Antibiotics Gut Microbiome

One course of antibiotics can alter the gut microbiome for an entire year

According to a new study published just three days ago in the journal American Society for Microbiology, researchers demonstrated that a single course of antibiotics was strong enough to alter the gastrointestinal microbiome for up to one year.

There is a time and a place for antibiotics. They successfully fight infectious diseases and significantly reduce illness and death. However, many doctors still commonly over-prescribe these medications. In the US, antibiotic-resistant bacteria cause at least two million cases of disease and over 20,000 fatalities each year.

In this new study, the microbial diversity was severely affected for months after exposure in the healthy adults who were prescribed different antibiotics. Researchers specifically saw a decline in the abundance of butyrate-producing bacteria.

The microbial diversity in the stool was significantly reduced for up to 4 months in participants taking clindamycin and up to 12 months in those taking ciprofloxacin. Amoxicillin had no significant effect on microbiome diversity; however, it was associated with the greatest number of antibiotic-resistant genes.

If a patient is prescribed a course of antibiotics, it is crucial that they concurrently take Saccharomyces boulardii. This is a non-pathogenic yeast that protects the microbiome during antibiotic therapy. S. boulardii is one of my favorite gastrointestinal support supplements, as it is protective to the intestinal epithelial cells and helps maintain intestinal barrier function. It also increases SIgA secretion, directly inhibits colonization of harmful bacteria, and restores normal intestinal function in patients with diarrhea.

The growing levels of antibiotic resistance and the exit of major pharmaceutical companies from antibiotic development make phage therapy another great treatment option for the rising number of untreatable infections. Phages have an 80-90% success rate against bacteria likely to show antibiotic resistance, such as Escherichia coli.

Other choices of nutrition intervention that should be considered include silver and various botanical extracts and essential oils, all of which have a long history of antimicrobial properties while being relatively sparing to the beneficial bacteria.

Note: I send out at least 10 articles per year on Microbiomes and the Global Microbiome Initiative. I do this because treating the Human Microbiome is the “Medicine of the Future”.

Note: In my practice I use high quality Phage products; the world’s best Microbiome products, Mild Silver Protein NOT Colloidal Silver, and imported herbs and spices..

Note: I have had friends of patients but not my patients state they are on their sixth antibiotic for sinus infections.  I cringe to think the effect on their intestines. According to the new AMA guidelines, antibiotics are no longer recommended for sinus infections..

Note: If antibiotics are used it is imperative to use a high quality Probiotic such as MBM or HLC Intensive.  99% of the probiotics on the market are not effective. Antibiotics are taken away from a meal and probiotics with a meal.

For more information regarding this issue please contact me [email protected] or 619-231-1778

Intestinal Strep

Janice Haney Carr/CDC Public Health Image Library  NPR

Streptococcus bacteria, like this strain, can be found in our guts.

Most of the microbes in our guts appear to remain stable for years, perhaps even most of our lives, researchers reported Thursday.

An analysis of the bacteria in the digestive systems of 37 healthy women over a period of about five years found, for the most part, little variation over time, says molecular biologist of the Washington University School of Medicine, who led the research. As decades-long internal companions, Gordon says, many microbes “are in a position to shape our lives, to promote our health or, in certain circumstances, contribute to risk for disease.”

Scientists have known for a long time that we all carry around bacteria that help us digest our food. But they apparently do lots of other things for us too.

“These are cells that are important parts of ourselves,” Gordon says. “And they contribute to our health.”

There’s always been one big question about the microbes, he says: “Once these communities are formed, how long do they endure? What is the stability in healthy individuals?”

To try to get a sense of that, Gordon and his colleagues developed a new type of “gut check”: a genetic analysis Gordon calls “a bar code of life.” The technique involves repeatedly analyzing all the variations in a particular bacterial gene. Because each strain of bacteria carries a slightly different form of the gene, the forms act almost like name tags or “bar codes” that identify which strains are present.

The method is “a way of classifying organisms represented in an individual’s gut community in a moment of time and over time,” Gordon says

Being able to test gut microbes from time to time could eventually prove to be a useful part of a checkup, Gordon says. For example, in the current study, published in this week’s issue of the journal Science, Gordon and his team found that when several women lost weight, the makeup of their gut bacteria slightly shifted (though the scientists couldn’t tell which came first — the weight loss, or the bacterial shift).

“By looking at someone’s intestine we could pretty much tell how much weight they had lost or gained without having to put them on a scale,” says of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, who helped conduct the study.

Another intriguing finding was that people’s microbes seem to run in families — much as genes do. The researchers found more similarities in the gut microbes of related women — such as sisters, or a mother and her daughter — than among women who were not related.

“For everyone that we checked we were able to identify strains of bacteria that were shared between related individuals, which suggests that [they] had these microbes for a long time because many of these [relatives] lived far apart from each other now,” Faith says.

The finding corroborates earlier work suggesting that our microbial communities tend to form early in life, largely from microbes we get from our mothers and other close relatives when we are young.

“In the same way our genome defines who we are, one could say that the microbial populations that inhabit us define who we are,” says of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Because all the women in the study were healthy, the researchers did not examine what happens to our microbes when we do things like take antibiotics or probiotics. Stay tuned for future research.

NOTE:  New pathogens, some deadly, are appearing by the week.  The only way for us to survive is to maintain a strong immune system.  Because 87% of our immune system is located in the Intestines, it is of paramount importance to support and invigorate this integral part of our anatomy.

For more information please contact Dr. Princetta at [email protected] or calling 619-231-1778