Did you know that your intestines are crawling with hundreds of bacteria?
It may sound gross, but gut bacteria is essential for the functional regulation of the body, as well as the breakdown and synthesis of important nutrients.
These microbes can regulate glucose levels, reduce allergies, prevent obesity, improve moods, prevent diarrhea, and even aid in heart health.
Unfortunately, your gut microbe levels can diminish all too easily. And then you’re left wondering how long does it take to repopulate the gut with good bacteria.
What Causes Microbe Levels to Drop?
The main culprit is antibiotics.
While antibiotics are essential for killing bad bacteria that can make you sick, they also destroy beneficial bacteria and can cause damage to the gut microbiome.
This is especially the case with repeated rounds of antibiotics. And if there is no effort to restore the good bacteria, it could lead to long-term health issues with your gut.
So if you’ve been on antibiotics, you’ll need to now focus on rebuilding the good bacteria in your gut. And there are a couple of key steps you’ll need to take.
1. Take Probiotics
Just as antibiotics work to kill bad bacteria, probiotics are living micro-organisms that reestablish the good bacteria. Some of the most common belong to the species Lactobacillus, Saccharomyces and Bifidobacterium (which includes bifidobacterium longum).
Once in the intestines, probiotics create an environment where good bacteria thrive and bad bacteria are less likely to survive. So start by taking a high-quality probiotic supplement with at least 50 billion CFU (colony forming units) per dose.
2. Add Certain Foods to Your Diet
The wisdom of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables should not be underestimated when it comes to maintaining gut health.
Fruits and veggies are loaded with prebiotics which will feed the probiotic bacteria in your gut.
Bananas, plantains, leafy greens, garlic, onion, and Jerusalem artichoke are particularly good sources of prebiotics.
Fermented foods are also chock full of good bacteria. That doesn’t mean beer and wine though.
Instead, try to incorporate plain yogurt or kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and unsweetened kombucha into your diet.
So How Long Does It Take to Repopulate the Gut with Good Bacteria?
If you’re diligent about following the two steps above, you’ll have a much faster return to good gut health.
And you certainly don’t need to wait until your antibiotics are gone before adding the good bacteria. Taking probiotics and eating foods loaded with prebiotics will protect your gut and keep you healthy while you take the antibiotics.
Plus, they will not negatively impact the elimination of bad bacteria.
If you follow the proper steps, you’ll replace much of the lost bacteria within a month and a half. Full recovery of the microbes usually happens within six months.
Enjoy Good Gut Health
We can’t give an exact answer to how long does it take to repopulate the gut with good bacteria.
But if you’re currently on or have finished a round of antibiotics, give your gut that extra boost it needs by taking probiotic supplements and eating a healthy diet.
You’ll be so glad you did.
And for more great articles on health and wellness, keep checking back with our blog.