Taking a drug for any condition, especially for the long-term, may create problems — especially for your gut — if you don’t manage it properly.
It doesn’t matter whether that drug is prescribed by your physician or one you pick it up on your own at a pharmacy either.
Although antibiotics have been a known trigger for troublesome gut-related problems, reports have emerged more recently about issues with many more drugs and even over-the-counter (OTC) medications like heartburn drugs.
Still, many patients assume OTC drugs sold without a prescription, especially pain relievers, have no short- or long-term risks associated with taking them.
Even taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like a daily aspirin at a low dose can be a problem, contributing to an increased risk of stomach ulcers and bleeding in the gut.
And, the risks can grow when you’re taking other drugs at the same time, as we shared recently in our blog post about taking an antibiotic along with an NSAID pain reliever.
Probiotics to the rescue!
Luckily, there may be a probiotic solution to this problem, according to a recent study conducted by Irish scientists.
We know that Bifidobacteria is typically found in the guts of newborns, but the amount of those species tends to decline over time.
After good results with mice, researchers turned their attention to a trial with 75 healthy human subjects who were prescribed either a large dose of aspirin (300 mg) for six weeks and Bifidobacterium breve for eight weeks or just a daily aspirin and a placebo for that same time.
(Bifidobacterium breve is one of the 10 species of beneficial bacteria contained in like EndoMune Advanced Probiotic.)
During that period, scientists monitored the probiotic progress via minimally invasive video capsule endoscopy (VCE) procedures.
At the end of the study period, patients who took a probiotic scored lower for intestinal problems and ulcers compared to the placebo group.
What’s more, the use of a probiotic didn’t interfere with the main cardiovascular reasons people take a daily aspirin.
The take-home message
Taking a drug every day, no matter how beneficial it may be or benign you believe it is, comes with health risks.
Some of these issues may affect how your immune system operates naturally at its primary source — the human gut — that helps to protect you from disease.
We’re also seeing growing evidence of how beneficial bacteria from the EndoMune family may relieve some of the common problems associated with aspirin too.