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Probiotic May Help Reduce Negative Side Effects of Antibiotics

Taking antibiotics can dramatically change the amount and type of bacteria in the gut. These changes in the gut microflora can lead to antibiotic-associated diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal side effects. A recent study has found that a probiotic strain may help reduce the changes in the gut microbiota and reduction in short-chain fatty acids associated with antibiotic use.

Sixty-two adults between the ages of 18 and 65 participated in the study. Forty-two participants were given amoxicillin for 7 days and a yogurt containing 1 billion CFUs of the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 for 14 days. The other twenty were given amoxicillin for 7 days and a control for 14 days.

Gut microbiota composition and fecal levels of short-chain fatty acids were evaluated at baseline, day 7, day 14, day 21, and day 30.

Both groups saw a reduction in gut microbiota composition and short-chain fatty acid levels at day 7 in association with antibiotic use. However, the reduction was greater in the placebo group compared to the probiotic group. Participants in the probiotic group also saw a significantly smaller decrease in fecal short-chain fatty acid levels.

The study was conducted by researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. It was published online ahead of print on August 17, 2021, in the journal Nutrients.

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