Probiotics Antibiotics: Good and Bad?
Morgan Chilson in a recent article on newsmax.com, says that one in three people who take antibiotics get diarrhea. The good news! Research has found that probiotics help reduce the risk of suffering from that particular unpleasant side effect.
She goes on to say that one of the most well-researched aspects of probiotics is the effect it has on the gut, and specifically diarrhea symptoms. In 2012 there were numerous studies on antibiotics and probiotics, and researchers determined that people who took probiotics at the same time they took antibiotics were 42% less likely to have diarrhea as a side effect, says WebMD.
WebMD says that 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.
Gastrointestinal disease researcher Eamonn Quigley, MD, of Ireland’s University College Cork told WebMD that there is a lot of good news because there is a lot of extremely high-quality research going on now.
“Up until now, most of the noise about probiotics has been generated by marketing, but it may soon be generated by the science.”
U.S. News & World Report points out that antibiotic associated diarrhea can even allow a disease-causing strain of bacteria, Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, to proliferate in the gut.
C.diff infections can be very dangerous to some people, particularly people with immune problems. The reports says “some experts hypothesize that even in cases where antibiotics do not cause noticeable GI symptoms, the ecological changes they precipitate in the gut can have adverse effects on longer-term health.”
World Report writer, Tamera Duker Freuman, says that certain probiotic strains have been shown to be more effective in treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea, mainly Saccharomyces boulardii and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. She says to keep in mind that eating more yogurt or other foods that contain probiotics don’t make the dosage high enough to help fight off AAD.
FYI – Both these strains are contained in Primal Defense Ultra from Garden of Life.
Dr Joel Fuhrman M.D. interview by Dr Oz was rerun on TV recently. He, too, has great concern about the negative, long term effects of using antibiotics.
Dr. Fuhrman is the Research Director of the Nutritional Research Foundation and a member of the Dr. Oz Show Medical Advisory Board. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (1988) and has he has also received the St. Joseph’s Family Practice Resident’s Teaching Award becasue of his contribution to making sure their residents are educated.
He takes a very serious preventive medicine approach. He has come up with an acronym, “G-BOMBS”, that you can use to remember the most nutrient-dense, health-promoting foods. He suggests that you ought to eat these every day, and that they ought to make up a large proportion of your diet. He says that these foods are extremely effective at preventing chronic disease and promoting health and longevity.
Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most serious health threats today. Infections from resistant bacteria are getting more and more common. Some pathogens have even become resistant to multiple types or classes of antibiotics that are used to treat bacterial infections.
The loss of effective antibiotics makes it very difficult to fight infectious diseases and manage the possible complications in infectious which is common in vulnerable patients who may be undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, dialysis for renal failure, and surgery.
Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections. Instead, symptom relief might be the best treatment option for viral infections.
Bottom Line …… use antibiotics when antibiotics are needed, that is to fight bacterial infections when absolutely necessary.
When you use antibiotics appropriately, you do the best to encourage your body to heal. However, taking antibiotics for viral infections, like colds and flu, including most sore throats, bronchitis, and also a variey of ear infections will not help get rid of the infection.