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Dr. Corinne: The Lowdown on Probiotics and How to Take Them Properly if You're on Antibiotics

Dr. Corinne Weaver : Sep 6, 2019

Did you know that taking antibiotics for only one week can change the makeup of your gut microbiota for up to a year?

airliftAs a child, I had to take multiple antibiotics because of reoccurring sinus infections that led to decreased breathing. No one knew about probiotics then. Of course, every health seminar I go to now, probiotics are always mentioned. Those little single cell organisms can be good or bad for us. (Image: Unsplash-Sharon McCutcheon)

Although probiotics have a variety of effects on the body and can affect different people differently, these are some of the common ways that probiotics work:

-By maintaining a more desirable and balanced community of microorganisms

-By stabilizing the digestive tract's barriers against undesirable microorganisms or produce substances that inhibit their growth

-Outcompeting undesirable microorganisms

In generally healthy individuals, probiotics have a good safety record, and side effects, if they occur at all, usually consist of mild digestive symptoms.

However, if you have an underlying medical problem, have recently had surgery, or have a weakened immune system, you should check with your health practitioner before beginning a probiotic regimen.

A large meta-analysis (review) of 35 studies found that certain strains of probiotics can reduce the duration of infectious diarrhea by an average of 25 hours.

It was also found that probiotics reduced the risk of travelers' diarrhea by 8%, and lowered the risk of diarrhea from other causes by 57% in children and 26% in adults.

An increasing number of studies link gut health to mood and mental health. Both human and animal studies have shown that probiotic supplements can improve mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and more.

Some research has found that certain probiotic strains may reduce the severity of eczema in children and infants. One study even found that the children of women who took probiotics during pregnancy had an 83% lower risk of developing eczema in the first two years of life. Because probiotics can inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, it may also help give your immune system a boost.

An extensive review found that taking probiotics reduces the likelihood and duration of respiratory infections. Another found that children taking Lactobacillus GG reduced the frequency and severity of respiratory infections by 17 percent.

Probiotics and weight loss

Taking probiotics might help with weight loss through a number of different mechanisms:

-Some probiotics prevent the absorption of dietary fat in the intestine, excreting it through feces rather than stored in the body.

-Some can help you feel fuller longer, resulting in more calories burned and less fat stored.

In one study, dieting women who took Lactobacillus rhamnosus for three months lost 50% more weight than women who didn't take a probiotic. Another study of over 200 people found that taking even low doses of Lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks resulted in an 8.5% reduction of belly fat. Take note that not all probiotics aid in weight loss. Some studies found that certain probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, can even lead to weight gain.

Edible probiotics

  • Kombucha-- These days, kombucha is everywhere. This popular drink is made from black or green tea that's been fermented by a friendly colony of bacteria and yeast.
  • Yogurt -- Yogurt is one of the best forms of probiotics, as the process of making yogurt consists of fermenting milk with friendly bacteria. When choosing a yogurt, look for those long greek names of live cultures listed as ingredients. Also, make sure to choose a yogurt that's low in sugar.
  • Kefir -- Closely related to yogurt is kefir; a fermented probiotic drink that contains both friendly bacteria and yeast. Better yet, if you're lactose intolerant, you can probably still handle Keifer, so give it a try! (Fun fact: the word kefir allegedly comes from the Turkish word keyif, which means "feeling good" after eating.)
  • Sauerkraut -- Fermented cabbage has been eaten for centuries all over the world, and for good reason - both sauerkraut and kimchi can bring tons of health benefits! Sauerkraut, a European staple, is a probiotic rich in fiber as well as vitamins C, B, and K. Additionally, it contains iron, manganese, and antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Kimchi-- Kimchi, sauerkraut's cousin from the East, is a spicy Korean side dish/condiment. It's made with a mix of seasonings such as red chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, scallion, and salt. It contains the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus kimchi, as well as other lactic acid bacteria that can benefit digestive health.
  • Miso -- You're likely familiar with miso soup, but did you know that it contains probiotics, protein, and fiber as well as vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds such as vitamin K, manganese, and copper? In Japan, miso soup is typically consumed at breakfast time. To incorporate some into your diet, buy as a paste and create a broth to sip.


We've touched on probiotics now, but have you ever heard of prebiotics?

The most straightforward way to describe prebiotics is as fiber. However, a more accurate description is that they're a non-digestive fiber meaning it isn't broken down by the gut. Instead, it passes to the colon where it is fermented to feed gut microflora. In other words, prebiotics are a food source for beneficial bacteria that probiotics bring to the table, and can help them survive and thrive in the gut microbiome.

Final word on antibiotics: a blessing and a curse

You've likely been prescribed antibiotics to treat bacterial infections like strep throat or an open wound. While antibiotics play an essential role in treating severe diseases, they can also come with adverse side effects. Antibiotics kill ALL of the bacteria in your body- beneficial and harmful. This includes the microbes that are helping your body operate.

How? Because in addition to killing disease-causing bacteria, antibiotics can destroy healthy bacteria too, which drastically affect the amounts and types of bacteria. In fact, only one week of antibiotics can change the makeup of the gut microbiota for up to a year. I remember being shocked the first time I heard this.

It is so important to take a probiotic during and after an antibiotic dose to help restore some healthy bacteria that have been destroyed.

Just remember that probiotics are bacteria too, so they can be killed by antibiotics if taken together, therefore, take antibiotics and probiotics a few hours apart.

Everyone's gut microbiome is unique, which means that some of the effects that probiotics have on one person may not present the same way in another.

Based on the balance of bacteria in your gut, you might react differently to foods like kimchi and kombucha. You may not feel results after your first bottle of probiotics.

airliftKeep in mind that most of what I share today are not steadfast rules that apply to every person. Your journey to better health and a more balanced gut is personal to you. When you decide to pick out a probiotic, picking the right one can make a world of difference. Metagenics makes some wonderful probiotics I have used over the years to help restore patients' gut flora. Here is some more info and if you use the code cweaver you can apply sept100 for 20% off a hundred-dollar order. 

My mission is to help you get healthier without needing more medications. Join here to get my FREE ebook  and join the INNER Circle if you want accountability to take action for your health.

By joining this circle, you have the unique opportunity to ask questions and share personal experiences while engaging with like-minded individuals and gaining the support of health professionals who are experts in health and wellness.

I am looking forward to Showing Up more in your life and Serving you Better!! Don't forget to Listen to the No More Meds Podcast and join the No More Meds Movement with me. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here


Harvard Health Publishing 


Mind Body Green

Gilsoul Health




Keep Breathing,
Dr. Corinne Weaver 


Dr. Corinne Weaver is a compassionate upper cervical chiropractor, educator, motivational speaker, mother of three, and internationally bestselling author. In 2004, she founded the Upper Cervical Wellness Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Over the last 13 years, she has helped thousands of clients restore their brain to-body function. When she was 10 years old, she lost her own health as the result of a bike accident that led to having asthma and allergy issues that she thought she would always have to endure. Then, after her first upper cervical adjustment at age 21, her health began to improve thanks to upper cervical care and natural herbal remedies. This enabled her to create a drug-free wellness lifestyle for herself and her family, and she also enthusiastically discovered her calling to help children heal naturally.

Dr. Weaver was named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Top Doctors" in 2016 and is now a number-one internationally bestselling author to two books: Learning How to Breathe and No More Meds. 

Upper Cervical Wellness Center is known for finding the root cause of health concerns through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, nutraceutical supplementation, and correction of subluxation (as opposed to just medicating the symptoms). The practice offers cutting-edge technological care at its state-of-the-art facility, including laser-aligned upper cervical X-rays, bioimpedance analysis (measures body composition), digital thermography (locates thermal abnormalities characterized by skin inflammation), and complete nutritional blood analysis, which is focused on disease prevention.

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