A new study suggests taking a certain probiotic with antibiotics can help to reduce the likelihood you’ll need more antibiotics in the future…at least, that’s what was discovered in children.
Chances are, when you were a child, antibiotics were doled out on a semi-regular basis. We got them for the slightest sore throats, any sort of infection, and sometimes, it seemed, just because.
But the taking of antibiotics for every and all bacterial infection has waned in recent years, partly because of the rise of antibiotic resistance (or at least the knowledge thereof), and partly because of a less-often talked about side effect known as antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). AAD can occur in as many as one in three children who take antibiotics—its symptoms, as you’ve likely deduced, are are pretty self explanatory.
Over the last decade or so, scientists have been using probiotics to help reduce the prevalence of AAD, but this new study suggests that the probiotics may not only help to reduce the nasty symptoms, but also decrease the likelihood of needing antibiotics in the future.
Finnish researchers looked at 501 children over the course of three years, tracking their incidence of gastrointestinal infection. One group was given a daily dose of five million bacteria in the form of a probiotic, and the other group was not. Those who received the probiotic required fewer treatments of particular antibiotics.
Now, we understand that this is early days for this kind of scientific research, and that the experiment was only done on children with particular types of drugs, but we’re kind of hoping it’ll work for adults, with all types of antibiotics and probiotics.
We may not be doctors, but we will still pop our morning probiotic pill in light of these new findings.