A study finds that antibiotics can do more harm than good if you’re not really sick.
Antibiotics have been analyzed for a long time for their misuse, excessive use and severe side effects.
If taken incorrectly, researchers believe that antibiotics can do more harm than good. They can cause bacteria to become increasingly resistant to treatment, for example, and destroy healthy flora in the intestine.
Now, a new study from Case Western Reserve University shows that antibiotics can damage immune cells and worsen oral infections.
Antibiotics damage the ability of our white blood cells
The body’s natural defenses are very effective in eliminating certain oral infections and regulating inflammation, according to the research, which was published in Frontiers in Microbiology last month.
The research team examined the bacteria residing in the body, their effect on the production of white blood cells and the role they both play in the fight against mouth infections.
“We set out to find out what happens when you do not have bacteria to fight a fungal infection,” said study leader Pushpa Pandiyan, PhD, assistant professor of biological sciences at the School of Dental Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in a statement. “What we discovered was that antibiotics can kill the short-chain fatty acids produced by [the] good bacteria in the body.”
When the body is healthy, it harbors good bacteria that produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA), which, in turn, promote the development and maintenance of white blood cells.
These white blood cells, called Tregs and Th-17, are able to fight and protect us from fungal infections and harmful pathogens and keep inflammation at bay.
The researchers discovered that the antibiotics destroyed the good bacteria, which, consequently, depleted the production of SCFA and damaged the ability of white blood cells to fight fungal infections, such as Candida, in a laboratory environment.
In other words, antibiotics damage the body’s own immune response and hinder protection against harmful germs.
In addition, the abuse and overuse of antibiotics give bacteria the opportunity to grow resistant to treatment and pose the threat of bacterial infections that are much more difficult to treat.
“The prolonged and meaningless use of antibiotics could also hamper the functioning of the immune system in other infections, such as viral infections and other fungal infections,” Pandiyan told Healthline.
Our bodies already fight off infections
The findings focus on the level of function of the SCFA when it comes to oral health.
“The study shows that these short chain fatty acids promote the proper function of Th-17 and Treg cells and that this protects us from oral fungal infections, reduces harmful inflammation and helps the body’s immune system to resolve infections. Candida in the mouth. ” said Dr. Aileen Marty, professor of infectious diseases at the College of Medicine of the International University of Florida.
We need those SCFAs to feed our white blood cells, the Th-17 and Treg cells, to protect us from the disease.
“While many cells in the body play a role in protecting infections, [it is] the primary responsibility of white blood cells,” Marty added. “The white blood cells are the professional soldiers against the infection, while other cells play protective functions more like” citizen deputy militia “.
These natural defenses had no problem fighting inflammation and infection on their own, but antibiotics can prevent these defenses from doing their job.
Should you take antibiotics for an oral infection?
The researchers emphasize that doctors must be sure that antibiotics are really necessary to treat an infection before prescribing them.
Excessive use of antibiotics is not helpful, the study suggested.
“We have good bacteria that do a good job every day, why kill them?” Pandiyan said in the statement. “As with many infections, if you leave them alone, they will go away alone.”
While for more serious cases, antibiotics are a necessary treatment, and sometimes to save lives, many health experts also recommend taking probiotics along with antibiotics to keep bacteria good and restore healthy flora.
Finally, if you have a bacterial infection and are prescribed antibiotics, be sure to finish the recipe.
Failure to take the entire course of treatment only contributes to the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
If you fall short, your immune system may not be ready for the challenge the next time you do not feel so hot.