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Probiotics myths: Don’t take probiotics while on antibiotics

It is advisable to take probiotics at the same time as antibiotics

For a long time it was considered a waste of money to take probiotics while on antibiotics. Now that’s no longer the case: taking a good-quality probiotic alongside antibiotics can help reduce the risk of antibiotic side-effects

Probiotics are bacteria (apart from S. boulardii), which means they’re susceptible to being killed by antibiotics. So it used to be assumed there was no point taking probiotics while you were on antibiotics – people would wait until the course of antibiotics had finished before taking a high-dose probiotic supplement to replenish the depleted friendly bacteria levels

However, research into probiotics has developed at such an incredible rate that new, very robust strains of probiotic bacteria have been identified. From this research it has emerged that some strains (such as L. rhamnosus Rosell-11 and L. acidophilus Rosell-52) are able to survive to reach the gut alive, even when taken at the same time as antibiotics. Scientific research shows that they do so in sufficient concentrations to keep the levels of friendly bacteria topped up to significantly reduce the likelihood of getting antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.

Advantages of taking a probiotic at the same time as an antibiotic 

  • You are much less likely to endure side-effects from the antibiotics.
  • You are more likely to be able to complete the course of antibiotics, which is important to clear the infection for which they were prescribed in the first place. This also may help in the worldwide challenge of antibiotic resistance, as one of the reasons this is thought to perpetuate is because of people stopping their course of antibiotics halfway through the course due to unpleasant side-effects, giving the ‘bad’ bacteria an opportunity to mutate and flourish.
  • Approximately 70% of the immune system is located in the gut, and the gut microflora is known to interact with and support this immune tissue. Supporting the body’s immune system in this way by taking a probiotic supplement could help fight off the infection for which the antibiotics were prescribed. Numerous studies show that success rate of taking antibiotics can be much better when specific probiotics are taken at the same time.
  • There is less damage to the intestinal microflora, so less intensive work is required post-antibiotics to bring the friendly bacteria levels back up to a healthy state.

Taking probiotics alongside antibiotics has many benefits – simply find a supplement that will survive when taken alongside the antibiotics. We stock Optibac For Those on Antibiotics, £5.65 for a 10-day supply