Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If You Take Antibiotics - Then Take Probiotics Too

As many of us in the holistic health field have said already, if one must take antibiotics, then in order to prevent diarrhea, one should also take probiotics.

Although antibiotics kill killing bacteria responsible for illness, they also destroy the so-called “good” bacteria that live in the gut, and this can cause diarrhea. This side effect may cause as many as 20% to not continue to take the full prescription. 

Drs Benjamin Kligler and Andreas Cohrssen reviewed seven high-quality studies of probiotics, cultures of “good” microorganisms similar to those found in the gut. Their findings led them to conclude that there is good evidence to support the use of probiotics to prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotic use.

“With the level of evidence that probiotics work and the large safety margins for them, we see no good reason not to prescribe probiotics when prescribing antibiotics,” says Dr Kligler. “The only drawback is that probiotics are not covered by health insurance.”

The recommended doses of probiotics by the author’s are more than 5 billion colony-forming units per day for children and more than 10 billion colony-forming units per day for adults.

Kligler B, Cohrssen A. Probiotics. American Family Physician. 2008; 78.

Researchers Find Convincing Evidence That Probiotics are Effective. Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. December 17th 2008.

1 comment:

  1. I had never realized that my pattern of eating yogurt after and during antibiotic treatments was providing me with probiotics until recently. I had always been told to eat yogurt, but I guess I always figured it was for the calcium benefit during medication treatments. I had never run across a physician who recommended a probiotic supplement (or even yogurt) with antibiotics, but I’m glad to hear that this practice is becoming the norm.

    I now take a probiotic supplement daily to aid my digestion, especially during all this holiday eating. I also credit my supplement with helping me recover from a recent nasty cold. I’m a huge fan of probiotics, albeit a slow learner . I think just about everyone should be taking them or consuming them in food.

    Anna M.