HEALTH

Study: Antibiotic use may disrupt gut flora

BY Michael Johnsen

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Patients on a course of antibiotics may have disrupted gut flora for weeks after stopping the medication, according to a report in the June issue of Infection and Immunity.

It’s common knowledge that a protective array of bacteria can be found in our intestinal tracts. Antibiotics at least temporarily disturb that normal balance. But it’s unclear which antibiotics are the most disruptive, and if the full array of “good bacteria” return promptly or remain altered for some time.

In studies in mice, University of Michigan scientists last week determined for the first time that two different types of antibiotics can cause moderate to wide-ranging changes in the ranks of these helpful guardians in the gut. In the case of one of the antibiotics, the armada of “good bacteria” did not recover its former diversity even many weeks after a course of antibiotics was over.

The findings eventually could lead to better choices of antibiotics to minimize side effects of diarrhea, especially in vulnerable patients. They also could aid in understanding and treating inflammatory bowel disease, which affects an estimated 500,000 to 1 million people, and Clostridium difficile, a growing and serious infection problem for hospitals.

The study results suggested that unless medical research discovers how to protect or revitalize the gut microbial community, “we may be doing long-term damage,” suggested Vincent Young, assistant professor in the departments of internal medicine and microbiology and immunology at the U-M Medical School, and senior author of the study.

Mice, which normally develop a diverse set of microbes after being born without one, were then given either cefoperazone, a broad-spectrum cephalosporin antibiotic, or a combination of three antibiotics (amoxicillin, bismuth and metronidazole). The scientists then observed what changes in the gut microbiota occurred immediately after the antibiotics were stopped or six weeks following the end of treatment.

“Both antibiotic treatments caused significant changes in the gut microbial community. However, in the mice given cefoperazone, there was no recovery of normal diversity. In other mice given the amoxicillin-containing combination, the microbiota largely recovered, but not completely,” Young said.

Although cefaperazone is not commonly used in the United States, such related drugs as cefoxitin are, Young said. The study findings suggested that it is very important to use antibiotics only when indicated, especially in people with health problems that might already compromise their gut microbe health. Multiple rounds of antibiotics also may deserve concern.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
HEALTH

Health Enterprises awarded APMA Seal of Acceptance for two products

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. Health Enterprises has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for its Therapeutic Foot Massager and Tru-Ice Reusable Ice Therapy, the company announced Wednesday.

The APMA Seal of Acceptance Program was created to inform podiatric physicians and consumers about products whose quality, safety and effectiveness promote good foot health. In order to qualify for the Seal, products must pass a scientific evaluation by a panel of APMA members and testing at a recognized laboratory.

The Therapeutic Foot Massager helps relieve pain, reduce stress and relax tired feet with three easy-to-use massage options (massage with heat, massage with cold or basic massage). Tru-Ice provides cold therapy to help reduce swelling and relieve pain with an ergonomic, reusable design and patented liner system.

“Both the Therapeutic Foot Massager and Tru-Ice products have been medically proven to bring relief to individuals suffering from foot pain, using the latest technology in over-the-counter foot massage and cold therapy treatments,” stated Ronald Jensen, APMA president.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
HEALTH

Select Rite Aid stores to host Diabetes Solutions Days

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Select Rite Aid stores nationwide will host Diabetes Solutions Days on June 23 and 25, the chain announced Thursday. Consumers attending the events will be provided with diabetes-related health screenings and self-management solutions. The events include blood pressure screenings, personal pharmacist consultations and glucose meter selection and training. There also will be product coupons and samples of the latest products in at-home diabetes care, and visitors can enter a raffle at each location for a $50 Rite Aid gift card.

The free events and store locations are listed online based by zip code at www.riteaid.com; events run from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., do not require an appointment and are part of Rite Aid’s year-round focus helping diabetes patients take the best care of themselves, the chain stated.

“The key to effective diabetes management is to understand the condition’s symptoms and treatments,” stated Robert Thompson, Rite Aid SVP pharmacy. “On Diabetes Solutions Day, patients can consult with trained Rite Aid pharmacists on their diabetes symptoms and treatment regimens, as well as sample the latest techniques in at-home monitoring.”

A free 16-page Diabetes Guide, developed with the American Diabetes Association, will be available in all Rite Aid stores, and identifies the risk factors for pre-diabetes and diabetes. It includes information on weight management and diabetes-friendly recipes. The guide also provides advice and safe treatment options on such health conditions as gum disease, dry eyes and wound and foot care, all of which can be especially harmful to people with diabetes if left untreated.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?