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Never Take an Antibiotic Without Eating This, New Study Says

As virus season ramps up, medical researchers found one way to keep your gut in balance—even on medication.

Here's hoping you won't get sick this season… but if you do, and if it calls for an antibiotic, science has a new suggestion for you. When you take that prescription, there's one particular snack that can help protect you against an uncomfortable side effect from your medication.

In certain cases, antibiotic usage can throw off the balance of microbiota that live in the digestive system. At times, this can lead to gastrointestinal upset—specifically, diarrhea.

RELATED: The One Vitamin Doctors Are Urging Everyone To Take Right Now

Aware of this, a group of doctors and nutrition researchers recently teamed up from institutions like Georgetown University, Penn State, the University of Maryland, and New York City's Albert Einstein College of Medicine. For a new study they've published in the journal Nutrients, the team sought to determine whether food that contained probiotics could help maintain healthy levels of gut microbiota.

To kick it off, for 30 days leading up to the study participants abstained from consuming any probiotics. Then, the researchers administered a seven-day course of the antibiotic amoxicillin (875 grams, taken twice each day).

Beginning on day one of amoxicillin administration, participants were divided into two yogurt-eating groups: One group that ate a "control" yogurt, and the other that ate yogurt which had been supplemented with Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis—which one 2014 study referred to as "the world's most documented probiotic Bifidobacterium."

yogurt
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Indeed, the researchers report, the probiotic-supplemented yogurt was associated with a more stable profile of the microbiota over time than the control group experienced.

The team also documented the quantity of small-chain fatty acids—metabolites that are essential to metabolism, immunity, and endocrine function—that appeared in the participants' stool. The scientists reported that the probiotic yogurt-eating group saw "a significantly smaller decrease in the fecal [small-chain fatty acid] levels." This provided more evidence that the probiotic yogurt helped maintain balance in the gut microbiota.

So, in addition to your Vitamin D, a yogurt with a probiotic or two (and, may we suggest, no artificial flavors or added sugar) could end up being a healthy addition to your grocery list this fall.

If you're a yogurt fan, you don't want to miss One Surprising Effect of Eating Yogurt, according to another super-compelling recent study. (Hint: Science has found yogurt may help you live longer!)

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more
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