Bacteria get a very bad rap, but actually you literally couldn’t live without them. There are many kinds living in and on us every day, as the Human Microbiome Project has recently discovered, but the best understood are the ones that live in your gut, help you digest food and absorb medicine, and keep your tummy happy in a very essential way.
You might have heard of probiotics? They are just bacteria that are known to be helpful for digestion, and they are packed by the billions into yoghurt and fermented drinks like Kombucha.
It turns out that Lactobacillus, a common strain, will reduce the chance of getting antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 42% according to a new review of 82 different studies published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).
The best part is you don’t need a prescription. Lactobacillus and usually a few other probiotic strains can be found in your average affordable cup of grocery-store yoghurt.
If you are not impressed know that people in hospitals all over America are. Antibiotics can be very problematic when it comes to causing certain kinds of intractable diarrhea.
But yet again medicine proves what the hippies already know. A healthy gut needs healthy, helpful bacteria in residence, whether it’s dealing with the daily grind of your diet, or the sudden impact of a disruptive antibiotic as it makes its way through your system in search of its prey, which could be something as un-intestinally domiciled as a skin infection or a UTI.
Full disclosure: No, I am not paid by Fage. It’s just the yoghurt my boyfriend and I have at home. But Fage, if you’re reading this, I’m open to talking about the possibility.