Choose A Quality Probiotic Formula
Quality assurance practices do matter. Probiotic manufacturing is not highly regulated and some label claims do not stand up to scrutiny. Consider the results of these investigations into probiotic quality:
- One study assessed 26 commercial probiotics and found that none fully supported label claims. Some probiotic supplements contained unacceptable microorganisms .
- The same study found two common problems in probiotic supplements: low concentration of viable cells and the presence of undesired organisms .
- Another study found only half of the probiotics examined had the specific strain listed on the label .
- 43% of the probiotics in another study contained less than half the amount of probiotics listed on their labels .
If a company follows quality assurance practices, a probiotic supplement will meet its label claims and not contain potentially harmful organisms.
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.
Good Bacteria And Gut Health
But weve been told for decades that all bacteria are evil, so if youre wondering, Is flora good for you? right now, then youre not alone. Dont worry, this widespread belief is a myth. In fact, now we know that bacteria are overwhelmingly harmless, some are great, and only a few are bad.
For your gut to stay happy and keep you healthy, it depends on microbial diversity. Basically, there must be lots of different types of microbes living together. When there isnt, it leads to dysbiosis, in which there isnt enough diversity and some bacteria can grow out of control.
When an imbalance of good and bad bacteria happens, the microbiome can become unhappy, and this has consequences for digestion, inflammation, the gut lining, and even mood and brain health.
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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.
A More Effective Alternative
The Israeli study also explored an alternative approach to microbiome restoration.
One group of participants had their own stool collected and frozen prior to antibiotic treatment. It was then re-instilled into their gut at the end of the antibiotic therapy.
This treatment, known as autologous fecal transplantation, was able to restore the microbiome to original levels after just eight days. The other group took 21 days to recover.
This approach has also been shown to effectively restore the gut microbiome following combined antibiotic and chemotherapy treatment. These patients are predictably at risk of serious complications, such as bloodstream infection, as a result of microbiome disruption.
Research currently underway will help us understand whether microbiome restoration with autologous fecal transplantation will translate into tangible benefits for these patients.
But such an approach would not be a realistic option for most people.
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Sip Bone Broth Or Take Collagen Peptides
The bacteria that line your digestive tract protect the membranes that keep intestinal contents on the inside where they belong. As they wear away, fungi have the chance to colonize in their place. When fungi grow, they shoot out hyphae, thin filament-like roots that dig into the intestinal walls. Essentially, they poke holes in your intestines which allow partially digested food particles to seep outside of the digestive tract and cause problems.
So, what can you do? Make sure youre eating foods that support strong connective tissue, like bone broth and collagen-rich foods. Collagen is the protein that holds your membranes together, and taking collagen peptides will give your cells all of the amino acids they need when its time to make your intestinal walls stronger and more resilient
You cant make collagen without vitamin C, so its a good idea to boost your vitamin C intake when supplementing with hydrolyzed collagen.
The Life Inside All Of Us
In the series, well be looking at recent research into the microbiome of bacteria that lives in all of us.
Well be exploring how it affects our health, what could be having detrimental effects on it, and recommending recipes that might help it thrive.
Probiotics have been touted as a treatment for a huge range of conditions, from obesity to mental health problems. One of their popular uses is to replenish the gut microbiome after a course of antibiotics. The logic is antibiotics wipe out your gut bacteria along with the harmful bacteria that might be causing your infection, so a probiotic can help to restore order to your intestines.
But while it might sound like sense, there is scant solid evidence suggesting probiotics actually work if taken this way. Researchers have found that taking probiotics after antibiotics in fact delays gut health recovery.
Part of the problem when trying to figure out whether or not probiotics work is because different people can mean a variety of things with the term probiotic. To a scientist, it might be seen as a living culture of microorganisms that typically live in the healthy human gut. But the powdery substance blister packs on supermarket shelves can bear little resemblance to that definition.
Even when researchers use viable, living bacterial strains in their research, the cocktail varies from one lab to another making it tricky to compare.
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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.
Can Probiotics Hurt Me
For most healthy people, probiotics dont cause any harm. They are generally considered safe and are often given a try to see if they could help with various medical conditions. Theres a lot of research around the topic of probiotics. Scientists are trying to determine when and how they should be used, as well as how effective they are. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting a probiotic supplement because there are some cases where you shouldnt be taking them. Its always best to have the conversation first before starting a new supplement.
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Probiotics Reduce Antibiotic Side Effects
When you have been on antibiotics before, did you have adverse effects such as diarrhea, yeast infections, or gastrointestinal pain?
Antibiotics work by killing harmful bacteria that cause infections. Most antibiotics are broad-spectrum, meaning they kill a lot of different types of bugs. This broad action makes them useful for a lot of different types of infections, and its also why they can end up killing good bacteria too.
Antibiotic side effects are often caused by the loss of beneficial bacteria and resulting dysbiosis [6
Antibiotic side effects can be long-lasting, especially with repeated antibiotic treatments. Probiotics can be very helpful in restoring the healthy balance of gut bacteria. A large number of studies back this up.
Lets look at a few examples:
How To Take Probiotics
How long after you stop an antibiotic should you continue to take your probiotic? Experts say one to four weeks, but the research is unclear. A study published in the journal Cell found that participants who took a probiotic for four weeks after an antibiotic were able to restore their gut microbiome to normal after six months the placebo group, however, colonized new, healthy gut bacteria in just three weeks.
The upshot here? The benefits of taking a probiotic with or after an antibiotic isnt 100% confirmed, but there is little downside to trying it. Stick to the more studied strains such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces. Look for supplements with USP seal, a dietary supplement certification that ensures the bottle contains what it says it does. The FDA does not regulate probiotics, so its essential to do some legwork. You can also eat your probiotics in active culture-containing and fermented foods and drinks such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir.
General Info: National Central for Complementary and Integrated Health. Probiotics: What You Need to Know.
Probiotic and AAD:The Journal of Family Practice. Prescribing an Antibiotic? Pair it with Probiotics.
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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.
Physicians Choice 60 Billion Probiotic
The first probiotic on the list of the best after antibiotic probiotics is the Physicians Choice 60 Billion Probiotic, the reason why this one is first and why Im such a big fan of it is due to the high bacteria count coming in at 60 Billion, in addition, the bacteria comes from 10 different probiotic strains, which is a big plus.
One of the main effects youll experience with this probiotic is a big improvement in your digestion, especially since the Physicians Choice also has an included prebiotic fiber blend, which makes the probiotic even more effective.
The recommended dosage is a single capsule per day, ideally before a meal with lots of water.
This probiotic is also 100% free of GMOs and is also 100% vegan, which is a great plus.
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How Probiotics Can Assist After Antibiotics
Probiotics are so helpful throughout and after a course of antibiotics as a result of they replenish the nice micro organism which the antibiotics are destroying.
Whereas frequently increase your provide of fine micro organism is a robust element to any wholesome routine, that is much more essential when these wholesome micro organism are below menace from antibiotics.
Antibiotics are sturdy, however you might be proactive in giving your intestine the very best probability of staying sturdy and wholesome in the course of the course of your remedy.
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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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.
Probiotics Make Antibiotic Sibo Treatment More Effective
There is also research showing that probiotics and antibiotics are more effective together for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth treatment:
- One study of 40 patients with SIBO showed those taking a combination of S. boulardii and metronidazole had more than double the success rate for eradicating SIBO with when compared to those taking metronidazole alone [3
Overall, probiotic co-administration with antibiotics is a safe, non-invasive, and effective way to enhance treatment results.
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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.*
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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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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