Probiotic Supplements: Take with Antibiotics?

Source: International Probiotics Association

Antibiotics kill off pathogens, saving untold numbers of lives every year. Unfortunately, the 20th century wonder drugs also destroy a lot of beneficial bacteria along the way. The ensuing disturbances in gut microbiota communities can lead to diarrhea and other displays of dysbiosis.

When antibiotics are administered, dysbiosis may occur rapidly, within days, leading to altered bacterial metabolism and impaired host proteome in mice and humans. Many studies confirm that antibiotic exposure alters the gut microbiome in children and adults.

What happens, is antibiotics create a vacancy for opportunistic pathogens to move in or expand. The beneficial organisms are pushed out – this takeover happens fast and can last for a long time. Supplementation with probiotics to offset the effects of antibiotics has become a popular route. Restoring the beneficial bacteria has also been shown to help reduce the incidence and duration of antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD.)

Meta-analysis of 25 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reported that a variety of different types of probiotics significantly reduced the development of AAD.

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