Nature's Sunshine Products est. 1972
Nature's Sunshine Products est. 1972
Skip to content

Antibiotics vs Gut Microbiome

Antibiotics vs Gut Microbiome

 Antibiotics are a staple of modern medicine and save millions of lives every year, but they can be harming the healthy micoflora that our bodies reply on.

We know that the more diverse our gut bacteria population is, the better. But every course of antibiotics disrupts this population because antibiotics aren't targeted enough to only kill the pathogenic bacteria causing the infection. Instead, they go after all bacteria in our guts.

There's collateral impact - Think of a forest where you're trying to get rid of one weed infection; the way we deploy antibiotics is to bomb the forest, killing the good and the bad

When scientists have looked retrospectively at the microbiomes of people who have had an infection followed by a course of antibiotics, they've found that microbiome diversity largely recovers within a few months. But in some people, some good bacteria never show up again. , 

Scientists are now looking at antibiotics that are more targeted towards parts of the body, as well as ones that target specific bacteria, with the idea of only getting rid of the bacteria you want to get rid of, and leaving beneficial bacteria in the gut intact.

But the biggest tool currently at our disposal, says Anthony Buckley, associate professor in gut microbiology at the University of Leeds, is our diets. "Nutrition is one of the biggest drivers behind establishing the human microbiome," he says.

Consuming a variety of foods is usually associated with a higher variety of microbes in the gut, and fibre in particular seems to have a really positive impact," says Ines Moura, a research fellow at Leeds University's faculty of medicine and health, who is currently testing the effects of different nutrients on the gut microbiome and how they can reduce the negative effects of antibiotics.

Dietary fibre is particularly important because microbes in our body digest it and produce short chain fatty acids, which provide energy to the cells lining the colon, says Buckley. We know that including fibre into our diet is beneficial for bowel regularity, healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels and can help with achieving a healthy weight,  and we can also include a healthy gut microbiome. 

If you need a top up of this essential fibre Nature's Sunshine has some high quality options to help keep you in tip top shape - check these out  Everybody's Fiber, Psyllium Hulls (available in powder or capsules), Slippery Elm 

Previous article Rise of the Lymphomaniacs
Next article Stressed out?