When Probiotics Are Most Effective
Probiotics can either refer to living microorganisms that makeup certain yeasts and bacteria, or the foods and supplements that contain these beneficial microbes.
The microorganisms, themselves, play a vital role in your health because they help you carry out important functions like digesting food and fighting disease.
However, the majority of these important microbes are already inside your gut, intestines, and elsewhere helping you out. It’s when you lose some, or many, that you’ll need outside help.
For example, if you’re taking antibiotics or you’ve been exposed to bacteria in a foreign country, this may reduce your number of healthy microbes. Or chronic digestive issues from autoimmune conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease can also disrupt your normal balance of good bacteria.
“It is during this time that probiotics are most effectively used,” says Lynne McFarland, PhD, a professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Washington
Should Healthy People Take Probiotics
You may have heard that all people should take a probiotic supplement. However, research suggests that generally healthy people do not attain a benefit from probiotic supplements. A few specific supplements are clinically recommended for a few specific medical conditions, but you can otherwise obtain the most benefits from nourishing the microbes already in your gut, says Finkel.
She uses the analogy of a garden. Imagine you have a beautiful garden with a wide variety of plants that are not getting enough water and sunlight. Rather than uprooting and replacing every plant in your garden, why not take better care of the garden you have? Finkel recommends “nourishing the garden” of your microbiome by eating fiber-rich foods that will feed your microbiome, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
How Do Probiotics Help
Taking a probiotic can help to restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut that is often affected by antibiotics. This additional good bacteria helps a number of digestive and immune functions in our body, and importantly inhibits the proliferation of bad bacteria which can make us sick. As such, taking a probiotic can work to either minimise the severity ofthe unpleasant side effects of taking antibiotics. A healthy balance of good bacteria is important for maintaining everyday health, digestive health and immunity and probiotics help you achieve this.
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis have been shown to be effective in preventing antibiotic-associated imbalances. If you are taking a course of antibiotics, taking a probiotic during and for several weeks after can help to replenish gut flora balance. It is recommended that probiotics are taken at least two hours from antibiotics, within 30 minutes of eating or as recommended by your healthcare professional.
Want to know more about probiotics and immunity? Check out our range of digestion and probiotic products.
Always read the label and follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamins and minerals can only be of assistance if the dietary intake is inadequate.
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Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic is an excellent choice for a probiotic supplement as it contains natural ingredients. This probiotic is allergy friendly making it usable by many people.
It comes in an easy to swallow capsule that utilizes a delayed release formula. This product promotes a healthy digestive balance and helps to relieve digestive discomfort. I must note that each capsule has whopping 50 billion CFU which is great but could be way too much to take for extended periods of time.
The capsules are made without the use of any fillers or unnecessary ingredients which makes it a great choice for those looking for a healthy product. The use of natural ingredients also makes this probiotic allergy friendly.
Its dairy free, gluten free, nut free, wheat free, and egg free. This probiotic utilizes a special delayed-release formula that is designed to help the capsules withstand your stomach acid and make it all the way to your digestive tract. This allows the good bacteria to make its way into your intestinal tract so it can go to work. If the capsule were to be destroyed by the harsh stomach acids, the probiotic bacteria inside will be easily destroyed and digested.
What Is The Gut Microbiome
Your gut microbiome lives in your large intestine, and its home to the most diverse bacteria in your entire body. Thats because, unlike any other part of the body, your digestive tract is an open ecosystem, which is more exposed to its external environment than any other part of the body.
What does this mean? Well, the gut microbiome can be shaped by things like gender, age, geographic and socio-economic conditions, diet, and health conditions. It also means that every persons gut microbiome will be different, and affected by different factors.
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Can Probiotic Supplements Be Harmful
Though many companies and influencers encourage everyone to use probiotics, they are, in fact, not beneficial for everyone, and different strains have different effects on different people.
More research is needed, but preliminary research has shown that probiotics may be harmful to people with certain underlying conditions or diagnoses, such as those with critical illness, AIDS, organ transplantation, necrotizing enterocolitis, cancer, and allergies. In such cases, probiotic supplementation may lead to life-threatening illnesses, including pneumonia, endocarditis , and sepsis.
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.
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The Dangers Of Antibiotics
Beyond the misuse of, and resistance to, antibiotics – there are direct dangers you should know about before you or your children take these medications.
Primarily, antibiotics kill good gut bacteria, leading to a host of issues including diarrhea, which can be severe.
Why does this happen? Because antibiotics are great at killing bad bacteria, but they are completely unable to distinguish the good from the bad.
So, as your medication is protecting your body from the harmful bacteria that has invaded it, at the same time it is destroying the good bacteria.
Research has shown that even six months after taking antibiotics, the good bacteria is not always fully recolonized. Considering that good bacteria can affect a wide range of health factors, including your immune system, digestive system, cholesterol, and weight, this is an extensive amount of time to go without the fully balanced good bacteria you want in your gut.
But What If I Dont Need It Now
Sure, you dont now but you will. And when that day comes, you dont want to be waiting around for Gut Recovery to arrive. You want to have it handy in the pantry, ready for action. Gut Recovery isnt a subscription and its shelf stable so go ahead, stock up. Whether youre back to work, back to school, or doing it all from the comfort of your own home, cold season doesnt discriminate. Gut Recovery is the best probiotic for antibiotics for a reason, make sure youve got it when you need it.
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The Life Inside All Of Us
Microbes & me is a new collaborative series between BBC Future and BBC Good Food.
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.
When Should I Take Probiotics When Taking Antibiotics
Generally, with a few exceptions aside, it is best to take our probiotic supplements in the morning with breakfast. If you are taking a probiotic containing the strains Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94, you would still be able to follow this recommendation alongside antibiotics and take both with your brekkie.
However, if you are taking different strains, it is best to give a 2 hour gap between antibiotics and taking the probiotic supplement. So, if you have been instructed by your doctor to take your antibiotics with breakfast, you would take the medication first in this instance and leave a 2 hour gap before taking the other probiotics. Its a good idea to take our supplements with food, so in this case, with your lunch or a mid-morning snack.
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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.
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Probiotics To Restore Gut Flora After Taking Antibiotics
Many studies point to the effectiveness of taking probiotic supplements to restore the microflora of your gut. This is usually necessary after taking antibiotics or when you have had gastroenteritis.
The Journal of Family Practice reports that taking probiotics while taking antibiotics can help to replenish the natural GI flora. A meta-analysis of over 30 randomized controlled trials found that probiotics can both prevent and treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea.
The researchers concluded that the positive effect of probiotics in restoring gut flora is a reason to pair antibiotics with probiotics. In fact, the result of the meta-analysis found that taking probiotics along with antibiotics resulted in a 66% reduction of C. diff. infections.
Taking probiotics is an effective way to recover from taking antibiotics.
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Do Probiotics Affect Antibiotics
Probiotics dont alter the effectiveness of antibiotics. Antibiotics are powerful! And theyre designed to kill bacteria, so probiotic bacteria dont stand a chance against pharmaceuticals. That said, probiotics can make it a bit more pleasant for you while youre taking antibiotics, and they can help your gut rebalance once your treatments complete.
Add Gut Repairing Supplements To Your Routine
Collagen does more than just improve your hair, skin, and nails. It also plays a role in restoring gut health. This is because collagen makes up the villi of your small intestine. Your villi are like tiny little fingers that grab nutrients and move them into your bloodstream. They vastly increase the surface area of your gut, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients. Taking a collagen supplement will help restore your gut lining, nurture your villi, and ward off leaky gut.
Supplementing with Leaky Gut Revive® is another great way to protect your gut. Leaky Gut Revive® combats the root cause of leaky gut by fortifying your gut and keeping your microflora in balance. Using it in conjunction with collagen will provide a one-two punch of protection against harm to your gut from antibiotics.
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The Best Probiotic And Prebiotic Supplements For 2022 Are:
- Best overall Garden of Life raw microbiome ultimate care: £44.49, Gardenoflife.co.uk
- Best for women Wellgard Vitaflora 20 billion CFU probiotics for women: £12.74, Wellgard.co.uk
- Best for kids So Perf Kids Peruvian cacao and coconut bars: £26.20, Soperf.com
- Best for taking with other vitamins Indi body: £55, Indisupplements.com
- Best for when on a course of antibiotics Bio-Kult boosted: £25, Boots.com
- Best for combining prebiotics and probiotics The Nue Co prebiotic + probiotic: £45, Thenueco.com
- Best for people with digestive system problems Inessa advanced biotic complex: £38.99, Inessawellness.com
- Best for people with allergies Performance Lab prebiotic, one month supply: £34, Performancelab.com
- Best for supporting mental wellbeing Kalla for relief, 30-day supply: £129, Kalla.com
Probiotic Foods Vs Supplements
If you’re on antibiotics, it’s best to start taking a probiotic the same day and continue for two weeks after you’ve finished your dose of antibiotics.
In this case, a good option is a yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745, which you can purchase as a supplement by the brand name Florastar. McFarland says that a yeast is best in this situation because it will not be killed by the antibiotics.
This is one case where probiotic supplements may be helpful. However, in general probiotic supplements are considered by experts to be a waste of money.
“If you’re concerned about health, skip the supplements and seek out naturally live-cultured, probiotic-containing foods,” says Cate Shanahan, MD, a physician who specializes in nutrition and food sensitivity.
If you have a chronic condition like IBD, you may need to consume probiotic foods on a regular basis. In fact, any digestive disease that causes frequent diarrhea should be countered with frequent probiotic foods.
For IBD, McFarland recommends a mix of 8 strains called VSL#3. You can find these strains in two types of yogurt: ProViva and Align. Probiotics won’t cure these chronic conditions but they can help alleviate or prevent symptoms.
For IBS, a growing body of research suggests that yogurts containing strains of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria show some promise in helping improve symptoms.
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When To Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Its recommended to take probiotics at least 2 hours after taking your antibiotic, by ensuring at least 2 hours have passed, were giving the antibiotic enough time and room to do its job.
This will also ensure that both the antibiotic and the probiotic achieve the best results, without fighting each other.
Important Things To Know
- Probiotics only work if they are still alive. They must be freeze-dried or refrigerated for optimal effectiveness.
- Avoid mixing probiotics in boiling water as it will kill them.
- Probiotics should be taken for several weeks after a course of antibiotics. Your intestinal flora is going to undergo changes for weeks or months.
- Select a supplement with the right probiotics to solve your problem, but its also good to include other strains as well.
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Which Is The Best Probiotic To Take With Amoxicillin
For the best results, the ideal probiotics for amoxicillin users will include the Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG strain and yeasts such as Saccharomyces boulardii. If you are suffering digestive discomfort as a result of using amoxicillin, lactobacillus should be part of any probiotic treatment you use to mitigate the effects.Also to get the benefit of probiotics, you should consider what result you are looking for. In most of our cases, the most notable side effect of amoxicillin is digestive disturbance within days of taking the antibiotic, or even sooner, you may begin to feel uncomfortable in the stomach, and even experience diarrhea. If youre being treated with amoxicillin, probiotics can restore your gut flora and help maintain digestive balance.
Which Probiotics Should You Add To Your Diet
Probiotics are commonly found in food. They are also available in dietary supplements.
Food. Many foods have good bacteria. However, these bacteria dont always survive strong stomach acids and may not be able to add to gut health. Other foods have probiotic strains that can survive the digestion process and successfully reach the gut.
Whether a food truly has beneficial probiotics depends on three things: the levels of good bacteria contained when eaten, whether the good bacteria can survive passage through the stomach, and whether those strains of bacteria are able to support your health.
These are a few foods that provide a good source of probiotics:
- dried beans and other legumes
- green bananas
Dietary supplements. Probiotics are also available as capsules, powders, liquids, and more. The wide variety of available products can make it difficult to determine which ones offer health benefits based on science.
Some of the best probiotic strains for health include:
Lactobacillus acidophilus. Lactobacillus acidophilus balances potentially harmful bacteria that can otherwise grow in your gut due to illness or antibiotics.
Lactobacillus fermentum. Lactobacillus fermentum strengthens your immune system and prevents gastrointestinal and upper respiratory infections.
Lactobacillus plantarum. Lactobacillus plantarum stimulates your digestive system, fights off disease-causing bacteria, and helps your body produce vitamins.
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