Antibiotic use can effectively guard you against bacterial illnesses, and it’s frequently crucial to preserving good health. But suppose earlier it was believed that taking antibiotics would be enough to protect you. In that case, a new study indicates that having unhealthy dietary habits can decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics. The good news is that the research also shows that consuming soluble fibre as part of a healthy diet supports your body’s absorption of antibiotics.
Entering the Research
Antimicrobial resistance is a significant factor that could prevent your body from adequately absorbing drugs (AMR). This happens when your system’s bacteria, viruses, and fungi are strong enough to resist the medications meant to kill them. According to the CDC, the US experiences more than 2.8 million AMR infections yearly.
An observational study just published in the journal mBio examined how a regular diet can affect the genes that control antibiotic resistance in the gut bacteria.
Two hundred ninety healthy adults aged 18 and 66 were surveyed about their typical diets using food questionnaires. They assessed each participant’s gut microbiome, the totality of all bacteria, viruses, fungi, and genes in the body, using blood, urine, and faeces samples.
The researchers discovered a link between lower levels of antimicrobial resistance genes in the gut microorganisms and diets high in soluble fibre and low in protein.
These results concentrated on soluble fibre consumption rather than protein. This is so because this particular form of fibre aids in boosting the number of beneficial bacteria in the stomach.
Lead author and study molecular biologist Danielle Lemay explained these results in a statement.
The findings suggest that altering one’s diet may be a powerful new tool in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, she says. “This shows that for greatest benefit, we may want to eat from a variety of sources of foods that are likely to be richer in soluble fibre.”
The Implications for You:
Increasing the amount of soluble fibre you consume daily is an excellent approach to improving your gut health, which will ultimately help you avoid AMR. For a 2,000-calorie diet, the USDA advises ingesting 28 grams of dietary fibre daily.
Oats, beans, apples, carrots, citrus fruits, and legumes are excellent sources of soluble fibre. There are several ways to consume this sort of fibre, whether you make oatmeal in the morning or eat lentils for lunch or dinner.
Be sure to consult your doctor for further information on AMR and ensure that your antibiotics are as effective as possible, in addition to making dietary changes.
What this means going forward?
The current study has some drawbacks. Due to its observational design, it could not identify a cause and depend on participants’ reports of their food.
Dr Lemay believes that additional investigation is required to determine the effect of animal proteins on ARGs and the impact of participants’ usage of antibiotics or other therapies that may have contributed to the detection of ARGs.
Dr Lemay continued by explaining:
“In the study, we looked at people in a single moment. Future research must determine whether feeding participants a varied diet high in soluble fibre can lower the gut bacteria’s antibiotic resistance.
Overall, the study’s findings are favourable since they show a connection between adopting a healthy diet and avoiding issues like antibiotic resistance.
If the additional investigation supports these results, dietary advice might change, and we might even observe a decline in antibiotic resistance when people alter their diets.
To reduce antibiotic resistance, increase fibre intake
In the study, researchers examined the meals of over 250 participants and the gut microbiota genes of those persons. They specifically searched for genes that cause antibiotic resistance (ARGs).
Healthy people between 18 and 66 made up the study’s participants, most of whom were white. The study’s findings revealed that this relatively small group had a wide range of ARG types and quantities.
Participants’ dietary habits, levels of physical activity, and blood samples were all obtained by researchers. Participants gave stool samples to study the genetic makeup of the participants’ gut microbiomes.
The researchers found that individuals with varied diets high in fibre and low in animal protein had minor antibiotic resistance genes.