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Antibiotics

The importance of probiotics after antibiotics

Thursday, August 30, 2012 by: John McKiernan
Tags: antibiotics, probiotics, gut flora

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(NaturalNews) Most of us have taken antibiotics to get rid of a nasty cold that turned into a secondary bacterial infection, or as a preventative measure after a surgery or some other injury. We take these powerful drugs because we are told by our healthcare professionals that we must. After all, who would want to risk a serious bacterial infection when it could be easily avoided? Antibiotics are great at what they do; they kill bacteria. Unfortunately, they are unable to discriminate between good bacteria and bad bacteria.

What your doctor hasn't been telling you

There are over 100 trillion good bacteria in our bodies that play a vital role in our overall health and well-being, particularly to immune function and digestion. Many of these bacteria are destroyed by antibiotic treatments and therefore must be quickly replenished. The best way to do this is by consuming probiotics, which contain live bacteria that will repopulate the gut.

You will rarely come across a traditional doctor that even mentions this practice when prescribing antibiotics; however, if you neglect the good bacteria after a course of antibiotics, you are risking reinfection, as your immune system will be compromised. The best practice is to begin taking probiotics while taking antibiotics; however, you should wait at least a few hours after your dose of antibiotics to take a dose of probiotics.

Probiotic foods and supplements

Probiotics exist in various food products like yogurt and are found in particularly high concentrations in kefir. If you have access to raw (unpasteurized) milk, you can make your own kefir at home with some kefir grains, which will yield an enormous amount of probiotics. For most people who don't have access to raw milk, store bought (pasteurized) kefir and yogurt still contain a fair amount of probiotics.

There are also many probiotic supplements on the market now; however be sure to buy a reputable brand. Some of these supplements are worthless as they contain no live bacteria. Be sure to check the label for the number of live cultures as well as how many of those cultures will still be alive when the product reaches its expiration date. If the supplement does not contain this information, don't purchase it.

Natural antibiotics

There may be times when taking antibiotics is necessary; however, the majority of the time they are used without sufficient cause and end up doing much more damage than good. Most bacterial infections can be healed naturally. So the next time you get a chest cold, instead of running to the doctor and asking for a Z-pak, which most doctors will prescribe without hesitation, first attempt curing your infection with these powerful, natural probiotics that also promote overall health and well being:

- Manuka honey (UMF 15+ or higher)
- Garlic
- Andrographis (particularly useful for upper respiratory infections)
- Goldenseal
- Echinacea
- Colloidal silver

You don't have to worry about natural antibiotics killing the good bacteria in your gut as they, unlike prescription antibiotics, are able to target only the bad bacteria. You can use these natural remedies any time you get sick, as a preventive measure, without any worry of negative side-effects.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.nytimes.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/probiotics/article.htm
http://www.naturalnews.com/035516_natural_antibiotics_superbugs.html

About the author:
See more health news articles by John McKiernan at The Holistic Truth

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