FINDING BALANCE WITH A PROBIOTIC SUPPLEMENT
Help protect your gut microbiome from the impact of antibiotics
Antibiotics are life-saving medicines that are used to treat or prevent serious bacterial infections.1 They work by either killing the harmful bacteria or by slowing down their ability to reproduce. Though antibiotics are a vital part of many medical procedures—from treating strep throat and prepping for surgery to managing chronic diseases—there are unintended consequences of their use.2 Here's how certain probiotic strains are helping to reduce those consequences.
Antibiotics and Your Gut Microbiome
The bacteria in your gut make up your unique microbiome, which supports and impacts everything from your digestion and mood to your immune system.3 The reason antibiotics can be disruptive to gut health is that, while they do their job destroying harmful bacteria, they often eliminate beneficial bacteria in the process.4
Recent studies show that people who take probiotics regularly may reduce their need for antibiotics in certain circumstances.5 For the times when antibiotics are necessary, probiotics can ease common side effects, such as nausea, bloating, and diarrhea.6 Probiotic strains like Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG®)*, found in Culturelle® probiotics, are clinically proven to help maintain digestive health and to help ease antibiotic-associated side effects**.7
Today, the abundance of antibiotics in the healthcare system and in food-animal production raises concerns about antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance occurs when microbes develop the ability to resist the drugs designed to kill them, making it difficult or impossible to treat the infection.8
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that nearly 30% of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary, and they call antibiotic resistance “one of the world's most urgent public health problems.” 9
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the large quantity of antibiotics used in the food industry is one of the leading causes of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. When antibiotics are given to food-producing animals to promote growth or to prevent—rather than treat—disease, antibiotic-resistant bacteria like Salmonella and Escherichia coli can survive and spread to humans through the food chain or through the environment.10,11 Because of this threat, the WHO recommends “an overall reduction in use of antibiotics in food-producing animals to help preserve their effectiveness for human medicine.” 12
How You Can Protect Yourself
There are several ways you can protect yourself from antibiotic-associated side effects, including:
- Only take antibiotics when necessary12
- Follow standard food safety protocols like washing your hands before and during meal preparation and keeping uncooked meat separate from foods that will be eaten raw12
- Take Culturelle® probiotics regularly to maintain the balance of good bacteria in your digestive system
Antibiotics are an inevitable and, in many cases, essential part of our lives. Probiotics can help you mitigate the negative aspects of their use by protecting and restoring your gut health.