The conclusion of a team of American researchers recently chimed in with what many nutritionists like me have known for years through clinical experience:
Antibiotic exposure in the first year of life is associated with an increased risk of FA [Food Allergy] and may be a causal factor. Multiple courses confer a greater risk.
You don’t say? Although, yet again, it is nice to see the research bearing the theory out. The plain fact is that anyone who works in this food sensitivity field has seen an obvious link between destruction of the immensely important gut flora and the start or worsening of some kind of sensitivity, normally at this age seen as dermatitis, eczema and digestive issues. Although, you don’t just see that in infants: time and again, I have seen sensitivity start or worsen in adults after a course or two of antibiotics.
The moral of the story should be that we avoid use of antibiotics wherever possible – and they are STILL being given out like smarties according to recent warnings from officialdom apparently, leaving us all very vulnerable as we develop resistance.
If they ARE needed and nothing else will do, then protect and repair the gut by following the antibiotic use with a replenishment of the bowel flora that has just been knocked out.
See here for my overview of probiotics, what and how to use them. Here’s some of that information for you too as it relates to antibiotic use (ones noted are all at least wheat and dairy free):
Adult Maintenance Probiotics
For adults, the minimum level I normally prescribe for maintenance is about 5-10 billion per day. Anything that talks in millions by the way is usually a complete waste of time unless you take lots if it.
Adults: Probiotics For Gut problems and After Antibiotics
For treatment of a suspect gut, I would recommend a minimum of 20-30 billion per day. After antibiotics, I would normally recommend a month of high levels eg. the Plus product at 75billion 1 a day would be ideal here, or just take 2 of the Forte ones to give 60 billion.
Probiotics For Babies and Infants
For babies, Bifido Infantis is the right choice up to 6 months and then I like to recommend a combination of this and the banana or strawberry acidophilus powder up to a year. After antibiotics, I would recommend doubling the dose for at least 7 days.
Go here to read about probiotics for older children, in pregnancy, for leaky gut/behavioural problems etc. If, for some reason, your little one or you have already developed food sensitivities and can’t tolerate the FOS in probiotics, I have just written a list of suitable non-FOS probiotics in the truly gluten free supplement master list, which are all totally grain and dairy free too.
Good Quality Probiotics
Always take good quality probiotics. There are many on the market which are not worth the money you pay as they have generally not been manufactured or stored properly and are dead long before you open them. Particularly do not think that probiotic drinks are a good substitute for proper probiotics; they are not. Why would you want to give probiotics in a sugar and dairy-laden drink that contains very little of the right bacteria cells? Good marketing. Not so good for health, in my opinion, although I suppose some is better than none!
Always take probiotics on an empty tummy if you want to get the most from them. The stomach acid you produce at the time of eating will destroy some of what you take so to get as much as possible to seed your gut, it’s always best away from food. That said, sometimes people take them with food as it can help digestion. See whatever suits you.
Ok, hope that helps. Please don’t fall into the trap of using antibiotics and not protecting your gut from the loss of the good bacteria, especially if you want to avoid possible sensitivity problems later.
You can read the study abstract here: