Whether we like it or not, antibiotics are a part of our lives and our main line of defense against several diseases, including ones that were incurable and lethal just a few decades ago. No doubt – antibiotics play an important role in today’s society.
However, antibiotics are also known to have some very harmful effects.
While clearing our bodies from harmful bacteria and infections, antibiotics cause collateral damage by also killing the good bacteria in our guts.
Dysbiosis is not a disease. It is a microbiological condition caused by a disbalance of the intestinal microbiome. Still, it can lead to severe gastrointestinal tract diseases like gastritis, colitis, including its more severe form – ulcerative colitis.
According to The National Library of Medicine, small children are especially prone to dysbiosis. The intestinal microflora is formed and stabilized in the first years of life, while a child is born with a sterile gut and microbiota.
The child’s gut reaches the complexity of the microbiota of an adult by the age of 3 and is, therefore, more susceptible to the adverse effects of antibiotics.
Antibiotics should be used with extreme caution in children, and in such cases the intake of probiotics should be strongly encouraged.
Probiotics compensate for the damages of antibiotics
And, as we already know, the product that contains the most numerous strains of probiotic bacteria is unquestionably kefir. Kefir is rich in biotin, a coenzyme of vital importance for many essential cellular processes related to the metabolism and absorption of vitamins.
However, a necessary clarification about kefir has to be made:
Although kefir contains the highest number of probiotic bacteria, it still does not contain ALL bacteria that generally populate the guts. Additionally, as the probiotic bacteria of kefir tend to colonize the gastrointestinal tract, they may create a temporary disbalance in the guts’ microbiome.
That is why, besides the intake of kefir, it is a good idea after antibiotic treatment to stick to a diet as varied as possible, allowing the guts to be repopulated with the complete set of beneficial bacteria it needs.
But beyond that …
Kefir acts as a potent immune modulator.
For centuries, kefir has been renowned for its ability to act as an immune modulator. Undoubtedly, the live bacteria of kefir are one of the most potent probiotics, directly influencing and balancing our entire immune system.
By killing the “good bacteria” in our guts, the antibiotics also weaken our immune system. That is where kefir can be helpful with balancing the gut microbiome, thus restoring the normal functions of the immune system.
But here comes the most crucial part: Did you notice that we used the word “modulator” and not a word like “booster”?
Yes, kefir does not somehow “stimulate” or “rev up” our immune system, but it instead balances it and makes it adequate for the environment.
It is a modern trend recently to take drugs that stimulate the immune system, erroneously thinking that in this way it will better protect us from diseases.
However, this is not exactly how the immune system works. An overstimulated and hyperactive immune system may adversely affect our health because sometimes it may overreact and start to fight against our bodies. Such overreactions are the basis of the so-called autoimmune diseases that nowadays appear to be increasingly widespread.
That’s why kefir, and probiotics in general, are better than any drugs that may stimulate the immune system.
Instead of “boosting” or “stimulating” the immune system, probiotics tend to balance and harmonize it.
Kefir acts as a natural antimycotic
After antibiotic treatments, the human body becomes very prone to various types of mycosis. Antibiotics are known to mainly affect and discard bacteria, while fungi remain relatively unaffected. After antibiotic treatment, the human body runs a risk of fungal overgrowth resulting in various fungal infections.
Kefir then again comes to the rescue as a powerful antifungal agent. Kefir is an entirely natural antimycotic that attacks fungal infections while stabilizing the immune system. It is the ideal substance for restoring the normal balance of the intestinal microbiome, thus reducing the risk of both mycotic and bacterial infections.
Kefir helps with detoxification.
To do their job, antibiotics usually contain toxic substances that sometimes take time to be discarded from our bodies after the treatment. Kefir is, therefore, an indispensable tool for the detoxification of our bodies after antibiotic treatments.
Kefir stimulates and facilitates the disposal of these toxins. The results are visible after only a few intakes of kefir: swelling in the limbs and abdomen disappears, cholesterol decreases, blood sugar and blood pressure gets normalized, and you feel a surge of energy.
Kefir leads to rejuvenation.
The effect of a long-lasting treatment with antibiotics is usually quite visible: tired face, sagging skin, dry hair, or in other words – we look older.
Kefir contains many antioxidants that have a remarkable rejuvenating effect. Its potent antioxidant abilities drastically decrease cellular oxidation, which is why kefir is usually called “the elixir of youth“.
Kefir facilitates hormonal balance.
Kefir is also indispensable in hormonal imbalance because it normalizes the hormones that usually make us irritable, suffer from insomnia or depression, or have hair and skin problems – relatively frequent symptoms after long antibiotic treatments.
Is Kefir better than the probiotics offered in the pharmacies?
The short answer is: it depends!
Not all antibiotics are the same, and not all probiotics available in pharmacies in the form of pills are the same.
The probiotics you may find in pharmacies contain particular strains of bacterial cultures that may be beneficial for certain types of antibiotics but inefficient for others.
So, suppose the “commercial” probiotic has been prescribed by your medical doctor together with your specific antibiotic. In that case, it may be best suited for it, and its effect may even be better than the one of kefir.
Otherwise, the multitude of probiotic strains found in kefir makes it more polyvalent and thus a better option than any probiotic product you may find in pharmacies.