Do antibiotics really wipe out your gut bacteria?

Another important topic from BBC’s website:

Do antibiotics really wipe out your gut bacteria

Antibiotics are a staple of modern medicine and save millions of lives every year. But they can be harming the normal bacterial system our health relies on.


I avoid antibiotics like the plague for this reason.

When you need them, you need them. However, many GPs here in HK will give an antibiotic course just in case you might need it as they view any potential infection as more important than the damage done to your gut microbiome. In fact, I’m pretty sure most GPs don’t even consider your gut microbiome at all in their decisions.

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Every time I took a course of antibiotics (except once) sine I turned 20 resulted in me having new or worsening auto immune issues.

Once my autoimmune issues began to terrify my doctors (and me), I hacked the issue myself and significantly turned it around. Pretty certain I’ve written about this elsewhere on the forum.

Our microbiome may have more to do with healthspan than lifespan. Still, I think it demands our attention.

FYI - rapa has modestly improved my remaining autoimmune issues :wink:


My life has been saved by antibiotics on several occasions. I have taken minocycline daily for acne for many years, and I still have gut microflora. Maybe they are not all so bad. There are so many different classes of antibiotics that broad generalizations about their downsides are likely overblown.


I’ve never had problems from antibiotics. Actually while I have various other issues, “gut problems” has never been one of them, fortunately - and suspect these might be related.

I read an article a couple years ago, pointing out that gut flora are very resilient in that they aren’t just floating through the intestine but are integrated into the lining, and these flora are a community that’s resistant to change. This is one reason why simply taking some prebiotic doesn’t magically change things over night, and possibly why some people like me aren’t impacted by abx.

I’m interested in all this for a different reason: for years I had a significant and worsening chemical allergy. I could function in the world ok, but if my wife wore certain perfumes near me I might end up collapsed in a corner coughing up white foam. Ugh.

But then I was given a strong/extended course of doxycycline for a rather bad prostatitis/bladder infection - and after a couple decades my chemical allergy diminished by about 80%!

I don’t know if my chemical allergy was fueled by some unrecognized infection, or if something else was going on.

I’ve seen doxycycline mentioned (here I think) as a possible longevity substance, and because of my positive experience am considering adding it just once a week or so.


Antibiotics can help with inflamation even if you dont have a bacterial infection.

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In my case the “calming” effect has lasted about five years - though I’m recently noticing more sensitivity to chemicals lately so perhaps it’s starting to wear off.

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Have taken 1 Doxycycline daily for the last 40 years. 73 years old. Gut works just fine. I’m just lucky or there’s something more to it. N= 1.

If it works, don’t fix it.
Dan Murray