Antibiotics are one of the medications that we know consistently to work. Doctors will prescribe them, and then it feels like we can feel them working within hours. It's almost magical how that happens. But antibiotics also have some downsides: they can be used for too long, or incorrectly, which actually does more harm than good. This is especially true for things like oral infections. Researches believe that if used incorrectly, antibiotics can cause bacteria to become resistant to treatment and also destroy healthy gut flora.
According to a new study from Case Western Reserve University, the body's natural defenses are already very effective in fighting off oral infections and inflammation. The study, which was published by Frontiers in Microbiology, shows that antibiotics can damage immune cells and actually worsen oral infections. For the study, the researchers examined resident bacteria in the body, their production of white blood cells, and how the effect both of these things have in combating oral infections.
So, what did they discover? Antibiotics actually destroyed the good bacteria in the body, which depleted the production of SCFAs. SCFAs are short chain fatty acids, which along with the good bacteria, helps the body to create white blood cells. The antibiotics damaged the ability of white blood cells have to fight off fungal infections. Basically, the antibiotics can make it harder for the body's natural defense system to work properly, if at all. That means that the body will have more trouble protecting itself from harmful germs. When left alone, the body's natural defenses have no problem with protecting the us from illness.
More than anything else, the researchers want to make sure that doctors and those making prescriptions are only prescribing antibiotics when it is absolutely necessary. And since they can do damage to your body's natural defense and all important gut health, it's important to use them as prescribed. Meaning, even if you're feeling better after a couple days, if you have an eight day dosage, you need to take all eight days.
If you're prescribed antibiotics for any reason, it may also be a good idea to balance them out with some probiotics as well. This way, as the antibiotics are killing off and damaging cells and such, the probiotics will be restoring them and boosting them up. Your body will thank you.