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Antibiotics and probiotics


Tashanie
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[url]BBC News - Probiotics 'may help when on antibiotics' study says[/url]

If you need antibiotics - take the proboscis as well....

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Mountaineer
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Makes perfect sense...Surprised it has taken them so long to arrive at that conclusion.

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Tashanie
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Its been known for some time....years actually. This is the formal study as far as I am aware. Shares in Yakult anyone? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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CarolineN
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The Cochrane Collaboration reviews a selection of studies on a particular subject. In this case they " looked at data from 23 trials involving 4,213 patients who were on antibiotic treatment for a variety of reasons" to see if "taking probiotics [patients] had fewer unwanted side-effects than those on placebos, including stomach cramps, nausea and taste disturbances." which it did. They were particularly looking at avoiding C. difficile infections.

Studies in the early 1990s showed the same - so what's changed? Most doctors are still ignorant of it or if they do know fail to advise their patients to take probiotics - that is, effective ones that have been trialled. Yakult, Actimel, probiotic yoghurt, etc, are OK for maintenance but not really adequate for restoring damaged gut flora during and following antibiotic treatments, but a lot better than nothing.

I liken antibiotics to spraying off a beautiful garden with Roundup and expecting it to recover as it was - it doesn't! It needs careful nurturing back to health - diet-wise and probiotic-wise.

Thank you for posting Tashanie, to remind us.

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Tashanie
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The Cochrane Collaboration reviews a selection of studies on a particular subject. In this case they " looked at data from 23 trials involving 4,213 patients who were on antibiotic treatment for a variety of reasons" to see if "taking probiotics [patients] had fewer unwanted side-effects than those on placebos, including stomach cramps, nausea and taste disturbances." which it did. They were particularly looking at avoiding C. difficile infections.

Studies in the early 1990s showed the same - so what's changed? Most doctors are still ignorant of it or if they do know fail to advise their patients to take probiotics - that is, effective ones that have been trialled. Yakult, Actimel, probiotic yoghurt, etc, are OK for maintenance but not really adequate for restoring damaged gut flora during and following antibiotic treatments, but a lot better than nothing.

I liken antibiotics to spraying off a beautiful garden with Roundup and expecting it to recover as it was - it doesn't! It needs careful nurturing back to health - diet-wise and probiotic-wise.

Thank you for posting Tashanie, to remind us.

Well some doctors DO know because it was a doctor who mentioned it to me about 10 years ago. I hadn't seen anything about it!

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amy green
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Maybe slightly off topic but I wonder what others think/have found about NATURAL antibiotics. I have heard that garlic is a natural antibiotic. Has anyone used this instead of taking an antibiotic prescription? I'd be interested to know how effective (or not) it can be in treating what illnesses. Am guessing it might involve taking a garlic oil supplement (for a stronger dose).

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Tashanie
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Maybe slightly off topic but I wonder what others think/have found about NATURAL antibiotics. I have heard that garlic is a natural antibiotic. Has anyone used this instead of taking an antibiotic prescription? I'd be interested to know how effective (or not) it can be in treating what illnesses. Am guessing it might involve taking a garlic oil supplement (for a stronger dose).

Isn't penicillin 'natural' ? It was extracted (as so many herbal remedies are) from a natural product ....... ๐Ÿ™‚

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amy green
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Isn't penicillin 'natural' ? It was extracted (as so many herbal remedies are) from a natural product ....... ๐Ÿ™‚

Extracted = processed. I am allergic to penicillin.

Please don't tell me you support conventional antibiotics....there is such a long list of side effects and you surely know that we are developing an immunity to their effectiveness (largely due to them being over prescribed) that is raising worrying issues of superbugs!!!

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Energylz
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Extracted = processed.

Not strictly true.

Essential oils are extracted from plants, but that doesn't mean they're 'processed' they've just been seperated out from other parts, though you could also label any 'action' as being a process.

Processed, however, typically means it's undergone some alteration from it's original form, so if the penicillin was extracted from the natural place it's found and then combined and chemically altered in some way, then yes we would typically say that it's been processed.

Otherwise we could label most things as being processed. i.e. eating a garlic clove is something that's been processed as it's been extracted from the whole plant and the skin removed.

๐Ÿ™‚

All Love and Reiki Hugs

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amy green
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Not strictly true.

Essential oils are extracted from plants, but that doesn't mean they're 'processed' they've just been seperated out from other parts, though you could also label any 'action' as being a process.

Processed, however, typically means it's undergone some alteration from it's original form, so if the penicillin was extracted from the natural place it's found and then combined and chemically altered in some way, then yes we would typically say that it's been processed.

Otherwise we could label most things as being processed. i.e. eating a garlic clove is something that's been processed as it's been extracted from the whole plant and the skin removed.

๐Ÿ™‚

All Love and Reiki Hugs

Well, I feel you are splitting hairs here/nit picking and haven't addressed the main points raised concerning using antibiotics in my post above.

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CarolineN
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If you read Michael T Murray, Phyllis 's books you will see they say garlic is an excellent for all sorts (if you can tolerate it).

[url]Murray's book[/url] lists it as an antimicrobial agent (rather than an antibiotic which is more a pharmaceutical term); for immune enhancement; for cancer prevention; for beneficial cardiovascular effects; and antiinflammatory effects.

As an antimicrobial it affects many genera of bacteria, viruses, worms and fungi and includes Staph. aureus, alpha- and beta- haemolytic Strep., E. coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and mycobacteria while not destroying beneficial gut bacteria. Quite a range! It makes for very interesting reading in my view. He lists the trials in which garlic and garlic extracts have been used to compare with antibiotics in common use.

Murray does have a proviso on the quality of the supplements available saying each manufactureer claims to have the best product. If it says 'at the time of manufacture' it may be an unstable product. A clove of fresh garlic should supply the right daily amount though!.

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Tashanie
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Extracted = processed. I am allergic to penicillin.

Please don't tell me you support conventional antibiotics....there is such a long list of side effects and you surely know that we are developing an immunity to their effectiveness (largely due to them being over prescribed) that is raising worrying issues of superbugs!!!

I am alive only because of penicillin. It saved me when it was a new wonder drug back in the 1950's. And any way...I am a pharmacist. I know how much good antibiotics can do,

That doesn't mean I don;t agree that there is a lot we could and should all do to to improve our own health as naturally as possible. That doesn't mean I am happy with how much antibiotics are used - in fact I am very concerned that we are running out of effective antibiotics because they have been over used . I am probably more aware of that most people on here.

But when they are really needed - they are life savers

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amy green
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I am alive only because of penicillin. It saved me when it was a new wonder drug back in the 1950's. And any way...I am a pharmacist. I know how much good antibiotics can do,

That doesn't mean I don;t agree that there is a lot we could and should all do to to improve our own health as naturally as possible. That doesn't mean I am happy with how much antibiotics are used - in fact I am very concerned that we are running out of effective antibiotics because they have been over used . I am probably more aware of that most people on here.

But when they are really needed - they are life savers

Yes...the key phrase being "when they are really needed". As mentioned, they tend to be over prescribed but - from what I have heard (on TV and radio) it's largely due to GPs being pressurised into giving patients what they require!!

So penicillin saved you.....it almost killed me! I am allergic to it now.

Thanks for your post above on garlic. I know of the beneficial effects - was just wondering if it could be used (safely) as a substitute for prescribed antibiotics, i.e. if the dosage would be sufficiently high enough. You mention Murray which I will check out; I guess I was hoping for established knowledge, i.e. from more than one source/study. Thought someone on this forum might know the answer to that.

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Mountaineer
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Yes...the key phrase being "when they are really needed". As mentioned, they tend to be over prescribed but - from what I have heard (on TV and radio) it's largely due to GPs being pressurised into giving patients what they require!!

So penicillin saved you.....it almost killed me! I am allergic to it now.

Thanks for your post above on garlic. I know of the beneficial effects - was just wondering if it could be used (safely) as a substitute for prescribed antibiotics, i.e. if the dosage would be sufficiently high enough. You mention Murray which I will check out; I guess I was hoping for established knowledge, i.e. from more than one source/study. Thought someone on this forum might know the answer to that.

May I alert you to Higher Nature. They sell Olive Leaf Extract And Grapefruit Seed Extract, two natural 'antibiotics'. The latter they claim is their "all-time best seller".

They also do a good range of high potency probiotics.

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amy green
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Mountaineer....yes I know there are various food products out there having antibiotic properties.

My question was whether or not these could be safely used to replace taking a prescribed antibiotic, i.e. does their potency match that of the established drug? I guess my question is too technical but I kind of hoped someone here might well be practising such methods on clients. (I have no current need for this info - would just be useful to know).

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CarolineN
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Thanks for your post above on garlic. I know of the beneficial effects - was just wondering if it could be used (safely) as a substitute for prescribed antibiotics, i.e. if the dosage would be sufficiently high enough. You mention Murray which I will check out; I guess I was hoping for established knowledge, i.e. from more than one source/study. Thought someone on this forum might know the answer to that.

You do not say what you are interested in using it for. So no-one can offer a suitable suggestion. Were you looking to study the uses of garlic?

There are 58 references in Murray's book on the chapter for garlic - it would take me a while to copy them all. I quoted the bugs he mentions that garlic will deal with. Also that a clove of fresh garlic is a suitable dose, though you might like to take more if you can cope with smelly breath. I can also quote the chemical compounds involved in the beneficial effects, should that be helpful. As for contra-indications - it can cause irritation to the digestive tract, and some people have problems detoxifying allicin and the sulphur-containing compounds. Prolonged feeding of high quantities of raw garlic to rats induced anaemia, weight-loss and failure to grow. Side effects are said to be rare at the recommended dosages.

Balch says it has antibacterial effect of 1% of penicillin and was used to treat wounds and infection and prevent gangrene in WW1. She doesn't quote her source of information. She mentions it several times in her 775-page book.

Holford suggests 2-6 cloves daily to fight infections (p 294). But he also suggests immune-boosting herbs to help the body deal with infections (p 290). There is a whole chapter in his book on 'Fighting Infections Naturally', refrenced in the book that I hyperlinked below. He has many references to its beneficial effect in preventing cancer.

Paul Pitchford in Healing with Wholefoods mentions garlic many times plus a full page and a quarter on its healing properties p.546, but again not referenced.

If you are really wanting help may I suggest you consult a [url]Medical Herbalist[/url], a BANT-registered [url]Nutritional Therapist[/url] or . ๐Ÿ™‚ They will be able to assess the problem for the specific purpose and offer suitable options.

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amy green
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You do not say what you are interested in using it for. So no-one can offer a suitable suggestion. Were you looking to study the uses of garlic?

There are 58 references in Murray's book on the chapter for garlic - it would take me a while to copy them all. I quoted the bugs he mentions that garlic will deal with. Also that a clove of fresh garlic is a suitable dose, though you might like to take more if you can cope with smelly breath. I can also quote the chemical compounds involved in the beneficial effects, should that be helpful. As for contra-indications - it can cause irritation to the digestive tract, and some people have problems detoxifying allicin and the sulphur-containing compounds. Prolonged feeding of high quantities of raw garlic to rats induced anaemia, weight-loss and failure to grow. Side effects are said to be rare at the recommended dosages.

Balch says it has antibacterial effect of 1% of penicillin and was used to treat wounds and infection and prevent gangrene in WW1. She doesn't quote her source of information. She mentions it several times in her 775-page book.

Holford suggests 2-6 cloves daily to fight infections (p 294). But he also suggests immune-boosting herbs to help the body deal with infections (p 290). There is a whole chapter in his book on 'Fighting Infections Naturally', refrenced in the book that I hyperlinked below. He has many references to its beneficial effect in preventing cancer.

Paul Pitchford in Healing with Wholefoods mentions garlic many times plus a full page and a quarter on its healing properties p.546, but again not referenced.

If you are really wanting help may I suggest you consult a [url]Medical Herbalist[/url], a BANT-registered [url]Nutritional Therapist[/url] or . ๐Ÿ™‚ They will be able to assess the problem for the specific purpose and offer suitable options.

Thanks Caroline for taking the time to provide these details. Very kind of you and much appreciated.

I have a genetic lung disorder (involving bronchiectasis). I have been told that if/when my phlegm becomes contaminated with germs (changes from white to green) then I will have to go on antibiotics (probably indefinitely by the sound of it). I am 63. I have only just realised that this was probably my motive for my enquiry here.

If, as I suspect, garlic is not strong enough (you indicated here 1% as strong as penicillin) then that doesn't bode well. I will start my own enquiries, e.g. into garlic oil capsules and their strength although I don't really know how to compare it to the strength of a prescribed antibiotic.

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CarolineN
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Thanks Caroline for taking the time to provide these details. Very kind of you and much appreciated.

I have a genetic lung disorder (involving bronchiectasis). I have been told that if/when my phlegm becomes contaminated with germs (changes from white to green) then I will have to go on antibiotics (probably indefinitely by the sound of it). I am 63. I have only just realised that this was probably my motive for my enquiry here.

If, as I suspect, garlic is not strong enough (you indicated here 1% as strong as penicillin) then that doesn't bode well. I will start my own enquiries, e.g. into garlic oil capsules and their strength although I don't really know how to compare it to the strength of a prescribed antibiotic.

Ah then that makes the picture much clearer! :nature-smiley-008:
The way I would approach this is not comparing herbs/food with antibiotics but to look to boost your immune system. For that there is LOTS you can do! Garlic is only one of many options.

The medical model of 'knocking out bad bacteria' is only one approach. You need to ask why your body is struggling; what can you do to encourage it to fight off the 'baddies'; how can you support your body's immune system. For that I could write a book!

Have a read of any of the books I mentioned before, but more specifically Holford's [url]Boost your Immune System[/url] and Jean Carper's Food, [url]Your Miracle Medicine[/url]. And there is also Murray and Pizzorno's [url]Healing Foods[/url] (a used copy for 49p - I paid ยฃ22 for mine!!). I would look to use herbal and probiotic support too but that is advised in the books. I found the information invaluable. Also be aware that juicing of fruit and veg, over and above your normal 5-a-day intake, can be enormously beneficial, but it must be freshly done and consumed within half an hour or frozen immediately, [url]see here[/url]. You also need to make sure your stress levels are reduced - stress is an immune-function blocker.

Antibiotics are then just a backstop for when you are overwhelmed - but that should not be necessary really if you follow the dietary advice.

If you find it a bit confusing, which is quite possible, then do see a [url]Nutritional Therapist[/url].

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amy green
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Thanks Caroline. I hadn't thought of boosting my immune system. My knowledge of nutrition is pretty good so am clued up there.

I know exactly why I am struggling; as mentioned I have a genetic lung disorder - my lungs are permanently inflammed so there's nothing I can do about that condition apart from not exacerbating it. I realise acidic foods are linked with inflammatory tendencies, e.g. transfats,/highly saturated fats, processed meat, coffee and high GI foods. I have my weaknesses, e.g. coffee but eat fairly healthy overall.

Stress is a sticking point since I am a full time carer for my elderly mother; I have my methods with trying to prevent getting too stressed but it does not come with 100% success rate!

Again, thanks for your help Caroline. Will look further into what you have suggested.

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CarolineN
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Thanks Caroline. I hadn't thought of boosting my immune system. My knowledge of nutrition is pretty good so am clued up there.

I know exactly why I am struggling; as mentioned I have a genetic lung disorder - my lungs are permanently inflammed so there's nothing I can do about that condition apart from not exacerbating it. I realise acidic foods are linked with inflammatory tendencies, e.g. transfats,/highly saturated fats, processed meat, coffee and high GI foods. I have my weaknesses, e.g. coffee but eat fairly healthy overall.

Stress is a sticking point since I am a full time carer for my elderly mother; I have my methods with trying to prevent getting too stressed but it does not come with 100% success rate!

Again, thanks for your help Caroline. Will look further into what you have suggested.

Hi Amy

The belief that a genetic disorder is causing inflammation is being questioned in naturopathic and Functional Medicine circles. And yes, an alkaline diet would probably be helpful for you.

The potential for inflammation is definitely there, yes, but how the body and mind copes and deals with that potential may be another matter. The ability for vitamin C and many foods to reduce that possibility is there too. So don't feel that inflammation is inevtiable - it is possible to modulate it.

The advent of antibiotics as the panacea for all infectious illnesses has caused the vast majority to forget the basics - ie understanding the body's biochemistry and how to support its function - and along with the advent of so much processed food, has all but destroyed our knowledge of just how beneficial proper food can be. We are only just beginning to rediscover it all.

For example, when I started my nutrition course one of my projects was to study the benefits of cabbage. To my amazement, I found the Romans used it as a medicine, but nowadays chemists have identified the healing elements in cabbage (indoles, sulphorophanes, and glucosinolates for a start) and if you delve further it is possible to find all the amazing benefits of cabbage. Not an antibiotic as such, but it supports so much in the body by supplying nutrients that make our immune systems function better. Not only that, if made into sauerkraut, it has probiotic properties too. As I say, too much has been forgotten, not least by the medical profession as a whole.

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amy green
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Well the technical name for my condition is Kartegener's syndrome. It's an unusual genetic condition where my heart is on the other side (slightly to the right), deformed sinuses and co-starring bronchiectasis. My dad had TB when I was conceived.

Yes it's sad that we've lost touch with nature. I went through a stage of going to waste grounds, identifying wild plants and finding what uses there were for them, i.e. culinary, medical and cosmetic. It was fascinating. Of course herbalists know all this.

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CarolineN
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A lot to cope with, I'm sure :(, but in this it is vital to reduce the inflammatory load and keep the immune system fully on top! I remember nursing babies with this at one time.

I wish you all the very best in your quest to improve your health, Amy.

If I can be of any further help I'll do my best.

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