Can Just One Prescription Of Antibiotics Destroy Your Gut Bacteria For An Entire Year?

antibioticsWe may all be guilty of begging our doctor for a round of antibiotics when we have a sore throat, cold, or sinus infection.

Being sick is no fun and we can’t help but want to get better faster.

However, it’s important to refrain from antibiotics when the illness is borderline and not a nasty infection.

But whether antibiotics are necessary or not, could they actually do some harm?

According to research, the unfortunate answer is yes.

New research studies show that just one prescription of antibiotics has the ability to destroy your necessary gut bacteria for up to 12 months.

Yikes, that’s an incredibly long time!

We know how crucial friendly bacteria is to our digestive and immune systems (hence why probiotics are so important), so let’s take a look at the research…

The Research

In recent research studies, the effects of oral antibiotics on the stomach flora of healthy individuals were assessed.

The researchers found that the antibiotics altered the individuals’ stomach flora for numerous months up to an entire year.

Egija Zaura lead the studies at the University of Amsterdam and the subjects totaled 66 healthy individuals, 37 from the United Kingdom and 29 from Sweden.

The test subjects were randomly placed into two groups, one group receiving an oral antibiotic and the second group getting a placebo.

The antibiotics that they used on the test group were amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, and minocycline.

The study was done by assessing the diversity and amount of microbes in the stool and saliva of the participants.

The researchers tested the individuals’ levels directly after receiving the antibiotics and then again at one, two, four, and 12 months afterwards.

After the study was completed, the researchers found that every one of the four antibiotics altered the stomach flora in the individuals’ for numerous months.

The worst offender was the ciprofloxacin antibiotic, which changed the stomach flora in individuals for 12 total months.

What This All Means…

It’s so easy to take the easy way out, so to speak, when it comes to wanting antibiotics for a cold or seasonal illness.

Antibiotics are very powerful and they surely can knock out some yucky illnesses, however it’s not without side effects.

We learned from the studies that antibiotics could hinder your gut flora for up to an entire year.

Antibiotics not only take out the bad bacteria, but your good bacteria as well.

Your body depends on the good bacteria to keep your immune and digestive health in check, which is incredibly important.

The main message that we learned from these studies is that we need to be cautious of how much we request and take antibiotics.

If your illness is borderline and not severe, it may be a good idea to take the traditional route of healing.

Make a warm cup of chicken noodle soup, green tea with lemon and honey, take some Echinacea, drink plenty of water, and get some rest.

Your gut flora will thank you!

To find the top probiotic supplements out there, check out our list of the 10 best probiotic supplements.


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About the Author

About the Author: Kate Watson is the Lead Researcher and Founder of Kate started this site after successfully using probiotics to treat some digestive issues she'd had since childhood. In her free time Kate loves nothing more than a good book (and a good glass of wine).