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Probiotic - Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions: Can I take friendly bacteria with antibiotics?

The use of beneficial bacteria, commonly known as 'probiotics’, to improve health dates back over a hundred years, but only in the last few decades have probiotics become very popular. They are now widely available and even used clinically to manage a variety of complaints. We answer some of the frequently asked questions on friendly bacteria.


Probiotics - Frequently asked questions

Q: Can’t I just eat yoghurt?

A: Yogurt is a great source of lactic acid producing beneficial bacteria, the most diverse being those that are fermented for a minimum of 8 hours.  Yogurt can be made from most milks but long fermentation yogurt can be hard to find and costs more than short term fermented commercial yogurts.  For those that require a therapeutic amount of beneficial bacteria, yogurt along may not suffice.  Plus it may pose a problem for those that are dairy or lactose intolerant.  There is also the risk that the commercial yogurt contains sugar, additives, preservatives and flavourings.


Q: When is the best time to take them?

A: Good probiotics are resistant to digestive acids and are able to reach the gut and exert their effects so there is no special time to take them. The best time is a time that is convenient and that you will remember, such as with breakfast each day, probiotics should be taken with food. 


Q: Are probiotics safe for children?

A: Probiotics can be used safely in children. It is best to use a children's probiotic and follow the dosage instructions for different age groups. 

Good bacteria are important for the development of a healthy immune system, and some research has shown that a daily probiotic may help reduce risk of infection.



Q: Can I use them with antibiotics?

A: Antibiotics can remove harmful and good gut bacteria. Several studies suggest probiotics can be used with antibiotics and may help prevent the side effect of these medications on your good gut bacteria. The probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii is not affected at all by antibiotics and is a good choice.


Q: What can I expect when taking a probiotic?

A: Probiotics can take some time to work so we recommend trying a product daily for at least four weeks to see if it works for you. Sometimes people notice minor changes in bowel habits over the first few days but this typically subsides as your digestive system finds its balance. Probiotics are safe to take indefinitely.


Q: Can I take probiotics while pregnant?

A: Probiotics can be used safely while pregnant, and some studies suggest they may have benefits for mother and baby.


Q: Do probiotics interfere with medication?

A: Although it is considered that probiotics do not affect medication except for immunosuppressant medication.  In any care, it is necessary to make your GP aware of any food supplements that you are using while prescribed medication. 


The information contained in this blog is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking prescribed medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.


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