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Updated 30 January 2014

Probiotics and antibiotics

The more powerful an antibiotic is in wiping out ear infections, sinus infections and the like, the more likely it is to play havoc with the delicate balance of intestinal flora.

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Most of us have heard about the unfortunate side effects of antibiotic use and some of us have felt them for ourselves.

The more powerful an antibiotic is in wiping out ear infections, sinus infections and the like, the more likely it is to play havoc with the delicate balance of intestinal flora.

The most obvious result can be diarrhoea, which occurs in about 10-20% of people and often depends on the antibiotic used, but there is also a more hidden impact on the immune system. The body is forced to battle large numbers of opportunistic infections that thrive as soon as the good bacteria are reduced in numbers.

This may be why we so often get a series of infections one after the other, as the immune system does not have the strength to battle invaders.

Ask for a probiotic

Many doctors are aware of this and may prescribe a probiotic, but if yours doesn’t, there’s nothing to stop you asking or simply buying one at the pharmacy.

A probiotic with validated safety data won’t do you any harm even if taken on a daily basis for the rest of your life.

In fact, there are new studies to show the benefits of a daily dose of Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC55730 or Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 for young children and babies.


 
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