Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria in our bodies. They often are prescribed to treat illnesses and infections caused by bacterial organisms. The downside, however, is that they also kill the "friendly" bacteria in our bodies that help fight harmful substances and promote gastrointestinal health and immunity. Taking a probiotic supplement can restore your body's supply of these beneficial bacteria.
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Start taking probiotics during the course of your antibiotic treatment and continue for several days after. Taking probiotics during treatment can help prevent certain side effects of antibiotics, such as diarrhoea. The probiotics will not interfere with the actions of your medication.
Purchase brands that contain either Bacillus coagulans (BC-30) or Lactobacillus GG. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, these are the most effective probiotics. They should advertise colony-forming units (CFUs) in the billions.
Take your supplements twice a day with meals. The recommended adult dosage is 1 tablespoon of liquid or two capsules. Check with your doctor about appropriate dosages for children.
Store the probiotics properly to maintain optimum effectiveness. Shield them from heat, moisture and air. Look for refrigeration instructions; some require it, and some do not.
Add yoghurt to your diet. It is a natural source of these beneficial bacterial cultures.
Tips and warnings
- Consider using probiotics on a regular basis to enhance immunity and promote intestinal health. They are safe to take long-term.
- Probiotics are not an appropriate supplement if you have experienced an allergic reaction to lactobacillus, acidophilus, bifidobacterium or streptococcus thermophilus.
- Check with your doctor about taking probiotics while you are taking your antibiotics.
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