Probiotics Help Antibiotics

Dr. Benjaim Kligler recommends probiotics:

“With the level of evidence that probiotics work and the large safety margins for them, we see no good reason not to prescribe probiotics when prescribing antibiotics.”

Healthway Organic Food Store Bulletin May/June 2009
Reference: American Family Physician, 2008, Vol. 78, No. 9, 1073-8


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Dr. Benjamin Kligler, Vice Chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine, Beth Israel Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, believes that patients often know more about probiotics than do their doctors.  Antibiotics kill both band and good bacteria.  Probiotics are good bacteria that help maintain the natural balance in the gut and do not interfere with antibiotics, according to Dr. Kligler.


Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) are bacteria that infect and inflame the stomach lining which doctors now believe are the most common cause of stomach ulcers, and may cause stomach cancers.  In this probiotics study, 124 men and women, average age 48, with H. pylori infection, took daily doses of two antibiotics plus an ulcer drug, and the probiotic S. boulardii or a placebo for two weeks.  After six weeks, 71 percent of those who had taken probiotics had no H. pylori compared to 60 percent for placebo.  About half as many in the probiotics group had diarrhea compared to placebo.


In a related study, 90 young people, aged 3 to 18, with H. pylori who were taking a similar antibiotic/ulcer drug treatment took 250 mg of S. boulardii twice per day, or a placebo, for seven to 10 days.  After four to six weeks, 93 percent of those in the S. boulardii group had no H. pylori compared to 81 percent for placebo.  The placebo group reported four times the number of side effects compared to probiotics.


Dr. Kligler recommends probiotics with 5 billion colony-forming units (CU) per day for children and more than 10 billion CFU per day for adults.


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