily influenced by several factors such as whether we are born naturally or by cesarean section, if we were breastfed, our use of antibiotics, and our exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and other toxins.
Scientists now know that this microbiome is critical to our overall well-being. Some call it our second brain. Small imbalances can cause significant changes to our mental health and in the appearance of our skin and has been linked to almost every known condition such as Alzheimers disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Type 2 diabetes.
An imbalance may also cause constipation, diarrhea, skin rashes, yeast infections, and a suppressed immune system. Your likelihood of putting on weight also comes down to your microbiome and the influence it has on your response to insulin and thyroid gland function.
What Probiotics For Antibiotic Side Effects
Typically, it will take the body time to balance the microbiome to healthy, diverse bacteria levels. In fact, research shows that it takes about 6 months to recover from the damage done by antibiotics. And even then, the body might not even be back to its pre-antibiotic state.
Saccharomyces boulardii, a probiotic yeast is particularly good at preventing and alleviating antibiotic-associated diarrhea and travellers diarrhea. Its also a friend to your gut bacteria that supports good bacteria and prevents inflammation.
Lactobacillus acidophilus, a probiotic bacterium best known for being in yoghurt is also great for your gut. Studies show that its good at treating and preventing infections, and reducing the digestive side effects of antibiotics.
Other bacteria that help recover from antibiotic use include:
- L. casei
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Our Favorite Probiotics To Take After Antibiotics
The Healthy Place stocks lots of probiotic supplements because theyre one of the most foundational supplements to health. They support immune health, brain health, joint mobility, nerve function, digestive function, cardiovascular health and so much more because without a healthy gut, your body isnt equipped to stay healthy!
But, in the case of probiotics after antibiotics, here are some wed recommend:
- For A Thorough Dose Of Gut-Supportive Saccharomyces: Try Flora Basilica Everyday Ultra 150 Billion. Its a broad-spectrum probiotic supplement thats absolutely jam-packed with healthy bacteria. It contains 5 billion Saccharomyces to replenish bacteria lost while taking antibiotics. We suggest starting here after antibiotics and dropping to a lower dose for daily ongoing support.
- For Your Little One: Go for Gryph & Ivyrose Chewable Probiotics or Gryph & Ivyrose Childrens Chocolate Probiotics. Theyre both deeee-licious and specially formulated with your childs digestive tract in mind. Perfect for kids who need some extra help maintaining healthy, regular digestion!
- For Female-Targeted Bacteria: As mentioned above, gut bacteria is not the only bacteria you should consider when youve taken antibiotics. Try a supplement like Renew Life Probiotics + Prebiotics Womens Daily to support the natural flora in your vagina.
Probiotics Contain Good Gut Bacteria
Probiotics are foods, typically yoghurts and yoghurt drinks, that contain good gut bacteria: live microorganisms that can recolonise the gut or improve your gut health.
To be called a probiotic, they must be able to resist stomach acid and digestive processes, and then be able adhere to the gut walls and grow, while not causing any issues for the gut wall. They must also be tested for safety and efficacy in controlled trials.
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To be called a probiotic, the dose of microorganisms needs to be sufficient to help restore the good bacteria, by elbowing out the bad bacteria.
Most yoghurts contain good bacteria but not all can survive the acidity of the stomach acid or the bacteria wont grow in the bowel, so there is no probiotic benefit.
For probiotics to exert these beneficial effects, they not only have to make it to the large bowel, but once there they need the right fuel to help them grow well. Thats where prebiotics come into play but more on them shortly.
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Tips For Taking Probiotics With Antibiotics
We know that taking probiotics with antibiotics can prevent and alleviate side effects, repopulate the gut microbiome, and minimize antibiotic resistance, but how do we mix probiotics and antibiotics without having them cancel each other out?
First and foremost, make sure your doctor has confirmed a bacterial infection that warrants an antibiotic intervention before rushing to fill your prescription.
If not, request a lab test to make sure youd hate to take a harsh, gut-damaging antibiotic for a viral infection that will clear up on its own.
If you and your doctor have decided that antibiotics are a necessity, including probiotics in your daily wellness routine will maximize your chances of staying healthy.
Here are our five tips for correctly taking probiotics with antibiotics:
1. Find a Multi-Strain Probiotic Formula
Taking a daily probiotic supplement is a smart idea even when you arent fighting an infection, but its especially important during and after a course of antibiotics.
Look for a high-quality formula with a variety of human-resident strains to repopulate your gut, including strains like L. rhamnoses proven to help during antibiotic treatment.
Also, choose a formula that guarantees the live bacteria will survive the acid-filled journey into your gut many probiotic products in standard veggie capsules only have a 4 percent survival rate.
2. Give the Antibiotics Some Space
Wait at least two hours after taking antibiotics before taking probiotics.
Issues To Be Aware Of
If you’re considering trying probiotics, there are a few issues you need to be aware of.
Probiotics are generally classed as food rather than medicine, which means they don’t go through the rigorous testing medicines do.
Because of the way probiotics are regulated, we can’t always be sure that:
- the product actually contains the bacteria stated on the food label
- the product contains enough bacteria to have an effect
- the bacteria are able to survive long enough to reach your gut
There are many different types of probiotics that may have different effects on the body, and little is known about which types are best.
You may find a particular type of probiotic helps with one problem. But this doesn’t mean it’ll help other problems, or that other types of probiotic will work just as well.
And there’s likely to be a huge difference between the pharmaceutical-grade probiotics that show promise in clinical trials and the yoghurts and supplements sold in shops.
Page last reviewed: 27 November 2018 Next review due: 27 November 2021
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Probiotics Reduce Antibiotic Diarrhea
May 8, 2012 — Diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotic use, occurring in almost 1 in 3 people who take the drugs. But new research suggests that probiotics may help lower the risk of that unwanted side effect.
By affecting good bacteria, as well as bad, antibiotics can disrupt the delicate microbial balance in the intestines, but the live microorganisms marketed as probiotics can help restore this balance to reduce diarrhea risk, a new review of the research suggests.
Supported by a federal grant, researchers from the nonprofit research and analysis group RAND Corporation pooled the best available research on probiotics and antibiotic-associated diarrhea, including the most recent studies.
They found that in people taking antibiotics, those who used probiotics were 42% less likely to develop diarrhea.
The review appears this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Even with the latest research, the science showing that probiotic foods and supplements promote digestive health has not yet caught up to the hype, and many questions remain about their benefits, experts tell WebMD.
“The good news is that a lot of extremely high-quality research is going on now,” says gastrointestinal disease researcher Eamonn Quigley, MD, of Ireland’s University College Cork, who was not involved in the review.
“Up until now, most of the noise about probiotics has been generated by marketing, but it may soon be generated by the science.”
Can You Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Dr. Eric Wood, ND, MA – Contributing Writer, Physicians Choice
Having been in practice for more than a decade, I am still dismayed at how seldom individuals are provided medical guidance when taking antibiotics, particularly as it pertains to getting gut support with probiotics. A question I often get in practice: Is it ok to take probiotics when Im on antibiotics?
This article is devoted to this issue, discussing the importance of supporting your microbiome, what antibiotics can do to gut health and why our health habits and practices need to adjust based on what else may be going on with our health.
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How To Restore Healthy Gut Flora
Probiotics are generally safe, and sometimes even recommended to take during a course of antibiotics, except for hospitalised patients and people with compromised immune systems. They are especially helpful afterward to support the recovery of your gut microbiome.
TIP There is no such thing as a clean gut diet your gut naturally cleans itself. However, you can help your gut bacteria keep you healthy with a plant-rich prebiotic diet.
Studies Of Commercial Products Limited
Newberry says none of the studies included in the analysis examined commercially available probiotic yogurts, and very few examined commercially marketed probiotic supplements.
“In most cases these were mixtures created in the lab for the individual study,” she tells WebMD.
Many types of bacteria or yeasts are considered to be probiotics, and commercially available supplements contain different combinations of these microorganisms.
“At this point the research doesn’t say much about which microorganisms work best,” she says.
And because dietary supplements are not regulated in the United States, buyers are on their own trying to figure out which ones to take.
“I’m afraid nothing in this review will help consumers choose which probiotic supplement to choose or which foods to eat,” says David Bernstein, MD, who is chief of the division of hepatology at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.
All agree that more study is needed to identify which microorganisms best benefit the gut.
“In high-risk patients — which would include elderly people in nursing homes taking antibiotics — it is probably not a bad idea to give a probiotic,” Quigley says. “But if you ask me which one, I really couldn’t tell you.”
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So What Are Prebiotics
Prebiotics are compounds that help beneficial gut microorganisms grow and survive.
Prebiotic foods contain complex carbohydrates that cant be digested and dietary fibres that resist digestive processes in the stomach and small intestine.
They pass undigested into the large bowel where they are fermented by the healthy good bacteria.
To be called a prebiotic, they need to undergo the processes above, and be shown in clinical trials to selectively improve the microorganism composition in the gut.
Not all dietary fibres are prebiotic. Common ones include complex carbohydrates called fructo-oligosaccharides, inulin and resistant starch.
You can find foods at the supermarket with added prebiotics, but non-digestible carbohydrates occur naturally in many everyday foods, including:
grains: barley, rye bread, rye crackers, pasta, gnocchi, couscous, wheat bran, wheat bread, oats
legumes: chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, baked beans, soybeans
vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, chicory, fennel bulb, garlic, green peas, leek, onion, shallots, spring onion, snow peas, sweetcorn, savoy cabbage
fruit: nectarines, white peaches, persimmon, tamarillo, watermelon, rambutan, grapefruit, pomegranate, dates, figs
nuts: cashews, pistachios.
Additional sources of resistant starch include under-ripe bananas, cooked and cooled rice, cornflour, cooked and cooled potatoes.
For babies, breast milk is naturally rich in oligosaccharides.
Side Effects Of Antibiotics
This sudden proliferation of bad bacteria and accompanying loss of the health-promoting good guys lead to a variety of antibiotic side effects, such as diarrhea, fungal and yeast infections, and inflammation all of which can open the door to a wide variety of serious health issues.
Thats because by weakening your bodys probiotic makeup, antibiotic use also weakens your immune defenses.
A staggering 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut where your probiotic bacteria work to regulate nearly every aspect of your immune function.
This also explains why its common for antibiotic use to lead to recurrent infections , and why many people find themselves in a downward spiral of sickness, a vicious cycle thats hard to break.
One side effect of repeated antibiotic administration is a Clostridium difficileinfection. C. difficile is an opportunistic pathogen that thrives in the carbohydrate-rich environment of a gut cleared of its good microbes .
C. difficile is a potentially fatal microbe that secretes toxins that lead to diarrhea, fever, and colon inflammation.
Even though Fleming himself warned us of the dangers of antibiotic overuse, were only recently connecting these dots and beginning to make changes to both our paradigm and our habits and the reason is twofold.
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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.
How Long Should You Take Probiotics
While probiotics are especially beneficial during and after antibiotics, consider adding them to your diet, full-time. Supporting your gut regularly allows your bodys digestive system to function at its best. Plus, theres no definitive research with a recommendation. So, err on the side of caution and continue taking probiotics for the long run!
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