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Taking probiotics along with antibiotics can prevent or reduce damage to gut microbiota composition

Taking probiotics along with antibiotics can prevent or reduce damage to gut microbiota composition


Millions of antibiotics are prescribed each year. Antibiotics are very effective in treating infections, but usually antibiotics don’t just target the bacteria that are causing the infection. There is evidence that this disruption to gut microbiota composition can persist for up to two years after antibiotic treatment. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and bloating are also common side effects of antibiotic use.

Elisa Marroquin, Ph.D., assistant professor at Texas Christian University, USA, and co-author of the paper, explains:

“Like human society, we need people from different professions because we don’t all know how to do all the jobs. The same thing happens with bacteria. You need a lot of different gut bacteria that know how to do that.

“Although no single definition of a healthy gut microbiome has yet been found, one thing we see all the time in healthy people is high levels and diversity of bacteria in the gut. ”

Previous studies have shown that taking probiotics can reduce the gastrointestinal side effects of antibiotics, but taking probiotics together with antibiotics may reduce the diversity and composition of the gut microbiota. Some medical experts recommend probiotics along with antibiotics for fear of further altering the delicate microbial balance in a patient’s gut. is reluctant to

New paper published in Journal of Medical Microbiology We reveal the first systematic review to assess the effects of taking probiotics along with antibiotics on the diversity and composition of the human gut microbiota. Authored by researchers from the Technologico de Monterrey, University of Texas, and Texas Christian University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the review assesses trends in 29 studies published over the past seven years.

The authors found that taking probiotics along with antibiotics could prevent or attenuate changes in gut microbiota composition caused by antibiotics. Probiotics also help protect species diversity. Faecalibacterium prausnitziireduces inflammation and promotes a healthy intestinal barrier.

When participants take antibiotics, we see some consistent changes in some bacterial species. However, when the treatment was combined with probiotics, most of these changes were less noticeable, and some were completely prevented.

Given the human data available to date, there appears to be no reason to withhold probiotic prescriptions when antibiotics are being prescribed.”

Elisa Marroquin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Texas Christian University


Journal reference:

Fernandez-Alonso, M., and others. (2022) Additional impact of probiotics to antibiotic interventions on human gut microbial diversity and composition: a systematic review. Journal of Medical Microbiology.




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