Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
weather sponsored by


The Weather Network
Advanced Search
search sponsored by


LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE






home : columns : ask the doctors June 19, 2019

4/8/2019 8:19:00 AM
Trusting your gut on gut health

Dear Doctor: I read with interest your column about how sugar likely affects the gut, and I now have questions concerning antibiotic treatment. Are all gut bacteria eliminated? Can they be restored? Do probiotic supplements help the gut return to normal? I thought the body produces its own.

Dear Reader: In the same way that the discovery of penicillin launched a medical revolution in the late 1920s, the near-daily discoveries about the power and potential of the gut microbiome are now transforming our understanding of both health and disease.

The 10 trillion to 100 trillion microorganisms that each of us harbors in our digestive tract consist of more than a thousand species with more than 3 million genes. Not only do they play significant roles in digestion, synthesize vitamins and other nutrients, and coordinate with the immune system, research shows that our gut flora has a hand in regulating mood, weight, inflammation and certain disease processes.

So what happens to the gut microbiome after antibiotic treatment? Two well-regarded studies into the question, one performed in mice and one in healthy men, had similar answers. An outcome common to both studies was that, following antibiotic therapy, the numbers and diversity of the microbial communities were vastly reduced. The other was that once antibiotic therapy concluded, the gut microbiome began to quickly repopulate. However, in both the mouse and human studies, a comparison of pre- and post-therapy fecal samples revealed that the landscape of the new gut microbiomes had changed significantly.

The mouse study found that in addition to nearly eradicating the native microbes, antibiotic therapy reduced the metabolic rate of those that managed to survive. The antibiotics also caused certain changes to the environment of the gut itself. These two factors opened the door to repopulation of the mouse guts by new species, some of them potentially harmful.

The human study found that although the gut had repopulated the majority of its original species six months after antibiotic therapy, nine common beneficial bacteria failed to return. At the same time, several potentially harmful bacteria made an appearance. The takeaway is that while the gut microbiome in most healthy adults is resilient in the face of antibiotics, the breadth and diversity of our microscopic partners do take a hit.

One new area of research is the use of fecal transplants to both restore the original ecosystem of the gut and protect against colonization by undesirable species. This was done in a recent study in patients undergoing intense cancer treatment. Using fecal samples that were frozen and stored prior to their procedures, patients recovered a significant portion of their pre-treatment gut flora.

When it comes to countering the effects of antibiotics with probiotic supplements, though, the jury is still out. One study found that while probiotic supplements successfully colonized the gut, they also delayed the return of native flora. Until we have definitive answers, time and diet look like best approach for gut recovery. That means eating from a wide range of fermented, cultured and fiber-rich foods, and limiting sugar and red meat, all of which have been shown to contribute to gut health.

Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, is an internist and associate professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Elizabeth Ko, M.D., is an internist and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health. Send your questions to askthedoctors@mednet.ucla.edu, or write: Ask the Doctors, c/o UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations, 10880 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1450, Los Angeles, CA, 90024. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form


Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   











Trinity Dodge Fixed
Dr Paul The Dentist
NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact UsLife
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |
website@breezecourier.com

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved