We've had a lot of questions recently about taking probiotics with antibiotics. People are really concerned nowadays with all the different illnesses, viruses, and other nasty stuff floating around.
To be honest, the truth is most of the illnesses you're going to get do not need antibiotics at all. Like the common cold and flu, it's a virus, something your immune system has to deal with. And even if you take some antiviral medication, your body still has to fight it.
You'll find lots information on taking care of your immune system and immune boosters on the internet. A lot of it's fairly decent information, but you have to be careful. Not everything will work for everybody, and that means even with the best of intention, it might not be worth the results.
What Antibiotics Do To Your Gut
This is where we start looking at supporting your immune system more naturally. Even if you aren't taking antibiotics, studies show that your gut probiotic bacteria helps boost your immune system.
When you are taking antibiotics, they truly do a number on your system. Most people end up taking oral antibiotics, and here's what happens. First, you swallow that little pill where it gets dissolved into your stomach. It has to pass through your intestine to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria, and they really don't care which ones they kill. So, your gut bacteria are the first ones to be attacked, and where most of the antibiotics end up being expended.
So, before the antibiotic even reaches the infection, here's what's happened:
Kill off good probiotic bacteria – but not all
Let the leftover bad ones flourish, like the candida yeast
Damage mucus lining as the fillers and antibiotics pass through
Suppress immune response
Now, you might be surprised we say antibiotics suppress your immune response, but remember, those probiotic bacteria are one of the first lines of defense for your body. They out-compete bad bacteria and signal the immune system when something bad is around. Your body now took a hit and lost that protection. It has to work hard to replace those probiotic bacteria and still fight off the infection.
Infection Control Today, one of the leading publications dedicated to immune responses states: “A team of Case Western Reserve University researchers found that antibiotics actually kill the “good” bacteria keeping infection and inflammation at bay.”
In the right cases, antibiotics are life-saving medications. If you are prescribed an antibiotic for a severe infection, please take it. But, you should not request an antibiotic just because you are sick. And it is always your right as a patient to know why you are being prescribed an antibiotic.
Why Probiotics With Antibiotics Helps
So, let's say you have an antibiotic. How do you help protect yourself?
Probiotics are the key. You have two main sources of probiotics: fermented food and supplements. Both have their benefits and detractions.
Here's the thing:
It doesn't matter how you get your probiotics just as long as you do. And even if you're taking a probiotic supplement, that doesn't mean you can't have some fermented foods. Something as simple as yogurt, some kimchi, or regular supplements when you're taking your antibiotics can give you the probiotics needed to help your body. These are just some of the benefits:
Restores the balance of good bacteria
Protects the lining of stomach and intestine
Recover faster because you're more in balance
Regulates the immune system
I want you to imagine getting something like a sinus infection. Antibiotics work very well for a sinus infection, and many people need them. According to many doctors, it takes about two weeks to recover from a sinus infection. But…
What if you could take that down to 8 or 9 days?
What if you could feel better almost immediately?
What if you could reduce the chance of reinfection?
This is the power of having probiotics with your antibiotics.
How To Take Probiotics With Antibiotics
Fortunately, it's easy to get your probiotics. Starting the regular habit now can save you time, effort, and money later on.
Choose a high-quality supplement. Yes, you can get cheap probiotics in any grocery store, but they're not that effective. Higher quality supplements will get more of the probiotics to your system intact than a cheap one well. Yes, you will pay more, but you'll get more.
Better quality supplements also have a wider variety of bacteria. We have dozens of different species of probiotics in our gut, so you need more than acidophilus.
You can also eat fermented foods. Yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, nato, kefir, and any real fermented product works well. These may even work better for you since they are highly nutritious foods beyond just providing probiotics.
It doesn't take much either. A forkful of sauerkraut contains more probiotic bacteria than any supplement produced today. Just 1 oz of yogurt will meet your daily needs. And, if you mix up the different fermented foods, you get a wider variety of probiotics.
So, that leads you to when to take the probiotic. We don't recommend taking it at the same time as the antibiotic. Give yourself a few hours in between so you give your gut a chance to absorb the antibiotic and replenish it with probiotics.
Probiotics with antibiotics really work and can give you an edge in staying healthy.