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.
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.
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.
Alternative Ways To Squash Your Symptoms Without Antibiotics
Its not always possible, we get that. Antibiotics are beneficial for many different symptoms and circumstances. But if you can, consider using these alternative ways to get rid of your symptoms and avoid those gut-busting antibiotics all-together.
** Talk with your doctor before using any of the following to tackle cold and flu symptoms.
Pay Attention To Your Gut
In many cases where you have caught a cold or the flu, focusing on your gut health will help to support your immune system. Why is this? The gut is full of trillions of living organisms, or bacteria, that play a huge part in regulating the immune system. And, as we said before, over 60% of your immune system is actually located right in your gut microbiome. By working hard to keep your gut happy and healthy, youll also be helping your immune system fight bad-guy bacteria and viruses from making you sick.
Get Plenty Of Rest
When you dont get enough adequate sleep, your bodys immune system begins to suffer. In fact, insufficient sleep can be what causes a cold or flu to start in the first place. Make sure to take it easy and get plenty of rest before, after, and while youre feeling sick. Proper sleep will give your body the strength to fight off whatever bad stuff is going on inside.
Plenty of Vitamins And Nutrients
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Take Probiotics To Restore Gut Flora
Probiotics are your good gut bacteriathe ones that support healthy digestion, produce nutrients and get rid of toxins and pathogens, among other key roles. A diet rich in probiotics can help good microbes colonize in your gut and keep the unfriendly ones at bay. Heads up:
The histamines in fermented foods mean that some choices, like miso and conventional yogurt, dont work for everyone. Probiotic supplements are super effective ways to get these beneficial bacteria in your diet.
Heres an easy win: Bulletproof Unflavored Gut Health Collagen Protein covers all your bases. It contains probiotics, plus prebiotic acacia , glycine and zinc carnosine to a healthy gut lining.
What to know about probiotics and antibiotics
Every dose of antibiotics wipes out a large portion of bacteria throughout your entire body, including the good guys. After that, the good microbes and the unfriendly ones slowly rebuild, and if all goes well, they come back into balance. But, it takes time, and they dont always colonize in harmony.
To keep one strain of gut flora from taking over, take a probiotic supplement while youre taking antibiotics. The friendly probiotic bacteria may not colonize in the gut, but they can still help you through a course of antibiotics.
The Lack Of Consistency In The Findings On Probiotics Comes In Part Because They Are Being Treated Like Conventional Drugs
This opens the door to developing personalised probiotic treatments based on someones genetic profile. Such a system is realistic and could be developed relatively soon, says Elinav, but at this stage it remains a proof of concept. To become a reality, it will need more research on probiotic tailoring and testing more bacterial strains in larger groups of people.
This kind of personalisation may release the full potential of probiotic treatments for gut health. At the moment, the lack of consistency in the findings on probiotics comes in part because they are being treated like conventional drugs. When you take a paracetamol tablet, you can be more or less sure that the active component will do its job and work on receptors in your brain, dulling your sensation of pain. This is because most peoples pain receptors are similar enough to react in the same way to the drug.
But the microbiome is not just a receptor it is closer to an ecosystem, and sometimes likened to a rainforest in its complexity.
As a result, finding and tailoring a probiotic treatment that will work on something as intricate and individual as your own internal ecosystem is no easy task. And with that in mind, its not so surprising that a dried-out pack of bacteria from a supermarket shelf may well not do the trick.
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How To Recover Gut Health After Antibiotics
The same infectious diseases that would have impaired or killed us in past generations are now easily halted through a simple course of antibiotic medication.
While Im not in favor of contaminating our food supply with antibiotics, using them wisely in order to stop the progress of acute disease is extremely valuable.
One of their unfortunate side effects, however, is that antibiotic drugs are not selective in choosing which bacteria to kill. All the good bacterial colonies in the gut die along with the bad. Because of that, readers often write to me asking how to recover their gut health after a round of antibiotics.
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.
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Ways To Support Your Gut After Antibiotics
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I used to wonder why I would get sick again and again after I had to take a course of antibiotics. Id also experience stomach issues, yeast and other uncomfortable symtoms.
I eventually learn that this is because antibiotics can kill all the bacteria in your body, not just the bad ones. This is why digestive issues are a common side effect of taking antibiotics the delicate bacterial balance in your intestines is upset.
Studies have closely linked gut bacteria to good immune function.
A huge proportion of your immune system is actually in your GI tract, says Dan Peterson, assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The immune system is inside your body, and the bacteria are outside your body. And yet they interact. For example, certain cells in the lining of the gut spend their lives excreting massive quantities of antibodies into the gut. Thats what were trying to understandwhat are the types of antibodies being made, and how is the body trying to control the interaction between ourselves and bacteria on the outside?Hopkins Medicine
Of course, we take antibiotics for a good reason if our doctor prescribes them. But Ive learned that there are some simple natural things I can do to support my gut and help reduce those potential issues.
How To Increase Good Bacteria In The Gut Naturally
A good gut diet requires lots of dietary fibres, called prebiotics. You know, the ones found in natural, plant-based foods? Your gut bacteria love them!
The probiotics we mentioned above thrive on prebiotics many of which are the non-digestible carbohydrates in fruit, veg, seeds, grains, and pulses. However, the Western diet is low in foods that promote healthy gut flora, but high in fat, meat, and refined sugar.
Ultimately, this affects our health by reducing healthy gut bacteria and increasing our risk of weight gain, metabolic problems, chronic inflammation, and disease. Fortunately, its an easy problem to solve because your gut bacteria love edible plants.
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Also Check: Do I Need Antibiotics For Tooth Abscess
Parasites: The Missing Link To Chronic Illness
Often the root cause of chronic illnesses, parasites are more common than you think!
In humans, these organisms can cause a wide array of symptoms digestive trouble, skin rashes, irritability, teeth grinding, heart palpitations, anxiety, depression and more and many people are unknowingly infected.
If youve been sick for years, parasites could be causing some of your symptoms. Join me and learn how to properly detect and eliminate them!
Parasites: The Missing Link to Chronic Illness could help you answer questions like:
- Why are parasite infections such a big deal?
- How do I know if I have a parasitic infection?
- What is the connection between parasites & autoimmunity?
- Do environmental factors impact parasitic infections?
- How do I implement an antiparasitic diet?
- Whats preventing me from eliminating parasites?
- How do I defend against getting parasites in the first place?
- Get answers to these and many more questions!
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Consume Fermented Foods While Taking Antibiotics
Many fermented foods contain probiotics and can help to restore normal gut flora that has been disrupted by antibiotics. Here are a few of the best probiotic-foods.
Yogurt. You can eat raw yogurt when taking antibiotics because it contains strains of healthy bacteria. One study found that people who consume yogurt have more Bifidobacterium in their gut. Other studies have shown that raw yogurt containing Lactobacillus casei can positively influence gastrointestinal health. Yogurt is also one of the best foods for treating yeast infection.
Some studies seem to indicate that calcium-enriched foods may inhibit the absorption of certain medications. However, this has not been proved with calcium-rich dairy products when taking moxifloxacin.
Kefir. This is a fermented milk drink that contains many types of good gut bacteria. Several studies have shown that kefir has antimicrobial, antitumor and anticarcinogenic activity. Consuming kefir can also boost your immune system and improve lactose digestion.
Kimchi. Another probiotic food you can take after antibiotics is kimchi. Kimchi is made by fermenting vegetables with probiotic lactic acid bacteria. Studies have shown that kimchi contains probiotic properties that have a positive effect on your gut health and immune system.
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Make The Most Of Prebiotics
Another strategy to restore your gut flora after antibiotics is to make sure you feed it well: with foods that your gut bugs love. This means eating foods that contain high levels of prebiotics.
Prebiotics are food for bacteria in our large intestines because they arent digested further up in our small intestines. Prebiotic foods are usually high in fibre and plant polyphenols. So eat lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.
You could also try prebiotic supplements like inulin: a plant sugar thats been found to reduce the diversity-busting effects of the antibiotic ampicillin in bacterial cultures .
The Best Foods To Eat After Taking Antibiotics
Another thing to do after taking antibiotics is to eat proper foods to lessen the impact of medication on your gut.
If you have diarrhea from antibiotics, here are some of the best foods you can consume while taking antibiotics. You can also add these foods to your diet after your antibiotic course has finished to maintain good gut health.
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Taking Antibiotics And Probiotics
You can take probiotics while you are taking a course of antibiotics but you shouldnt take them both at exactly the same time.
Antibiotics are designed to kill off all bacteria in your gut harmful and beneficial bacteria. So, taking a probiotic supplement right after taking an antibiotic pill may result in all the good bacteria getting destroyed as well.
The journal Antibiotics reports on various studies on when and how long you should take probiotics. Some studies indicate that you should take probiotics 5 to 10 days during antibiotic treatment and continue for one week after finishing the course of antibiotics.
Other studies recommend taking probiotics for as long as the antibiotic treatment lasts. However, some reports indicate that taking probiotics for as long as 8 weeks can help to restore healthy gut flora.
To get the most benefit from probiotics, it is good to wait for around 2 hours after taking an antibiotic pill. This will help to offset the negative impact that antibiotics have on your gut and prevent diarrhea.
To make sure that you get the full benefit from probiotics, you should always take probiotics with food. The journal Beneficial Microbes advises to take a probiotic supplement with a meal or 30 minutes before it. Also, you should preferably take probiotics with a meal containing some fats.
How Antibiotics Affect The Gut
While antibiotics have vital health benefits in certain situations, they also alter the microbiome and can change the gut even after a single dose.
Not only do antibiotics suppress bacterial infections, they can also cause an immediate decline in beneficial bacterial strains like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. In some cases, they can also cause a rise in clostridium, a harmful type of bacteria that lives in the gut.
Most antibiotics can also cause long-term changes to the bacterial landscape of the gut. While the gut may return to normal on its own without assistance, in many cases, it can take an average of four weeks after a single dose of antibiotics for the gut to begin this process. If more doses are used, or frequent antibiotics are taken, the gut can experience permanent changes unless interventions are used.
The potential even exists for antibiotics to change the gut so that bacterial groups remain altered for two or more years, including the addition of resistant strains to the gut, which can be problematic for future health. Antibiotics can cause damage in mitochondria the energy-producing powerhouses of cells.
Beyond just the gut, antibiotics can also cause damage in mitochondria the energy-producing powerhouses of cells. Without healthy mitochondria, its possible for your whole body to feel run down and short on energy.
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When The Community Is Disrupted It Can Quickly Become Unbalanced And Creates A Greater Risk For Disease And Inflammation
By killing the good guys, antibiotics undo the balanced relationship that exists between you and your gut bacteria. As a result, the diversity and quantity of bacteria strains decreases.
When important members of the bacterial community are killed off, those that remain have a difficult time carrying out all of the important functions because they dont have the support from the rest of the community.
Resistant members of the community, meaning bad bacteria that are extra strong, are able to survive in the face of an antibiotic. Increases in these resistant members makes you more prone to further infection and development of antibiotic resistant disease.
Doesnt sound good? It isnt.
The extent of the changes to your gut microbiota will depend on the strength of the antibiotic and the length of time it is taken. However, regardless of type and time there are things you can do to protect yourself and your gut community:
FIND A QUALITY PROBIOTIC
Make sure to select a good quality, pharmacy grade probiotic. When it comes to probiotics, buying one at the grocery store may be cheaper, but those are not always best. The antibiotics have wiped out your good gut bacteria so you want a probiotic with a variety of strains since you want to replenish as much of the bacteria as you can.
Look for a high CFU count, which are the amount of live cells capable of forming new colonies. Generally, looking for 25-50 billion CFUs and the greatest number of strains will be the most helpful.