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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Are There Any Risks Related To Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, there are some risks linked to the supplements. These risks are increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, have recently had surgery or have other serious medical conditions.
Unlikely, but possible, risks can include:
- Developing an infection.
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Risks And Considerations On Probiotics For Cats
We recommend talking to your trusted veterinarian before sprinkling probiotic powders on your cats food or giving her probiotic chews and treats. Although generally safe and health-boosting, probiotics are not suited for all cats.
For example, probiotic supplements are not recommended for cats with severe immune system issues, cats with severely compromised GI tract health, and cats undergoing chemotherapy.
Additionally, since probiotics are microorganisms, some of them are sensitive, while others are resistant to antibiotics. Therefore, you need to make sure the antibiotics are complementary to the type of probiotics or give them separately.
Finally, different strains of probiotics work in different parts of the cats digestive system, thus providing different benefits. It would be best if you supplement your cat with the type suited for her unique needs. For example, Bifidobacterium spp. helps with digestion, Enterococcus spp. manages diarrhea, and Lactobacillus spp. supports the immune system.
Why Would I Take Probitics With Antibiotics
If antibiotics are killing bacteria in our bodies and gut, is it pointless to take probiotics when you are taking antibiotics? Are they just being killed off? Are you wasting your money? Not necessarily. Itâs important to your overall health to keep as much âgoodâ bacteria in your gut as possible. Increasing the amount of probiotics you are taking while taking antibiotics can be a good thing. The health of our gut directly correlates to the health of our body. Additionally, antibiotics have been known to cause severe gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea. Putting good bacteria in to replace the good bacteria that were attacked is important. Another benefit of probiotics is helping to prevent and treat yeast infections, which many develop while taking antibiotics since the good bacteria is attacked.
Probiotics Correct Dysbiosis Caused By Antibiotics
A systematic review of 63 trials examined all the available research into probiotic use for dysbiosis . In healthy subjects who experienced a disturbance in their microbiota after antibiotic use, 83% of subjects experienced microbiota recovery after taking probiotics.
Both Lactobacillus/Bifidobacterium probiotics and Saccharomyces boulardii were shown to be effective.
While more research needs to be done on preventing yeast infections specifically, probiotics are shown to generally recover the microbiome after antibiotic use.
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What Do Probiotics Do
Probiotics have a whole range of benefits. They improve the side effects of antibiotics , which well discuss shortly. But in addition to this, probiotics have been shown to be useful for a wide array of health conditions.
Probiotics can help with the following conditions :
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Cardiovascular disease
- Metabolic disease and diabetes
Types Of Cat Probiotics
Cat probiotics come in a variety of formspowders, pills, and even infused inside of treats. In order to get the largest benefit out of a probiotic supplement, Mahaney recommends opting for the highest CFU that you can find. Diversity is also important. We want to make sure that we have a diverse array of probioticsnot just one type of bacteria, Mahaney adds.
The strains that cats tend to do best with are those of the Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus families. Bifidobacterium tends to live in the small intestine, whereas Enterococcus generally resides in the colon . So each strain could have a different function when it comes to promoting health. Bifidobacterium is more involved with digestion and the Enterococcus aids with the formation of normal feces and helping to maintain colonic health. Mahaney says you really cant go wrong with purchasing a product with additional bacteria strains but stresses that its important to opt for a supplement that contains the two bacteria mentioned above.
Make sure there are at least two different types in there because they do jobs in different locations, he notes. But ideally there could be five types of Enterococcus or five different types of Bifidobacterium in there, Mahaney adds.
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What Studies Support Giving Probiotics With Antibiotics
A Cochrane review of 23 studies investigated giving probiotics containing either one or a combination of the following: Bacillus spp., Bifidobacterium spp., Clostridium butyricum, Lactobacilli spp., Lactococcus spp., Leuconostoc cremoris, Saccharomyces spp., or Streptococcus sp.
Results from 22/23 trials that reported on the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea show a significant benefit from probiotics compared to active, placebo, or no treatment control . None of the 16 trials that reported on side events documented any serious side events attributable to probiotics with the most common ones being rash, nausea, gas, flatulence, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, vomiting, increased phlegm, chest pain, constipation, taste disturbance, and low appetite. The authors concluded that there was a protective effect of probiotics for preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The relative risk was 0.46 and the NNT was 10.
The authors considered Lactobacillus rhamnosus or Saccharomyces boulardii at 5 to 40 billion colony forming units/day to be the most appropriate choice. They also commented that although no serious adverse events were observed among the otherwise healthy children in these trials, serious adverse events have been observed in severely debilitated or immuno-compromised children with underlying risk factors , and advised that probiotics should be avoided in pediatric populations at risk for adverse events until further research has been conducted.
Information For Pet Owners On The Use Of Probiotics And Prebiotics For Dogs And Cats
What are probiotics and prebiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria, generally used to improve the gut flora composition, when there is suspicion that the usual beneficial bacteria populations are altered.
Prebiotics are non-live compounds which are used to promote the growth of microorganisms seen as beneficial for health.
Probiotics and prebiotics are often, but not always, used concomitantly in commercial preparations, and these preparations are then called synbiotics. Prebiotics and, to a lesser degree probiotics, can be added as ingredients in a variety of commercial diets.
What are the indications to use probiotics/ prebiotics for my dog or cat?
These products have been used for many conditions or following antibiotic treatments, but are mainly used for management of patients with acute or chronic gut disease. Studies have shown that probiotics may shorten the duration of acute diarrhoea, especially for patients in kennels or shelters. Similar improvement has been seen with some form of chronic gut diseases, and a treatment trial with probiotics has been advocated by some specialists prior to performing further investigations in stable patients. Studies are lacking, however, to determine the ideal duration of treatment for each individual patient.
- Kidney function
- Gastro-intestinal signs following antibiotic treatment
- Constipation in cats
What are the risks in using probiotics/ prebiotics for my dog or cat?
What is the best probiotic to use for cats and dogs?
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Can I Give My Children Probiotics While They Are Still On Antibiotics
Antibiotics are medications that destroy bacteria. Intended to treat bacterial infections, antibiotics are so effective in killing bacteria that they often wipe out healthy bacteria in the colon along with the harmful bacteria. Probiotics are fermented foods or dietary supplements that contain the healthy bacteria needed for optimal colon ecology. Probiotics are beneficial to both children and adults, especially during or following antibiotics treatment.
What Is The Rationale Behind Taking Probiotics With Antibiotics
Taking an antibiotic for an infection can kill beneficial bacteria that live in your gut.
Probiotics may be taken orally to restore any imbalance in the normal intestinal or urogenital flora. This is the rationale behind taking probiotics with antibiotics. Severe antibiotic-induced diarrhea can also lead to an infection with Clostridium difficile, also known as C. difficile, a bacteria which can cause dangerous inflammation in your colon .
Experts have hypothesized that If you suffer from stomach cramping, gas or diarrhea when you take antibiotics, adding a probiotic may help to lessen, or even prevent, these symptoms. The addition of a probiotic will also reintroduce helpful bacteria into your digestive tract that have been killed or had their numbers reduced by the antibiotic.
Food Sources For Probiotics
Even if there aren’t recommendations on specific products, there are food sources for probiotics:
- Yogurt that contains live bacteria: Not all yogurts have these. Make sure the label says “live culture,” “live bacteria,” or “probiotic.” Buttermilk and acidophilus milk.
- Cheese with live bacteria cultures: Aged cheeses such as cheddar and blue cheese are a good source, but don’t cook them. Heat kills the bacteria cultures.
- Kefir: a yogurt-based drink found in most major food outlets.
- Miso and Tempeh: different forms of fermented soy. Miso is a paste used for seasoning and tempeh is a fermented version of soy often used as a meat substitute.
- Fermented cabbage: Sauerkraut is the German version Kimchi is the Korean style. But heavily processed products packaged in cans or jars probably don’t have live bacteria. Check the label.
What You Should Eat During And After Antibiotics
Antibiotics are a powerful line of defense against bacterial infections.
However, they can sometimes cause side effects, such as diarrhea and liver damage.
Some foods can reduce these side effects, while others may make them worse.
This article explains what you should and shouldnt eat during and after antibiotics.
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Taking Probiotics With Antibiotics Can Help
Although it may sound counterintuitive to take probiotic supplements while also taking probiotic-killing antibiotics, research shows that its beneficial to your gut health to fortify your system with the protective good guys.
In one recent review, patients taking probiotics during a course of antibiotics saw a whopping 60 percent reduction in the risk of contracting a C. difficile infection .
In another study, adults and children who took the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus during antibiotic treatment had a 10 percent less risk of contracting antibiotic-associated diarrhea .
Even in people who do experience diarrhea when taking broad-spectrum antibiotics, probiotic supplementation reduces the duration of symptoms by an entire day .
Probiotics may also help prevent widespread antibiotic resistance by ensuring that people take their full course of prescribed antibiotics.
Stopping a course of antibiotics early usually because of intolerable side effects increases the chances that some of the bad bacteria may survive and become resistant. By reducing or eliminating side effects, probiotics can make it much easier to stay the course .
Not too shabby for a bunch of microscopic friendly flora!
How Popular Are Probiotics
The 2012 National Health Interview Survey showed that about 4 million U.S. adults had used probiotics or prebiotics in the past 30 days. Among adults, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals. The use of probiotics by adults quadrupled between 2007 and 2012. The 2012 NHIS also showed that 300,000 children age 4 to 17 had used probiotics or prebiotics in the 30 days before the survey.
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Is There A Case Against Taking Probiotics With Antibiotics
Ive seen some internet articles that warn people against taking probiotics to help with recovery from antibiotic therapy. Where is this advice coming from?
One study questions the value of taking probiotics and antibiotics together . In this study of 21 patients, eight patients received probiotic therapy, seven patients received no treatment, and six patients received a fecal transplant. Researchers found that probiotics were less effective for antibiotic recovery than no treatment at all. The fecal transplant brought near-complete recovery in a matter of days.
However, when you are looking for health insights from research, its important to follow the overall trends rather than focus narrowly on one study. So, if we compare the evidence for taking probiotics after antibiotic treatment:
A large-scale meta-analysis of 63 research trials showed that subjects had 48% less antibiotic-associated diarrhea after taking probiotics [11
Its clear that the one small study doesnt stand up against a much larger meta-analysis of 63 studies. This is the reason a meta-analysis is the gold standard for research.
Bottom line: Be careful about science-based claims you read on the internet. Marketers often cherry-pick studies to support their position.
Antibiotics Probiotics & Their Effect On Pet’s Gut Health
Whether your beloved pet suffers from a gastrointestinal disease or is just a bit more prone to an upset stomach, every owner wants to know the best course of action for digestive relief.
Dogs and cats, like humans, are prone to a variety of GI issues and diseases all of which impact digestion and overall health. Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, discomfort and inflammation.1
These issues can be acute instances or chronic conditions requiring continued attention and care, and are commonly associated with medications, food, pathogens, and disease.2 Different types of diarrhea and GI issues require different treatment, but antibiotics are a commonly prescribed remedy.
That said, probiotics are steadily making their way into the picture as well.3,4
Key takeaways from this article:
- Antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria in the gut, probiotics provide healthy bacteria to the gut.
- Antibiotics can both treat and cause GI issues in dogs and cats.
- Antibiotics may improve or worsen the environment of the gut microbiome.
- Probiotics support a healthy gut microbiome and overall wellness.
- Probiotics can help treat a variety of GI issues in pets and may be able to prevent or counteract the negative impacts of antibiotics on gut health.
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When Should I Take Probiotics If Im Taking Antibiotics
There is no definitive research on timing of taking probiotics with antibiotics, but it stands to reason that if the antibiotic is attacking the probiotic, taking them as far apart as possible during the day would make sense. Itâs also important to continue to take probiotics for a few weeks after completing an antibiotic prescription to restore the good bacteria in your gut.
Probiotics Make Antibiotics More Effective
Rather than canceling each other out, research shows that taking probiotics and antibiotics together is more effective than taking antibiotics alone.
The most relevant study to show this effect is a systematic review of more than 20,000 patients with H. pylori infections . Patients who took probiotics and antibiotics together had better results than patients who only took antibiotics.
Another recent meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials totalling roughly 6,000 patients with H. pylori infections showed that adding probiotics to antibiotic therapy for H. pylori increased the eradication rate by about 10% .
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So Can You Give Your Dog Probiotics While On Antibiotics
Yes, you absolutely can and should give your dog probiotics while on antibiotics. The most common side effect of antibiotics is diarrhea and probiotics have been shown to reduce the severity of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and how long it lasts.
There is one important thing to know though: make sure to give your dog probiotics at least two hours before or after the antibiotics. The reason being is that you dont want the two interacting with each other, as the antibiotics will kill the probiotics. Antibiotics kill all or most bacteria in their path, including good probiotic bacteria.
Probiotics Instead Of Antibiotics
As the field of microbial research continues to expand, we expect the future of medicine will include targeted probiotic prescriptions in lieu of antibiotics, and that antibiotics will be reserved for specific or emergency scenarios.
In fact, probiotics are already proving to be more effective than antibiotics at treating and preventing certain diseases and infections, such as mastitis.
In one study, researchers analyzed 352 women suffering from mastitis, a painful breast infection often associated with breastfeeding. After 21 days, women who took probiotics saw more improvement and fewer recurrences than those taking antibiotics .
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Commonly Prescribed Antibiotics For Dogs
Beta-Lactams these antibiotics eliminate bacteria with cell walls by dissolving walls and forcing the bacteria to burst and die.
Macrolides macrolides target ribosomes within bacteria responsible for creating proteins. Without proteins to fuel a bacterium, it will die. Erythromycin is prescribed to treat canine skin infections and respiratory ailments.
Quinolones prescribed for treating pneumonia and bronchitis in dogs, quinolones interfere with the ability of bacterial DNA to copy itself. Without intact strands of DNA, bacteria cannot reproduce or live.
Albon Albon is a general antibiotic that treats a variety of bacterial infections by inhibiting reproduction of bacteria.
Enrofloxacin prescribed for lung, urinary tract, intestinal and ear infections, enrofloxacin are available in antibiotic drops or chewable pills and, like quinolones, damage bacteria DNA.
Amoxycillin this antibiotic is similar in chemical structure to the one humans use and is prescribed for canine abscesses, skin infections and cellulitis.
Cephalexin when a dog has an infection of the lungs, joints, bones or urinary tract, vets will often prescribe this broad-spectrum canine antibiotic to inhibit bacterial and/or fungal reproduction.
Tetracycline this powerful antibiotic is reserved for dogs suffering tick-borne diseases like Rocky Mountain Fever or Lyme disease.
Penicillen is one of the commonly prescribed antibiotics given to dogs.