Friday’s Rant & Rave

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition

Yesterday at CP I was speaking to one of our high school athletes who had recently returned to lifting after some extended time off due to illness. This particular client has an auto-immune disease that tends to make his illnesses take a slightly larger toll on him. He mentioned to me that he had been on antibiotics for over 3 weeks now, and his sinus infection still persisted, so his doctor was prescribing him some new antibiotics for another month! By the end of that he will have taken antibiotics for 2 straight months without a break. Over prescription of medications is a huge pet peeve of mine, and I’m not saying he doesn’t need it, but…

He also mentioned how his digestive health has not been tip top as of late (you know what I mean) and I asked if his doctor had mentioned he should increase his yogurt consumption while taking his medication. He said that not only had the yogurt not been mentioned, nutrition and dietary intake wasn’t discussed at all! This boggles my mind. How can a physician prescribe antibiotics, for 2 straight months no less, which utterly destroy all intestinal flora, good or bad, and not mention nutrition!

Intestinal flora is of utmost importance to health as we know it contributes to digestion and absorption of nutrients, prevention of harmful pathogens like E. coli and salmonella taking root, and keeping the immune system in optimal condition. Having that be completely destroyed and not mentioning anything to the patient about what they can do to prevent that really lights a fire under me. Especially a patient who already has an immune deficiency! You don’t need to be a nutrition genius to tell patients to consume more yogurt (at least one per day, preferably two) when on antibiotics. It’s not a cure all, but it will certainly help to try and keep the pathogens from taking root in your intestinal tract.

I have encouraged him to up his yogurt intake, actual yogurt like Greek, not fake Americanized versions, that contain a lot of live and active cultures for that intestinal flora. I also pushed him towards the Friendship Digestive Health cottage cheese for more cultures and for the inulin to give those cultures some food to attempt to solidify their hold on the area. It’s not a perfect solution, but it at least gives him a fighting chance to have normal digestive health while on his antibiotics and I wish more docs would at least attempt to do the same.

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Posted on March 13th, 2009 by Brian St. Pierre

6 Comments

  1. Random Friday Thoughts: 3/20/09 | EricCressey.com Says:

    [...] 2. Speaking of antibiotics, Brian St. Pierre wrote a great blog recently about important dietary modifications for those who are on antibiotics.  It’s definitely worth reading; check it out HERE. [...]

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  3. The Slow Death of Artificial Sweeteners? : The Home of Brian St. Pierre Training Says:

    [...] Recently on the Precision Nutrition blog there was a review of some research on the potentially adverse health effects of consuming artificial sweeteners like Splenda. I am going to give an overview of the study and discussion and give my take, but if you would like a more in depth look strictly at the research, check it out here. I also recently blogged about antibiotics and their effects on intestinal flora, right here. [...]

  4. Rod Says:

    Brian,

    How about some good quality probiotics instead or in addition to the yoghurt?
    Saccharomyces Boulardi
    Lactobacillus GG
    Bifido Bac T powder

    I have really noticed how much stronger my immune system is after taking the above in combination a few times a year.

    Rod

  5. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Rod,

    I have absolutely no problem with the addition of probiotics to the diet. At the very least it won’t hurt, and should definitely help digestion and immunity.

  6. Duane Storey Says:

    Not all antibiotics destroy intestinal flora. The main culprits are in the class known as broad spectrum antibiotics, and yes, those are definitely over prescribed. In fact, I had a large dosage in a hospital years ago and ended up getting c. diff. as a result.

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