The Vicious Side Effects of Antibiotics

Antibiotics are wonder drugs, there’s no doubt about it. By controlling infectious diseases, they have saved countless millions of lives. But antibiotics are not without side effects. They wipe out our protective bacteria along with the germs, and oftentimes the result is diarrhea. Nearly one in three people prescribed antibiotics develop antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). Probiotic supplements can help to eliminate some of the causes of AAD.

Normally, the body functions best when friendly probiotic bacteria are busy digesting fiber in the colon. As an end product, bacterial digestion creates acid that acts as a barrier to block pathogens and toxins from passing through the colon wall. When antibiotics upset the delicate balance, unchecked toxins damage the colon wall and trigger inflammation. The inflamed colon cannot do the job of absorbing water back into the body. The extra water is released as diarrhea and, now, the illness is worse.

Probiotic supplements have been shown to prevent AAD before it happens. For instance, traveler’s diarrhea (TD) is a common complaint of 5 to 50 percent of travelers, depending on destination. When at-risk travelers were supplemented with Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum, the probiotic bacteria in Vidazorb®, they were significantly able to prevent TD. (1) In health care settings, probiotics are increasingly used to prevent diarrhea in infants and children undergoing antibiotic treatment. (2) Prevention is a good thing because AAD is a major reason why people stop taking their antibiotics before they work.

When a course of antibiotics is needed, it helps to take a probiotic supplement at the same time. A huge meta-analysis of 82 studies involving 12,000 people showed that people who took probiotics along with the antibiotics were significantly less likely to develop AAD. (3) An American College of Gastroenterology brief explains that the risk of AAD can be reduced by 50-60 percent when probiotics are administered along with probiotics.(4)

Scientific studies show the probiotics in Vidazorb can reduce the risk of antibiotic side effects, restore intestinal microflora after antibiotic treatment, and prevent colonization with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The number and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to grow and probiotics may form an extra line of defense in the body’s ability to stave off the infection.Vidazorb’s probiotic strains have been rigorously tested by independent agencies to guarantee effectiveness. Whenever the doctor prescribes antibiotics, it makes sense to discuss probiotics.

For probiotics to be most effective, healthy people should eat a diet rich in indigestible fibers from vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and for optimal health, we need good hydration, regular activity, ample rest, and low-stress living. Probiotics provide nutritional support for a healthy immune system that may prevent infections from starting and restore gut microflora when antibiotics are needed. Caution: anyone with a compromised immune system, particularly those with immune deficiency, or premature infants and children in poor health should only take probiotics upon the advice of their doctors.

References

1. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease (2007). Meta-analysis of probiotics for the prevention of traveler’s diarrhea. Lynne V. McFarland. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://bitly.com/SCLXNo
2. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition (May 2006).Probiotics in the Prevention of Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea in Children: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. H. Szajewska, et al. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://bit.ly/SCO2sR
3. Journal of the American Medical Association. (May 2012) Probiotics for the Prevention and Treatment of Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Susanne Hempel, et al. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://bit.ly/TkQnqH
4. American College of Gastroenterology, Patient Education and Resource Center. Probiotics for the Treatment of Adult Gastrointestinal Disorders. Retrieved October 30, 2012, http://bit.ly/Whvna5