Probiotics and Antibiotics: Timing Your Gut Health Recovery

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In this installment from my ‘Ask Me Anything’ series, which you can find on my social media channels, I delve into the topic of when to take probiotics when on antibiotics.

“I’m on a round of antibiotics for an infection, is it okay to take probiotics during the course or should I take it afterwards?”


It’s definitely a good idea to take probiotics after your course of antibiotics.

Antibiotics basically napalm your gut and indiscriminately kill all the bacteria hunkering down, good or bad. For most people, this leaves them in a state of dysbiosis due to an imbalance of the microbial community, which has widespread negative consequences for your health over the long-term.

When you are done with your antibiotics, consuming ample probiotics and prebiotic fibers (which feed the beneficial microbes and help them proliferate) is a smart move to get things back to a healthy and balanced state. Fermented foods are the best bet in this regard since they contain an array of Lactobacillus bacteria that love to colonize the gut and afford it many benefits.

Prebiotics include foods like garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, bananas, and oats. Resistant starches, especially in the form of cooked and cooled potatoes or rice, are another easy source. You can also take advantage of any “processed” foods that contain things like soluble corn fiber or use supplements like partially hydrolyzed guar gum.

As for the course of antibiotics itself, you can take probiotics during this time, but the benefits of doing so seem much more variable than afterwards since the antibiotic could just kill off the probiotics too. I’d make sure to consume any probiotics (from food or supplements) as far away from your antibiotic dose as you can.

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