Who Should Take Probiotics And Prebiotics
The answer is everyone! Heres why:
Anyone can benefit from taking them. Your age, gender, and state of health dont make a difference anyone who wants to improve their gut health can take probiotics or prebiotics.
Anyone with digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease should take them. Probiotics and prebiotics can help to relieve symptoms like cramping, diarrhea, and constipation.
They can also help to reduce inflammation in the gut. People who are taking antibiotics should take probiotics. Antibiotics kill not only bad bacteria but also the good bacteria in your gut.
Probiotics can help to restore the balance of bacteria and help you recover from your antibiotic treatment. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should take probiotics. Probiotics can help to prevent problems like diarrhea and constipation, both of which are common during pregnancy.
They can also help to boost the immune system of the baby. People who are on a vegan or vegetarian diet should take prebiotics.
Prebiotics are especially important for vegans and vegetarians because they dont get as many healthy bacteria from their food as people who eat meat and dairy products.
So, whether youre looking to improve your gut health or just want to be proactive about your health, probiotics and prebiotics are a good way to go.
Why Should You Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Antibiotics are important for treating bacterial infections, but theyre not gut-friendly. Fortunately, you can take steps to preserve and restore your microbiome for whole body health during and after a course of antibiotics.
Research shows that probiotics and antibiotics taken together can reduce the risk of side effects, like diarrhoea. They even help to restore some of the healthy gut microbes lost through antibiotic therapy. Strains of Lactobacillus and Saccharomyces can help mitigate antibiotic side effects.
TIP Find out how your gut microbiome responds to prebiotics and probiotics with the Atlas Microbiome Test.
Foods To Eat While Taking Antibiotics
Antibiotics are a common way to fight infections, but many dont realize there are certain foods to eat while taking antibiotics.
Antibiotic therapy is the first line of treatment for the majority of bacterial infections. Unfortunately, these drugs arent without side effects.
Rarely, they can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms like
- Abdominal pain
Although these side effects are usually mild, transient, and harmless, they can become severe and signal the need for a change in medication.
Sometimes, patients find they can control these side effects, or even eliminate them completely, with just a few basic diet changes.
In other cases, its the food causing the problem and removing it from their diet is enough.
In this post, well tell you about six of the best foods to eat while taking antibiotics and the four you should always avoid, too.
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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.
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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Maintain Your Supplement Schedule Even If Youeat Probiotic Foods
One way to add probiotic bacteria to the gut is through diet. A number of fermented foods, such as kefir, kimchi, and Lacto-fermented sauerkraut, in addition to many types of yogurt, are rich in probiotics. However, as you can see in this chart, its difficult to eat enough fermented foods to get a therapeutic dose.
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.
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Can I Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Yes. Extensive clinical research suggests the best probiotic to take with antibiotics are particular strains that can be taken alongside antibiotics, rather than separately. These particular strains are Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52, Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11 and Bifidobacterium lactis Lafti B94. These strains can be taken at exactly the same time as antibiotic medication, which is not the case for most other probiotic supplements. Health professionals can read this article about research using a probiotic for antibiotics.
Its not necessarily bad or counterproductive to take other probiotic strains alongside antibiotic medication, it just means that the probiotic may not be viable, but rest assured, the antibiotic medication itself would not be affected. Its always good to take strains of probiotics that have been studied to help with the health concern or situation you are looking to support as not all probiotics are the same.
Taking well-studied strains that have been shown to survive when taken at the same time as the antibiotic medication is particularly useful alongside intravenous antibiotics which may be constantly administered on a drip. We would always say that it is a good idea to take probiotics during and after courses of antibiotics we will discuss the best probiotics for after antibiotics later in this article.
Do I Need To Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Desiree NielsenOn November 16, 2018
You get sick. You see the doctor. You get a prescription for antibiotics. Then youre all fixed up, right?
You see, antibiotics work bykilling bacteria but they dont discriminate between friend and foe. As antibiotics do their work, they eliminate beneficial bacteria along with the pathogenic ones, which can leave you at risk.
Good Gut Bacteria
The trillions of bacteria in your gut are, in essence, one of your natural antibiotic defenses. Beneficial bacteria help to fight off pathogenic bugs in the gut in a few ways. They produce short-chain fatty acids that lower the pH of the gut, making it less hospitable to bad bugs. Beneficial bacteria also produce natural antimicrobials like bacteriocins and hydrogen peroxide that help kill off any potentially harmful germs, making it difficult for them to multiply.
Your gut bacteria are also critical for maintaining a balanced immune response.1 If their numbers are diminished, you could experience shifts in bacteria known as dysbiosis that leaves you susceptible to future infection, altered immunity, digestive concerns or even insulin resistance and weight gain.1-3
Antibiotics Side Effects
Take Probiotics with Antibiotics
Convinced of antibiotics adverse effects on your gut, you may say to yourself, Ill start taking Bio-K+ as soon as I finish my medication. Except
Once the antibiotics have done their work, it may already be too late.
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Antibiotic Risks For Your Microbiome
Thats because your gut microbiome is critical for your health. Itâs involved in immune system function, body weight, and even brain health. However, antibiotics can lower the diversity of microbes present in your gut, causing imbalances that increase the risk of inflammation and lower your protection from diseases.
The use of antibiotics during pregnancy, in newborns and infants, is especially problematic because the gut microbiome develops in early life and, during that period, it educates the immune system.
Infants who are exposed to antibiotics either before or after birth have been shown to have fewer health-promoting microbes like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus that are dominant members of the infant microbiome.
Research shows that antibiotic disruption of the gut microbiome at a young age is linked with an increased risk of allergies, asthma, and autoimmune disorders. Antibiotics and weight gain are also a major issue: this medication has been pinpointed as an important factor in the obesity epidemic.
For example, Clostridium difficile is a deadly bacterial infection affecting the colon that is common in healthcare settings, and itâs resistant to most antibiotics. Nowadays, doctors have found that transplanting a healthy microbiome into patients is most effective when treating for C. diff.
Take Probiotics At The Appropriate Time
Remember, probiotics are living organisms, and they must be taken in a way that maintains their integrity and nutritional value. If you purchase a powdered probiotic mix, dont swirl it into a boiling liquid that will kill it on contact.
Keep probiotics that need refrigeration refrigerated and always use the product before its expiration date. Theres also the issue of when to take your probiotics with antibiotics.
One of the most common questions people ask is How long after taking antibiotics can I take Probiotics? Taking antibiotics at the same time as your probiotics can expose your probiotics to antibiotics that kill them. For that reason we recommend taking the probiotics as far apart from your antibiotic as possible to minimize the chances that they will come in contact with one another.
For example, if you need to take your antibiotic at 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM then we recommend taking your probiotics at 9:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 9:00 PM. If you need to take your antibiotic every 4 hours then time your probiotic dose to be halfway between your doses of antibiotic. For specific advice please consult your doctor.
It is best to take your probiotics 30 minutes before breakfast. Moreover, you should continue your probiotic for four to six weeks after your course of antibiotics is done.
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When Is The Best Time To Take Probiotics After Amoxicillin
To some extent, this depends on the dosage recommendations for the antibiotic itself. Often it will be recommended that you take an antibiotic three times a day, at six-hour intervals . In this case, the wisest move will be to take probiotics after amoxicillin at a three-hour interval This ensures that there is time for the probiotic to work unhindered – as far away as possible from each dose of the antibiotic.
Allowing a window when taking probiotics with antibiotics is beneficial not just because it gives maximum functionality to the former, but because the latter will also be able to work on the bacteria it really needs to be killing, without its task being further complicated. If the gap between doses is shorter than six hours, then it is important to also narrow the window for doses of the probiotic. The optimum time to take lactobacillus is half-way between antibiotic doses.
Taking Probiotics With Antbiotics: Revisited
Should you take probiotics with antibiotics? Read on as I review the evidence, break down some important methodology, and discuss the best practices for supporting antibiotic recovery.
Last year, I published an article and recorded a podcast with Chris Kresser on a study published in Cell that suggested the need for caution about taking probiotics after antibiotics. In both humans and animal models, probiotics were shown to delay the return of the normal, native microbiota.
Ive gotten a lot of questions this week about a recent blog post by popular gut health blogger and functional medicine practitioner Dr. Michael Ruscio. His article dismissed the latest study in favor of a 2014 systematic review and contended that you should take probiotics with antibiotics. Hes certainly not the only one that has dismissed this study.
To dispel any confusion, Im sharing my take here and thought Id walk you through my analysis of the article and its claims.
TLDR:I still believe that the evidence warrants caution about taking probiotics during or after antibiotics and stand by what I said in my original article. If you feel like you have to take a probiotic with antibiotics, Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 is probably the least harmful, but more research is needed. Better yet, supplement with butyrate to support gut hypoxia or consider an autologous fecal transplant!
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What Can I Eat That Contains Probiotics And Prebiotics
While prebiotics and probiotics are two different things, they both have a positive effect on your digestive health, and both can be found in a wide variety of foods.
The best way to get them is by eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
Prebiotic-rich foods include:
- Kombucha tea
What Studies Do Not Recommend Giving Probiotics With Antibiotics
Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and other institutions reported that the gut microbiome took longer to return to normal in those people given an 11-strain probiotic treatment for four weeks following a course of antibiotics. This was despite the probiotics effectively colonizing the gut with healthy bacteria. The trouble was the presence of the new bacteria and yeasts strains prevented the gut microbiome from returning to normal for the full six month study period.
Conversely, the gut microbiome in those given no probiotics returned to normal within three weeks of going off the antibiotics. The authors did conclude that this study just examined one type of probiotic, and a different probiotic may be helpful in patients taking different antibiotics. However, they did point out the findings of the study imply that the traditional practice of taking a probiotic after antibiotic may not be beneficial.
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Why Do Antibiotics Cause Gi Side Effects
During times of good health, your body maintains a balance of good and bad bacteria in your intestines.
The natural ratio of good bacteria to bad is set at just the right rate for both to coexist without causing you any harm.
When you take antibiotics, the very drugs you take to fight off an infection also target the good bacteria in your G.I. tract, too.
Your intestines lose the delicate balance maintained between both sides, leading to gastrointestinal upset and other unpleasant symptoms.
Taking Probiotics With Antibiotics
Many people experience nausea, diarrhoea, tummy upsets, bloating, and even vomiting when taking antibiotics. Some doctors recommend taking a probiotic supplement at the same time to help with these digestive side effects.
Even after taking antibiotics, you can boost your own beneficial bacteria with probiotic foods and supplements. They contain microbes that maintain your gut environment and help regulate your microbiome, keeping opportunistic pathogens at bay and beneficial ones thriving.
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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.