Texas, November 16

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very year, millions of antibiotic prescriptions are written. Antibiotics typically do not exclusively target the bacteria causing infection, despite the fact that they can be highly successful at treating infections.

Additionally, they eliminate the beneficial bacteria that live in our gut and keep us healthy. There is proof that this alteration in the composition of the gut microbiome can persist for up to two years following antibiotic therapy. The usage of antibiotics can also cause gastrointestinal adverse effects like bloating and diarrhoea.

Dr Elisa Marroquin, Assistant Professor at Texas Christian University, USA, and co-author of the paper explained, "Like in a human community, we need people that have different professions because we don't all know how to do every single job. And so the same happens with bacteria. We need lots of different gut bacteria that know how to do different things."

"Even though we haven't come up with a single definition of what is a healthy gut microbiome, one of the constant things we observe in healthy people is that they have a higher level of diversity and more variety of bacteria in the gut."

There has been some discussion on whether taking probiotics together with antibiotics can also retain the diversity and composition of gut microorganisms. Prior research has shown that taking probiotics can lessen the gastrointestinal adverse effects of antibiotics. Some medical practitioners are hesitant to provide probiotics in addition to antibiotics for fear of further upsetting the patient's fragile microbiome balance.

The variety and makeup of the human gut microbiome have been examined for the first time in a systematic review, according to a recent paper published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The evaluation analyses trends across 29 publications published over the previous seven years and was written by scholars from the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Tecnologico de Monterrey, University of Texas, and Texas Christian University.

Probiotics can help prevent or mitigate some antibiotic-induced changes to the composition of the gut microbiome, according to the study's authors. Additionally, probiotics can aid in the preservation of species diversity and even the population recovery of some beneficial microorganisms, such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, which lowers inflammation and supports a healthy intestinal barrier.

Dr Elisa Marroquin said "When participants take antibiotics, we see several consistent changes in some bacterial species. But when treatment was combined with probiotics, the majority of those changes were less pronounced and some changes were completely prevented.

"Considering the human data available up to this point, there does not seem to be a reason to withhold a prescription of probiotics when antibiotics are prescribed."

Experts advice taking probiotic along with antibiotic to reduce damage to gut microbiome

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