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Antibiotics May Save Your Life but Cost You Your Health

Jeremy Hendon | February 25
Antibiotics May Save Your Life but Cost You Your Health

Warning: I’m not advising anybody to not take antibiotics!

Now…with that out of the way…

Antibiotics Are Both Great and Terrible

Obviously, there are certain situations in which you would always choose to take antibiotics.

If you’re literally dying of a bacterial infection, and you have antibiotics available that could save your life, you’d be crazy not to take them.

But there’s a lot of new research coming out on the side-effects of antibiotics, including this recent study:

Microbiota-liberated host sugars facilitate post-antibiotic expansion of enteric pathogens

That’s a title filled with a lot of jargon, but here’s the quick summary…

are antibiotics bad for youThe researchers wanted to know what happened to our guts and the bacteria inside them after we take antibiotics. So they tested it  out on mice. In one condition, they tested mice who’d been raised in a germ-free environment and had little to no gut bacteria, and in the other condition, they tested mice who’d just been given a dose of antibiotics.

In both cases, they found the same general occurrence.

After a dose of antibiotics, it was much easier for harmful bacteria (like Salmonella) to gain a foothold in the gut.

This occurs mostly because there is a lot of excess sugar in the gut after taking antibiotics. The excess sugar is usually eaten up by “good” bacteria, but most of that good bacteria gets killed off by antibiotics.

Because there is excess sugar present, harmful bacteria – which also feed on the sugar – have an easier time multiplying and growing.

In the long run, this can be a huge problem, because once these unwanted types of bacteria are able to gain a foothold, they start causing inflammation in your gut, which makes it even easier for them to multiply and much harder for you to stay healthy.

Protect Your Gut

The evidence just keeps rolling in that caring for your gut bacteria is one of the most important things you can do.

And while antibiotics certainly have their place, I would personally avoid them in any situation that I could (without threatening my health in more serious ways).

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