Does diet alter the effectiveness or side-effects of antibiotics?

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Offline thedoc

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Kevin Fitch asked the Naked Scientists:
I was wondering if there are times when diet is more important than other times. In particular I am on antibiotics for strep at the moment. The doc gave me the usual talk about killing both good and bad bacteria...

So was wondering, if I were to eat something like a Spinach-and-Yogurt diet for a week after the antibiotics, could I cultivate a beneficial gut ecosystem that would have longer term (months/years?) health benefits?

Basically, does decimating my gut microbiome give me an opportunity to recreate it better than before?

Kevin Fitch
Maryland, USA
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 15/04/2014 23:30:02 by _system »


Offline CliffordK

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There are many foods and interactions with various drugs.  If there is something specific about your antibiotics, your doctor should tell you what to avoid. 

For example, doxycycline is an antibiotic that interacts with milk, calcium, and mineral supplements. 

Alcohol interacts with a number of pain killers and sedatives including acetaminophen (Tylenol).  However, imbibing in extra Ethanol is considered a treatment for Methanol poisoning. 

Leafy Green Stuff (Vitamin K) interacts with Coumadin. 

As far as post antibiotic therapy, you may look for probiotics.  I think many people like yogurt.  Raw unpasturized???  However, there may be more probiotics to consider.

There have been experiments of a "fecal transplant" for the treatment of clostridium difficile which is supposed to remarkably improve the cure rate for that one particular organism.  Apparently there is current research on delivering the fecal bacteria in a gelatin pill form rather than going up the other direction.  Clostridium difficile is a specific gut bacteria, so that therapy wouldn't be required after say treating a toothache, although perhaps the future will bring better gut bacteria balance as part of many different therapies. 

Apparently a future study being considered might also be using fecal transplant as part of a treatment for VRE.