Take probiotics after antibiotics

A course of antibiotics is designed to kill bacteria. Unfortunately antibiotics do not discriminate between ‘bad’ or pathogenic bacteria and ‘good’ and beneficial bacteria.

So the unwanted side-effect of any course of antibiotics to kill bad bacteria – whether penicillin, tetracycline, cephalosporin or amoxicillin – is to reduce the level and possibly the range of friendly probiotics. That can have adverse effects on your whole immune system.

Live probiotics can help increase good bacteria

Consequently, taking a live, multi-strain probiotic supplement can help increase the number and diversity of positive bacteria within your gut. As long as the supplement uses hardy strains that resist the acidity of the stomach and do reach the gut.

The seven strains in Microbiotic Plus have been chosen as there is good quality research on each of them to show they prevent the overgrowth of otherwise harmful bacteria or yeasts. Unchecked, this can lead to diarrhoea and thrush in both men and women.

However, it’s logical to question the effectiveness of taking a probiotic with an antibiotic – rather than after the end of the course. Surely the antibiotic would kill the probiotic?

A 2008 study published in the “Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology” asked this very question. Reviewing 5 meta analyses it found that certain probiotics taken in supplement form significantly reduced diarrhoea in patients taking antibiotics. So those probiotics clearly did retain their effectiveness. The most effective strains appeared to be Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bacillus coagulans and Streptococcus boulardi.

Take your probiotic supplement 1-2 hours after taking the antibiotic – and with some food that ideally contains some fats as a 2011 study shows that this is the optimum way. Continue to take a capsule for at least a week after completing the course of antibiotics.

It is also safe for children to take MicroBiotic Plus.


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References

  • The impact of meals on a probiotic during transit through a model of the human upper gastrointestinal tract. Tompkins TA, Mainville I, Arcand Y. Benef Microbes. 2011 Dec 1;2(4):295-303. doi: 10.3920/BM2011.0022.
  • Probiotics for Prevention of Antibiotic-associated Diarrhea. Doron, Shira Idit; Hibberd, Patricia L; Gorbach, Sherwood L. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology July 2008 - Volume 42 - Issue - pp S58-S63