Whenever we talk about antibiotic use and its potential side effects, we usually locate these problems in the guts. And indeed, in this organ we harbour a large diversity of bacteria that work in symbiosis with us by helping us to keep healthy and fit. But these bacteria are not only present in our gut. They are all over our body and are collectively called the microbiome.
Microbiota are found in several regions of the body such as the mouth, nose, pharynx, intestinal tract, vaginal tract, and skin, stomach is not heavily colonized because of its Acidic pH.
However, especially intestinal microbiota influences many areas of human health such as innate immunity, appetite and energy metabolism.
Our microbiome has the ability to process dietary polysaccharides (complex sugars), and vitamin. Moreover, it is relevant in our hormonal production, pH regulation, processing and detoxification of environmental chemicals, and maintenance of the skin and mucosal barrier function
Negative effects of antibiotics on the microbiome
Widespread antibiotics use has led to deleterious consequences for microbiome diversity in humans, for example, Ciprofloxacin use in adults led to decreased bacterial diversity in the gut.
Antibiotics can also kills the normal flora in vagina “Lactobacillus acidophilus” which plays a role in stopping disease-causing bacteria that can lead to infections.
Probiotics can potentially alleviate potential health problems caused by antibiotics
Antibiotics sometimes result in diarrhea or a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
Both diarrhea and CDI are frequent complications of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy, and these can be treated or prevented by using probiotic bacteria.
Probiotic supplementation may induce colonization resistance and alleviate harmful effects of antibiotics on the intestinal microbiota and it could be a reasonable strategy in prevention of antibiotic associated disturbances of the intestinal homeostasis and disorders.
How Probiotics Work
The beneficial effects of probiotics likely result from several complex, interacting mechanisms that will differ for different strains and sites of action.
These mechanisms may include:
- Competition for binding sites to the intestinal wall.
- Competition for essential nutrients.
- Production of antimicrobial substances.
- Stimulation of mucin production.
- Stabilization of the intestinal barrier.
- Improvement of gut transit, metabolism of nutrients to volatile fatty acids, and immunomodulation (immune stimulation and immunoregulation).
The hall of fame for bacteria
Some bacterial strains are better known to us than others. What follows is a list of bacteria that you mind find in your supplements or delibaretly look for, as these are likely better known and researched than others.
- L. rhamnosus
- L. acidophilus
- L. plantarum
- L. casei
- L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
- L. brevis
- L. johnsonii
- L. fermentum
- L. reuteri
- B. infantis
- B. animalis subsp. lactis
- B. bifidum
- B. longum
- B. breve
- S. boulardi
- L. lactis subsp. lactis
- E. durans
- E. faecium
- S. thermophilus
- P. acidilactici
- L. mesenteroides
- B. coagulans
- B. subtilis
- B. cereus
- E. coli Nissle
This article has been written by one of our guest writers and does not necessarily represent the editorial point of view.
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