Taking antibiotics for the flu or other viral infections not only won't help you it may actually do you harm.When antibiotics are taken, they kill the beneficial bacteria living in the intestines. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences* found that these "good" microbes may also help fend off viral infections and play a key role in boosting the effectiveness of the body's immune response.
In the study, mice treated with antibiotics had an impaired ability to produce an important flu-fighting molecule produced by the intestines. One of the functions of intestinal bacteria is to constantly prepare the gut to produce this molecule.
While the research team has not identified the bacteria responsible for the immune response, they suspect that effect is caused by Lactobacillus species residing in the gut. After antibiotics, the populations of these bacteria were significantly lower in the mice's guts.
The scientists also discovered that the effects aren't just limited to the gut. Antibiotic-cleansing of the colon bacteria also affected the immune system response in organs as far away as the lungs.
Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria bifidum are two of the most well-known probiotics found in the digestive tract. They can be taken in supplement form (including in Immunity Support and Digestion Support) to help re-populate those strains of good bacteria.
Dr. Reginald B. Cherry (drcherry.org) is a member of the American Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, Harris County Medical Society, and the American College of Preventive Medicine. Dr. Cherry has authored numerous articles on Preventive Medicine, emphasizing nutrition and exercise. He also speaks extensively on these topics nationwide and conducts numerous seminars for various groups and organizations. Currently, his weekly television program reaches 80 million homes. www.thepathwaytohealing.com Christian Post