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How Much Yogurt Should You Eat When Taking Antibiotics? 

 July 11, 2021

By  Diane Miles

Taking antibiotics is a necessary way to treat certain types of bacterial infections. Unfortunately, they can sometimes lead to side effects including diarrhea because it alters the healthy bacteria in the gut. Consuming yogurt is an effective antidote, but many people wonder how much yogurt you should eat when medicating with antibiotics.

Four ounces of yogurt with a minimum of 100 million live active cultures consumed twice daily, two hours before or after an antibiotic dose is effective in restoring healthy gut bacteria. Once you have finished the treatment course, double or triple the yogurt consumed for two weeks.

There’s more to understand when it comes to taking yogurt with antibiotics. Read on below to learn more.

How Much Yogurt Should I Eat When Taking Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are a strong medication that is used for treating and preventing certain kinds of bacterial infections. They work by preventing the spread and reproduction of bacteria in the human body. Some common ailments that require the use of antibiotics include sinus infections, the common cold, flu, ear infections, urinary tract infections, and sore throat.

However, while antibiotics can be effective in treating the bacterial infection, taking them can also change the quantity and type of the beneficial bacteria in the gut, disrupting the normal process of producing healthy bacteria. This is why the alterations in the gut microflora can sometimes cause side effects caused by antibiotics such as diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea while women can be susceptible to yeast infections. Changes in the gut microflora can occur in just one week of taking antibiotics.

The human body has both good and bad bacteria, and probiotics such as those in yogurt contain lots of good bacteria that help the body stay health and function properly. Having lots of healthy bacteria helps the body fend off the bad bacteria as well.

Probiotics are just part of the microbiomes that are found in the gut, particularly the large intestines. They are also found in other parts of the body such as the mouth, skin, lungs, urinary tract, and lungs. If you get sick, bad bacteria increases in the body, so consuming more good bacteria in the form of probiotic yogurt helps restore balance while supporting your immune system.

Other benefits of good bacteria include:

  • Aid in proper digestion
  • Absorb and metabolize medications
  • Reduce growth of bad bacteria
  • Support cells in the gut that prevent bad bacteria from making it to the blood

This is why fermented foods such as yogurt are a popular (and delicious!) way to help increase the healthy bacteria in the human body. Yogurt is essentially a fermented milk product, and there are many different kinds of yogurt available in the market. They range from low-fat fruit flavors to high-fat versions, and can be made from many different kinds of milk including cows’, goats’, buffalo’s milk and much more as well as non-dairy alternatives made from coconut, soy, almond, cashew, and others.

Yogurt And Food Consumption While On Antibiotics

If you’re wondering how much yogurt to eat with antibiotics, research has shown that four ounces of yogurt that contains at least 100 million live active cultures taken twice daily, two hours before or after antibiotics is the effective dose to help your gut restore its healthy bacteria. It’s important to eat yogurt a few hours apart from the antibiotics because the healthy bacteria can be killed off by the antibiotics if taken at the same time.

To continue ensuring the restoration of healthy gut bacteria, it’s recommended to double or triple the amount of yogurt for two weeks after the antibiotic treatment course has finished.

Generally speaking, it also helps to take most medications on a full stomach or with food. However, there are some types of antibiotics that are better absorbed by the body when taken on an empty stomach but follow the label if it indicates that you should take it with food. Doing so will help reduce the risk of gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea when taking it with food as mentioned, including some yogurt.

You can also avoid diarrhea by taking lots of water, especially drinks that contain electrolytes. Avoid coffee and alcohol if you are already experiencing stomach issues due to antibiotics since they can make these issues worse. Alcohol can also cause serious reactions if you combine it with antibiotics.

Storing Yogurt

Probiotic bacteria in yogurt and other fermented foods are extremely fragile and sensitive to temperature. If you are going to buy or make a large batch of yogurt to eat while on antibiotics, make sure that it’s always protected from heat, as well as humidity, light, and oxygen. Otherwise, the probiotics can break down and even die when they are exposed to these.

Always refrigerate your yogurt; this helps ensure that the probiotics are still alive when you consume them. Check the label of the yogurt so you can consume it before the expiration date.

Yogurt Safety

Since microbes already exist in the human body, probiotics are considered generally safe to eat even if you’re on antibiotics. However, taking them in the first few days may lead to some side effects such as flatulence, diarrhea, and stomach upset though these should go away.

Some people can also be allergic to yogurt, since it’s a cultured milk product. Milk allergies are common, and if you’re allergic you should be consuming other non-dairy yogurt alternatives such as those that are made from coconut milk.

Last but not least, speak to your doctor before taking yogurt with antibiotics if you already have a weak immune system (because of chemotherapy or other similar situations), recently have had surgery, or currently have critical illness.

Conclusion

If you would like to try yogurt with antibiotics, there should be no harm in doing so though it would be best to clear it with your doctor beforehand especially if you have existing illnesses. Yogurt is widely recommended by many healthcare providers as part of our daily diet because of its important benefits. Just keep in mind that not all yogurts are made the same way, and they can have varying effects on people.

Yogurt is generally safe and will not harm you. It’s considered one of the easiest ways to introduce probiotics to your diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best yogurt to eat when you are on antibiotics?

Look for yogurt with at least 100 million live active strains of bacteria, of which L. acidophilus is the most common. Other beneficial types of probiotic bacteria include B. bifidum, S. boulardii, and S. thermophilus. It also helps to look for the “Live & Active Cultures” seal, which is offered by the International Dairy Foods Association to certain yogurt brands and varieties that have at least 100 million cultures in each gram of yogurt.

In addition, it helps to consume yogurt with as little sugar as possible especially since you’ll be consuming more than the usual in order to help restore your gut bacteria. Plain and unflavored yogurt is always best, but do check the nutrition label. Store-bought yogurt typically has 10-15 grams of sugar in each cup, so anything less than this would be ideal.

There is also the option of making your own yogurt right at home, which allows you to have full control over the ingredients and flavor.

What brands of probiotic yogurt are best to eat on antibiotics?

There are many healthy yogurt varieties out there that are rich in probiotics that will repopulate your gut with healthy bacteria. Check out these examples which are available on Amazon: 

-   Wallaby Organic Aussie Greek Nonfat Yogurt
-   Dannon Activia Probiotic Yogurt
-   Yoplait Blueberry Fat Free Yogurt

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