We normally think about Probiotics after taking a course of antibiotic therapy. At least one would hope that is common knowledge simply because the antibiotic kills both harmful and friendly bacteria. One might be asking if the probiotic is safe and that is a good question. Fortunately the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality assessment of the safety of probiotics, partly funded by NCCAM, concluded that the current evidence does not suggest a widespread risk of negative side effects associated with probiotics.
Commonly used Probiotics include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, but Acidophilus is the more common probiotic recommended and readily available in most vitamin stores. Kephir is a milk byproduct that is an excellent source of probiotics.
Although people think of bacteria as harmful “germs,” many bacteria actually help the body function properly and most probiotics are bacteria similar to the beneficial bacteria found naturally in the human gut. Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so
the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem — literally and figuratively — hard to swallow. Probiotics are live microorganisms (e.g., bacteria) and referred to as “good bacteria” or “helpful bacteria.” Probiotics are available to
consumers in oral products such as dietary supplements and yogurts, as well as other products such as suppositories and creams; most probiotics are sold as dietary supplements.
The reason we need to take probiotics is to counter the negative effect of the antibacterial regimen. So, as soon as the antibiotic treatment is over it is important to restore things to normal. The intestinal microflora, the “good bacteria” aid in digestion, synthesize
vitamins and nutrients, metabolize some medications, support the development and functioning of the gut, and enhance the immune system. Clinical studies have established that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development
of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem.
Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health and gastrointestinal disorders in infants and children, including necrotizing enterocolitis, colic, and irritable bowel syndrome; treating and preventing antibiotic-induced diarrhea. In fact the
effectiveness of probiotics is mostly known for its role in managing acute infectious diarrhea; and substantial evidence exists for atopic eczema as well.
In closing, I would like to advise the good people reading this blog that the better course of action is to focus on building a healthy immune system; but when there is an acute infectious process underway, and unless it is a life threatening disease, to please avoid resorting to the use of antibacterial drugs all together.
Yours in Health,