Are 'Antibiotic Diets' Good Practice?
Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed medications in both outpatient and hospital settings. Global efforts at curbing antibiotic-resistant strains have prompted clinicians to pursue better stewardship, whereby they limit their prescribing of such medications to those who truly need them. Yet there's another possible means of addressing antibiotic resistance — using dietary interventions to reduce the gastrointestinal (GI) complaints that so often accompany the use of antibiotics: vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, bloating/indigestion, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. Far from being a mere nuisance, these complications can have major ramifications.
@abhilan Several of the researchers who were interviewed believe there's convincing evidence supporting probiotics for the treatment of common antibiotic-related GI complaints. In many instances, they were involved in the studies themselves. During McFarland's 4-decade career in probiotics research, she has participated in early animal studies with strains such as Saccharomyces boulardii and was involved in meta-analyses of their role in Clostridium difficile infection and associated diarrhea and even as a potential GI intervention for COVID-19 patients. In mouse model studies from 2013 and 2018, Cresci and colleagues showed that the probiotic strains Lactobacillus GG and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii reduced the structural gut changes that lead to antibiotic-associated diarrhea and minimized the risk of C difficile infection.