At times, antibiotics may seem necessary for certain bacterial infections. Probiotics can eliminate the negative side-effects that come with taking this medicine.
The word “antibiotic” comes from the prefix “anti” meaning against and the term “biotic” meaning life; in this case referring to living bacteria. When we take antibiotics, we kill both good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are the good bacteria that we want to keep in the body to maintain healthy digestive and immune systems. During a course of antibiotics, symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and fatigue may develop. Afterwards, our immune and digestive systems are left in a weakened state. To prevent symptoms from developing, we should put good bacteria in during the use of antibiotics and for at least 2 weeks after. You cannot eat enough yogurt, as many commercials suggest, to supply enough probiotics to do the job. Taking at least 60 billion cultures of acidophilus will often prevent symptoms and retain normal digestive function. Continuing this same amount for the 2 weeks after antibiotic use will restore normal intestinal flora and keep a healthy immune system.
There have been many studies done on the effectiveness of taking probiotics with antibiotics and even clinical trials done in hospitals. After surgery, those using probiotics had a much shorter recovery time than those without. Research has shown that if good bacteria was not introduced after antibiotic use, the patients had a higher likelihood of rebuilding bad (disease-causing) bacteria into the intestines. This weakens the immune system and leaves the body more susceptible to developing another infection.
Lastly, there is no negative consequence to taking probiotics during the use of antibiotics. The antibiotics are still going to kill bacteria whether we add probiotics or not, but the addition of the good bacteria can prevent the damage that might occur otherwise.