There’s one commonly prescribed antibiotic you should avoid whenever possible.
A new study finds it is far worse than other drugs in killing the beneficial gut bacteria that keep you healthy.1 And that’s not even the worst of it.
Yet despite the serious side effects, doctors continue to prescribe it in huge quantities.
This heavy-duty antibiotic is used to combat anthrax.2 But thousands of people take it for less serious conditions. These include sinus infections and traveler’s diarrhea (also known as Montezuma’s revenge).3
A new study looked at how three antibiotics affected the gut flora of adults.
And chances are you’ve taken it at least once in your lifetime…
This dangerous antibiotic is ciprofloxacin. Cipro for short.
It belongs to a family of drugs called fluoroquinolones. These destroy beneficial bacteria that produce butyrate. This compound protects your colon from inflammation and tumor development.5,6
But the damage goes beyond gut health. These antibiotics also carry a black box label warning about “serious nerve damage.”7
How serious? This side effect caused one Sarasota doctor so much pain, she could hardly leave her bed. That was after she took the drug to treat a bout of bronchitis. It took her a year to put her life back together.8
Cipro can also cause your Achilles tendon to rupture.9 This can occur even months after discontinuing the drug. The injury usually requires surgery. And even after treatment, you may never again walk normally.
So what should you do if your doctor wants to prescribe cipro to you—or any antibiotic for that matter?
Professor Zaura says, “Certainly we cannot live or survive without antibiotics . . . But there are situations when we should not use them, like when there are no evidence-based reasons.”
Accept antibiotics only when your doctor can confirm bacteria is the source of your sickness. There’s no point in taking them if you have a viral or fungal infection.
If you do need an antibiotic and your doctor recommends Cipro, ask if there is an alternative drug you can take instead.
Then, protect your gut microbiome by eating prebiotic and probiotic foods.
Probiotics are healthy bacteria living throughout your digestive tract. They help you digest foods and produce critical nutrients. You can boost the amount you have by eating these probiotic-rich foods:
- Kimchi (seasoned, fermented Chinese cabbage)
- Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
- Kombucha (fermented tea)
And prebiotics are foods that are fuel for probiotics. Examples are:
- Artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes
Take a probiotic supplement a few hours after each dose of antibiotics. And continue taking them for a year after your illness has passed. This will help rebuild healthy gut bacteria.
Research shows Lactobacillus strains and S. boulardii are some of the most beneficial bacteria for the gut.10,11 Find a supplement that has both. And be sure it delivers at least 10-15 billion CFUs a day.
In Good Health,
Publisher, INH Health Watch