Probiotics could help in the fight against antibiotic resistance, a new study suggests.
Researchers from the USA The United Kingdom, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands reviewed 12 studies on the health outcomes of infants and children who received a daily probiotic supplement.
The lead author of the United States, Daniel Merenstein of George Washington University, admits they were somewhat surprised by "how strong were the findings" that showed that those taking probiotics did not need as many antibiotics.
The study is one of the first to investigate this connection, but Dr. Merenstein and his colleagues at Cambridge and Utrecht insist that it offers interesting insights as the medical community struggles to reduce antibiotic resistance.
Researchers from the USA The United Kingdom, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands reviewed 12 studies on the health outcomes of infants and children who received a daily probiotic supplement. They were "surprised" by the results
Antibiotic resistance is widely recognized as the most critical problem facing modern medicine.
The excessive use of these drugs has allowed dangerous viruses and insects to become familiar with their defense mechanisms.
Increasingly, mistakes become smarter, adapt and mutate in ways that are difficult to override with combinations of antibiotics.
Dr. Merenstein, director of the family medicine research division, has been studying antibiotic resistance for years, studying prevention strategies and trying to discover alternatives.
In recent years, during tests and panels, probiotics have entered their sphere.
"One thing they always ask me is:" Should healthy people take probiotics? "So we invited different people from all over the world to have this discussion to see the data, we thought that this was the first good [area] to look, because of antibiotic resistance. "
Probiotics are living bacteria, microorganisms that are found throughout the human body and in other things, such as fermented food products. Although probiotics are not a recent phenomenon, the twentieth-century Russian zoologist Elie Metchnikoff is recognized as the first to suggest that they could benefit human health in 1907.
A century goes by, and it is difficult to walk through a pharmacy or supermarket without seeing piles of milk, yogurt drinks and bottles of tablets marketed as "full of probiotics."
Increasingly, we are told that we should consume them as much as possible, in part because of the recent boom in gut microbiota research.
The research is still in its early stages, but scientists are realizing that the individual composition of each person's intestinal bacteria can affect everything from their sleep patterns to brain health (and is key to Dr. Merenstein's study. ) immunity.
"Obviously, resistance to antibiotics is a big problem," Dr. Merenstein told DailyMail.com when the study was published Friday in the European Journal of Public Health.
"We've seen results like this before, how probiotics decrease gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases, but I was interested in seeing how it affected [antibiotic resistance]. & # 39;
The results were clear, even more than what Dr. Merenstein and his colleagues expected.
By collecting data from 12 studies, they found that infants and children were 29 percent less likely to have been prescribed antibiotics if they were already taking a daily dose of probiotic supplements.
Then they reduced the quota, to include only the most rigorous studies. In that selection, the correlation was even stronger: children were 53 percent less likely to need antibiotics if they took probiotics.
Dr. Merenstein cautions that this is simply the first study to show such a connection, and more studies are needed.
And when it comes to probiotics, as most in the field agree, this is still an imperfect solution. The goal with all areas of medicine is that it must be individualized.
A group of Israeli researchers, who are pioneers in much of the gut health research at this time, have published two acclaimed studies that show that our approach to administering probiotics is flawed: each person's bacterial composition is different, What a general cocktail of bacteria can work for some but not for others.
Dr. Merenstein agrees, but says that the reality is "we are still a long way" from having a technique to map each person's microbiome and unite it with their ideal probiotics.
"For the diet, for the exercise, for the drugs, we believe that everything must be individualized, but apart from something like drugs for cancer, it is not yet possible," he said.
"We can not be very specific yet." If someone asks "what probiotic should I take?" We do not have the answer to that. Should it be a strain or multiple strains? We do not know. So, until we're there, we have to say that, based on these data, a general approach seems to work. "