Thanks to a recent discovery by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, they may soon have a better understanding why the long term use of anti-biotic drugs to cause secondary bacterial infections over time has troubled medical science for decades .
The cause – as many of us in the natural health community have suspected for years – appears to be the destruction of beneficial bacteria that normally reside in the human digestive tract. It seems that the presence of this bacteria helps keep the body’s immune system better primed for action against transient, or “bad,” bacteria that may cause infection.
Professor of Microbiology and Pediatrics, Jeffrey Weiser, MD, gives the popular analogy of moving a car. That is to say, it’s significantly easier to move a car that’s engine is running at idle speed than one that hasn’t been switched on yet.
Senior author Jeffrey Weiser, MD, professor of Microbiology and Pediatrics said:
“One of the complications of antibiotic therapy is secondary infection. This is a huge problem in hospitals, but there hasn’t been a mechanistic understanding of how that occurs. We suggest that if the immune system is on idle, and you treat someone with broad-spectrum antibiotics, then you turn the system off. The system is deprimed and will be less efficient at responding quickly to new infections.”
How does “Good” Bacteria Help Protect the Body from “Bad” Bacteria?
Resident beneficial bacteria appear to stimulate the production of a particular type of white blood cell, known as a neutrophil, which plays a large role in the human body’s natural ability to fight off foreign pathogens.
Not only do broad spectrum antibiotics kill off the infectious bacteria that causes illness, they also kill the harmless good bacteria as well. This essentially leads the neutrophils to enter a dormant state thereby slowing their response time when faced with a genuine threat. This gives invading bacteria an initial edge when it first enters the body.
How Can I Restore Beneficial Bacteria After Using Prescription Antibiotics?
Fortunately for individuals who have little choice but to use antibiotic drugs, studies in mice have shown that naturally occurring beneficial bacteria repopulate the digestive tract over time. This is because the bacteria itself is pulled directly from environmental sources such as air and water.
By quickly using up the resources that harmful bacteria need to thrive, probiotics act as a sort of temporary cleaning crew that help prime the digestive tract for more permanent beneficial bacteria. Once they have served their purpose, they are gently passed with other waste from the body.
In order to create a more hospitable intestinal environment for healthy bacteria to colonize, I also recommend using a quality probiotic supplement such as Latero-Flora and Garden of Life’s Primal Defense Ultra.
Latero-Flora is one of the finest probiotic supplements available anywhere in the world. Its unique formula is derived from microorganisms found in Icelandic soil. As one of the best probiotic supplements, Latero-Flora is 100% safe and all natural. I personally take it every morning, and so does my family.
An alternative to taking a probiotic supplement, is to eat an abundance of probiotic foods. These would include cultured yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso soup, tempeh, kimchi, blue-green algae and some dark chocolates. These would all make great additions to your diet, however, you’re still better off taking a probiotic supplement, as they have more microorganisms that are beneficial to your health.
If, for whatever reason, you are forced to take antibiotics, I strongly recommend that you supplement with Latero-Flora, or some other probiotic supplement, to help restore the natural balance of bacterial life your body depends on to function at its best. Not only will you feel healthier, but you will give your immune system the best chance to fight off infections.
Let me hear your thoughts! Do you take a probiotic supplement or eat probiotic foods? If so, please share your experience with everyone in the comments below.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
- Perelman School of Medicine. “Good” Bacteria keep immune system primed to fight future infections, according to Penn study. University of Pennsylvania Health System. 2010 January 26.