Antibiotics can be life-saving drugs—but they also weaken our immune system and lower our defenses when we need to fight off infections.
The drugs interfere with ‘first-line’ immune cells—known as neutrophils—and they also weaken the intestinal barrier which stops invading bugs. As a result, we’re much more susceptible to ‘severe infection’, said Koji Watanabe from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
Watanabe and his research team wanted to understand the impact of antibiotics on amoebic colitis, a deadly parasitic infection that’s common in developing countries where children are routinely given more than two dozen antibiotic courses before they are two.
They analyzed stool samples from children living in the slum districts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and discovered that those with more severe infections also had less diversity in their gut microbiome.
Taking that observation further, they discovered in experiments on laboratory mice that antibiotics disrupted the mice’s microbiome and reduced the activity of the neutrophils which, in turn, stopped the white blood cells from functioning properly. The intestinal barrier was also compromised.
Don’t take antibiotics unless it’s absolutely necessary, say the researchers.
What Doctors Don’t Tell You
(Source: PLOS Pathogens, 2017; 13: e1006513)
Your number one line of defense for gut immunity is your stomach and gut germ. How can you build strong immunity for winter months if you are over prescribed with antibiotics? If these medications interfere with neutrophils, can we reverse that and stimulated them somehow? Yes. One of my favorite winter supplements that stimulate neutrophils and boost immunity is the Biotics Research IAG. Arabinogalactans which IAG is composed of has great immune stimulating properties and is also easy to get down children. Antibiotics are being over prescribed and are becoming stronger due to antibiotic resistance infections from being over prescribed. Are they the only thing that is affecting the diversity of good germ on your gut? No. Genetically engineered foods (GMO’s) are the new animal of today creating lot more gut problems then we have ever seen before. One of my favorite Functional Medicine testing for gut diversity of good germ on a patient’s gut is the Genova GI Effects.