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  • Adriano dos Santos

What does Antibiotics with your Microbiome? Part 1

Have you been in a position where you had to take antiobitcs? I'm sure that if you have, it wasn't a pleasant experience. For the infection that led you to take antibiotics in the first place and also for the side effects of the treatment afterwards.

Even though leading a healthy lifestyle, I was caught surprisedly by a bladder infection during my holiday in Brazil three weeks ago. I got immediately a treatment with Ciprofloxacin which is a broad spectrum antibiotics. The infection was treated very fast and I had two weeks of treatment.

Knowing that antibiotics can also have also long-lasting effects on our system, I have been researching what sort of impact it had in my gut and body. I had taken some lab tests before the infection coincidentally and straight after the treatment. In 7 days time, I will have all the results and I will publish here how the impact was.

For example at Stanford university, researchers screened more than 900,000 genetic samples from the stool of healthy men and women who took the antibiotic ciprofloxacin. They found that most of the gut microbiome returned to normal after four weeks, but that the numbers of some bacteria still remained depressed six months later (1) . In a longer, larger follow-up study (2), they concluded, “Antibiotic perturbation may cause a shift to an alternative stable state, the full consequences of which remain unknown.”

In an example of a potentially beneficial effect of altering the gut microbiome, evidence suggests that antibiotics can suppress the formation of a molecule in the gut (3) that increases the risk for heart disease.

The National Institutes of Health Human Microbiome Project is using advanced genetic techniques to sequence all the genetic material of the gut microbiome. As newer data becomes available (4), a nuanced understanding is emerging: Antibiotics may exert both beneficial and harmful effects on the gut microbiome.

Nevertheless I am interested to check how this antibiotics has impacted in my microbiome and how well I will restore it with my nutrition and supplements approach. You'll follow here how it will go.


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