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(DAY 43) Effect of Antibiotics on gut

· 2 min read
Gaurav Parashar

Microbes in our gut

The human body is a miracle! There are roughly 40 trillion bacteria in human body - roughly equal to the number of cells in our body. Some studies suggest a higher number but. Most of these stay in our gut and are called the gut microbiota.

This microbiota plays a crucial role in maintaining our immune and metabolic systems and protects us against pathogens. I did try to listen to Giulia Enders in her audiobook Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ talking about the importance of our gut in our overall health.

Similar to bacteria, fungi reside in our intestine and gut. These fungi change our immunological responses by dampening or promoting local inflammatory responses. The bacteria and fungi live together in the gut and they compete for nutrient sources present in our gut. Watch this short video - You are your microbes - to understand the role of microbes.

Effect of Antibiotics on gut

Antibiotics, as the name suggests. are medications that destroy or slow down the growth of microorganisms or bacteria. Antibiotics are prescribed commonly in India - eg. Azithromycin during the Covid19 waves, Augmentin during flu or fever.

A single course of antibiotics in adults causes change in both the bacterial and fungal microbiota and it is know to cause persistent changes in the fungal microbiota. Some microbial groups disappear, and the metabolic activity of others increases. This unbalance can lead to various health issues.

Probiotic foods

Yoghurt, buttermilk and raw cow milk are two good and easily available food options in India. Many cabbage based foods like Sauerkraut and Kimchi though not easily available in India are also good for your gut.