Recent Study Reveals Antibiotics Weaken Body’s Immune System:
A Microbiome-Related Problem

By Ross Pelton, RPh, PhD, CCN


A recent study conducted at the University of Virginia School of Medicine confirms what science and enlightened healthcare professionals having been stressing for years, that taking antibiotics can actually can make you sick and should be avoided whenever possible. This can be accomplished by taking steps to boost your immune system and maintain a healthy microbiome so you are less likely to succumb to infections and thus can avoid antibiotics altogether.

The study published on August 17, 2017 in “PLOS Pathogens” science journal reported that antibiotics have been found to actually weaken the body’s ability to fight off disease. The researchers discovered that the immune system’s weakening is due to disruption of the microbiome in the intestines, which led to impaired defensive responses by the body’s neutrophil cells.

Let me explain to you why this happens. Neutrophils are an important class of white blood cells that play an important part in our immune system. They circulate in the bloodstream, and when they are signaled that an infection is present, they are the first cells to migrate to the infected site and begin destroying the invading pathogens. This study discovered that antibiotic use actually made neutrophils less effective at fighting infections as well as weakened the intestinal barrier’s ability to guard off invading bugs.

This research was conducted to gain a better understanding of the role gut microbes play in Amebic Colitis, a parasitic infection common in developing countries and a frequent cause of death, especially among young children. The researchers analyzed stool samples collected from children in the urban slums of Bangladesh, and found that children with the most severe infections had less diversity in their gut microbiome. Antibiotic use is widespread in low- and middle-income countries and the researchers noted that children often receive more than two-dozen courses of antibiotics by age 2.

Lead researcher Koki Watanabe, Ph.D., stated the following:

“Neutrophils play an important role as a first-line ‘innate immune response’ when foreign pathogens invade. We found that antibiotic disruption of the natural microbes in the gut prevented this from happening properly, leaving the gut susceptible to severe infection.”

In addition to reducing the effectiveness of neutrophils, the study revealed that antibiotic disruption of the microbiome also damaged the lining of the intestinal wall, which is normally a key protector against invasion of pathogens. Thus, use of antibiotics can actually increase the risk of developing intestinal permeability or leaky gut.

This is why I am always encouraging people to take proactive steps to boost their immune system and maintain a healthy microbiome, which will in turn lower their susceptibility to infection. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are the finest probiotics available to assist in creating and maintaining a healthy microbiome and thus a healthy immune system. Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics are a fermented food product that delivers probiotics along with prebiotic foods and most importantly, a multitude of postbiotic metabolites.

Postbiotic metabolites are the compounds that your probiotic bacteria produce during the process of digesting/fermenting the food you consume. The reason probiotic bacteria are so crucial is because they produce a multitude of compounds that regulate a vast array of functions in the body that in turn, help control your health. These are the compounds that regulate digestion, assist in the absorption of nutrients, reduce inflammation, maintain the optimal acid/base balance, regulate your immune system, help with detoxification, engage in gut-brain communication, and much, much more.

There’s an old saying I’m sure most of you have heard, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” I like to alter that phrase to say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a TON of cure.”

Scientific studies emanating from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) have revealed that a healthy microbiome is one of the most important aspects of maintaining good health. Taking Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics regularly is an important proactive step for the maintenance of a healthy microbiome.

Most commercial probiotics just deliver freeze-dried bacteria in a capsule or tablet. Those bacteria are like a “starter culture.” They haven’t done any work yet whereas the bacteria in Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics have been “working” for 3 – years creating the important postbiotics found in the Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotic products.

The postbiotic metabolites in each capsule are really the most important part of Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics, not the bacteria themselves. It is the postbiotic metabolites that really accelerate improvement in the intestinal tract of people who are suffering from gastrointestinal distress symptoms.