The immune system can need some extra help during the colder months if busy fighting off all those extra winter bugs. Up to 70% of our immune cells are located in the gut, and supported by a strong microflora. Therefore, one strategy to support the body’s natural immunity in order to prevent initial infection and reduce the need for antibiotics, is to consider regular consumption of fermented foods or probiotic supplements.
Probiotic supplements, especially ones with multiple strains of bacteria, could aid digestion, improve bloating and abdominal cramps and even boost the immune system.
Antibiotics are well known to significantly disrupt protective intestinal and vaginal microbiota, reducing bacteria considered to have health-promoting properties such as Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp..
Antibiotics, as with any medication, can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. By altering the microbial balance within the gut, further pathogenic bacteria are able to selectively overgrow increasing the risk of developing a further intestinal infection; the main symptom of which being antibiotic associated diarrhoea (AAD).
During antibiotic therapy extra protection could be provided by consuming a probiotic supplement at the same time as antibiotic therapy. We recommend taking them at least 2 hours apart and continued for at least 2-4 weeks after completion of the antibiotic course at a dose of around 5 billion CFUs a day.
tags:infection,the immune system,antibiotics,