Do probiotics prevent drug-resistant infections?

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

Not enough research has been done to determine if probiotics prevent drug-resistant infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But some experts believe that these "good" bacteria, found in yogurt and kefir, may have a beneficial effect.

Probiotics can boost the immune system, helping to fight off infection. They may also help protect against the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestinal tract. What's more, probiotics may play a role in preventing the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics: One study found that infants who drank formula fortified with probiotics got sick less often—and therefore needed to take antibiotics less often—than those who didn't. The overuse of antibiotics has been associated with drug-resistant bacteria, so the less people take, the better.

Probiotics are defined as microorganisms that when administered in sufficient quantities may improve health. There are a variety of probiotics that have been studied for various health benefits. Their role in preventing drug-resistant infections in humans has not been established.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently monitoring research on probiotic use, but cannot make any recommendations at this time.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.