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Middlesex Moments

     Antibiotics and Beneficial Bacteria                


The human digestive tract is lined with trillions of beneficial bacteria, called “gut flora.” There are 10 times as many microorganisms in the intestines as there are cells in the human body! Somewhere between 300 and 1000 different species of bacteria live in the gut performing important metabolic activities. Human hosts and their gut flora have a symbiotic relationship, with both parties benefiting from the coexistence.

Antibiotics are common medications that are prescribed to treat various infections and are used today in many commonly eaten foods. These foods include meat and dairy products.

Antibiotics work by disrupting the biological processes of both disease causing and beneficial microorganisms (bugs). Antibiotics are over prescribed with varying degrees of success in treating diseases like sinus infections, ear infections, urinary tract infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, Strep throat and for many, many more conditions.

Many doctors and patients alike feel that antibiotics are over-prescribed, which results in reduced effectiveness because of increased resistance of the bacteria that the said antibiotic is meant to kill off. While they can be useful medications in certain specific circumstances, antibiotics can also be problematic, creating new symptoms while eradicating existing ones. Because antibiotics work by killing bacteria, they can be rather indiscriminate in their eradication, killing both beneficial as well as detrimental microorganisms.

How to keep your gut flora thriving…

·         Use antibiotics only when absolutely necessary. Discuss alternatives with your doctor.

·         When you must take an antibiotic always supplement with a probiotic formulation. Probiotics are the supplements which supply natural bacteria and replenish the gut flora.

·         Probiotics can be used daily to help with the immune system, digestion, vitamin production and constipation.

Not all probiotics formulations are of high enough quality to provide enough normal bacteria or even the correct ratio of the different types of bacteria needed to improve gut flora and your health. Don’t hesitate to ask the doctors to recommend the correct type to improve your health.

 This information is not meant to treat, cure or diagnose any illness, disease or health condition, please contact a qualified health care provider with any concerns you may have in regards to your health. This email has not been approved by the FDA.

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