Q.: I have noticed more and more that doctors no longer recommend probiotics with every course of antibiotic like they used to do a few years ago. I was chatting to some other moms and they all automatically buy the probiotics when they get to the pharmacy, without (most of the time) this being scripted. I asked my pharmacist if he noticed the same, and yes, he said he does. It’s most often left off the script, so he will ask the patient if they want a probiotic with the antibiotic. Are doctors just forgetting about the probiotics now or leaving it up to our pharmacists and us? N.R.
THE EDITOR REPLIES:
I have also noticed this among friends and readers alike. In addition to antibiotics, transfer viruses used for GMOs and also vaccines, adversely affect beneficial gut bacteria. We also lead stressful lives and eat poorly.
The concept of the gut as our ‘second brain’ is well known. Furthermore, as covered in Natural Medicine many times, probiotics provide up to 80% of our immune system’s capacity! By increasing and maintaining the populations of good bacteria, the body is less susceptible to pathogenic bacteria and yeast that can lead to a diverse range of negative health consequences.
If you want to clean up your gut, repopulating it with beneficial bacteria is a requirement. But buying supplements is not the only way to maintain gut health. We can get prebiotics and probiotics from fermented food to assist in the restoration and balance of our gut bacteria.
Taking about 28 g of kefir in the morning, at meals, and before bed is a great way to start. Add sauerkraut as a side to any meal, or get creative and incorporate it into dishes where you would normally add vegetables.
According to Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS), more of the population is probiotic deficient from infancy than before. Her book offers a diet to offset these deficiencies.
Both prebiotics and probiotics nurture the good bacteria required by the digestive tract. Probiotics are live, active cultures capable of multiplying in numbers whereas prebiotics serve as the food source for probiotics and do not grow or reproduce.
It’s generally understood that certain conditions, such as chronic Candida overgrowth, may require a dramatic intervention with more heavily loaded probiotic supplements than what’s generally available in fermented foods, but make sure your probiotic supplement is organic.