Why we need to take friendly bacteria both alongside and following antibiotics
Our gut bacteria (microbiome) is fundamental to our health and has a wide range of functions in our body – including anti-inflammatory and immune influence, providing essential nutrients, defending against pathogens and supporting the structure of the gastrointestinal tract.
Maintaining a balance of ‘good’ to ‘bad’ bacteria is key to ensuring these functions are carried out efficiently.
Antibiotics still the most common medication prescribed for children and are also high on the list of medications prescribed to adults. They are designed to kill bacteria that cause disease, but do not distinguish between good and bad bacteria – they destroy all bacteria indiscriminately.
As a result, taking antibiotics can quickly lead to an imbalance in the gut microbiota – and balance may not be restored once the course of antibiotics is complete.
This give the pathogenic (bad) bacteria chance to take over, can cause side effects such as antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and can lead to permanent changes in the structure of our microbiome.
Research has shown that taking probiotics alongside antibiotics can reduce the adverse effects of the antibiotics on the gut bacteria, helping to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in our digestive tract.
Studies have also shown that taking probiotics alongside antibiotics can help to support the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of the antibiotics, helping to ensure the full course is completed.
Choosing a friendly bacteria supplement
Take good care of yourself
6 things to remember when taking antibiotics
 Vangay P et al (2015) Antibiotics, Pediatric Dysbiosis, and Disease. Cell Host Microbe 17(5):553-564
 https://www.nesta.org.uk/news/antibiotics-gps-still-erring-on-side-of-caution-despite-patients-requesting-less/ 13 Nov 2017
 Petersen C & Round JL (2014) Defining dysbiosis and its influence on host immunity and disease Cell Microbiol 16(7):1024-1033
 Madden JAJ et al (2005) Effect of probiotics on preventing disruption of the intestinal microflora following antibiotic therapy: A double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study. Int Immunopharmacol 5:1091-1097
 Round JL & Mazmanian SK (2009) The gut microbiome shapes intestinal immune responses during health and disease Nat Rev Immunol 9(5):313-323
 Plummer SF et al (2005) Effects of probiotics on the composition of the intestinal microbiota following antibiotic therapy. Int J Antimicrob Agents 26:69-74