While antibiotics are crucial for killing harmful bacteria and protecting your overall health, they can often wreak havoc on your digestive system in the process, causing a number of side effects that could have you sprinting to the bathroom. However, recent academic work shows that yogurt, in addition to being delicious, could be the key to protecting your gut health from a bad reaction.
Why can antibiotics have such a negative effect on your digestive tract? While they do kill bad bacteria in your body, they also harm a lot of the helpful bacteria in your gut’s delicate microbiome, which can lead to stomach aches, diarrhea, and similarly debilitating symptoms. Because of these, many people who are prescribed antibiotics treatments will stop taking their medicines early, which can not only undo all of the work of those medications but also potentially even make an initial illness worse.
Due to this issue, scientists wanted to see which natural remedies could alleviate side effects like diarrhea without requiring people to take other drugs. In a new study published in the journal Nutrients, 62 participants took an antibiotic course of treatment for seven days. Forty-two of them received a probiotic yogurt fortified with a probiotic strain called Bifidobacterium animalis or BB-12, while another 20 participants got a placebo.
By the end of the study, people who received probiotic-filled yogurt had a more stable digestive tract and greater numbers of short-chain fatty acids, which are produced by “good” bacteria and symbolize strong gut health. This work also builds on previous research showing how crucial probiotics are for a functioning digestive system, and if that wasn’t enough, they may play a key role in your heart health, too.
Yogurt is a great addition to your diet even if you’re not on antibiotics, but it’s nice to know that a little parfait in the morning or a yogurt-infused smoothie for lunch could be a massive help if you’re suffering from antibiotics-related gut health issues. You deserve relief!