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How Antibiotics Disrupt Intestinal Flora

Written by Dr. Edward Group Founder
 
A bowl of kimchi. Fermented foods are great for the intestinal flora.

Harvard Medical School reports that antibiotic side effects can last up to 42 days after the last dose. [1] You’re probably familiar with many of these side effects: diarrhea, irritable bowels, bloating, and even constipation. What you don’t see are aggressive and dangerous bacteria, like Clostridium difficile, E. coli, H. pylori, and a fungus like Candida establishing themselves in your gut. But, when you take antibiotics, harmful organisms like these can do affect your digestive health.

Antibiotics: The Cure with a Catch

When you get a prescription for an antibiotic, you might feel that you’re on the path to recovery. But, there’s a catch. About 70% of your immune response takes place in your digestive tract. When you take an antibiotic, it goes through your system and kills off all the invading bacteria. The thing is, it also kills off your native bacteria, the ones needed to keep digestion smooth, have regular bowel movements, and protect your body from aggressive and invading bacteria.

As the Harvard Medical School reports, it takes 6 weeks for your body to recover from an antibiotic. During this time, your gut is a vacant neighborhood just waiting for someone to move in. While friendly bacteria like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria can replenish the gut during this time, you’re at a much higher risk for unwanted bacteria colonizing your intestinal tract. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help avoid intestinal flora disruption.

How To Promote Intestinal Balance

For the best and fastest recovery while taking antibiotics, you need to get plenty of probiotics through food or a probiotic supplement. Currently, I recommend and use two different products: Latero-Flora™ which is the B.O.D. Bacillus Laterosporus strain and a more advanced formula, Floratrex™, which contains 25 strains of probiotics. To lay the best foundation, it's also a good idea to cut out refined and processed sugars. Unfriendly bacteria and fungi, like Candida, gobble up these sugars and reproduce much faster.

Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are also loaded with probiotics. These will help restore the necessary bacteria in your intestinal tract to encourage proper digestion and keep out the nasty bacteria. Another thing you can do is add prebiotics like inulin and oligosaccharides to the mix. They're found in fruits, vegetables, and plants and are the dietary fiber that actually feed the probiotics and encourage them to flourish. [2]
References (2)
  1. Pallav K1, Dowd SE2, Villafuerte J1, et al. Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers: a randomized clinical trial. Gut Microbes. 2014 Jul 1;5(4):458-67. doi: 10.4161/gmic.29558.
  2. Ladirat SE1, Schoterman MH2, Rahaoui H3, et al. Exploring the effects of galacto-oligosaccharides on the gut microbiota of healthy adults receiving amoxicillin treatment. Br J Nutr. 2014 Aug 28;112(4):536-46. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514001135.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.


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