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Several parts of our body contain microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses), which compose our microbiota. From our intestines to our skin, they are very important: a balanced microbiota contributes to our good health. 

The arrival of antibiotics was one of the most important therapeutic advances of the 20th century. However, by destroying the bacteria responsible for infections as well as the good bacteria, they can disturb the balance in our microbiota and cause dysbiosis. Moreover, the inappropriate use of antibiotics is responsible for antibiotic resistance, meaning that some antibiotics will no longer be effective against a given bacterium. From November 18 to 24, the World Health Organization is hosting the World Antibiotic Awareness Week. As an expert on microbiota, the Biocodex Microbiota Institute joins this initiative.

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Microbiota is composed of a universe of microorganisms. The intestinal microbiota alone is home to approximately 100 trillion microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi). They serve many purposes, but sometimes their richness and/or diversity can be disturbed – This is known as dysbiosis. Many factors can disrupt the balance of our microbiota: stress, an abrupt change in our diet or environment, alcohol and tobacco consumption, as well as some medications... This imbalance can have an impact on our health, potentially leading to diarrhea, allergies, diabetes, skin diseases such as eczema, neurological disorders, and Crohn's disease, among others.

Since the discovery of penicillin in 1928, antibiotics have saved millions of lives.  And yet, as stated by the WHO, it is important to take them carefully and to follow your doctor's prescription to the letter, regardless of your age. Why? Because misuse and repeated intake can unbalance your microbiota and lead to antibiotic resistance.

In 5 to 35% of people, antibiotics lead to diarrhea.

McFarland LV, Ozen M, Dinleyici EC et al. Comparison of pediatric and adult antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile infections World J Gastroenterol. 2016;22(11):3078-3104
Bartlett JG. Clinical practice. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea N Engl J Med 2002;346:334-9.
Theriot CM, Young VB. Interactions Between the Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Clostridium difficile. Annu Rev Microbiol. 2015;69:445-461.

A closer look at intestinal microbiota

In this new episode of our series, Julie is suffering from diarrhea. To help shed light on this issue, Louise Ekland asked Dr. Alexis Mosca – a pediatric gastroenterologist – about intestinal microbiota, an indispensable ally for our health.

From diet to prebiotics and probiotics: find out how to care for your intestinal microbiota!

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Learn the ins and outs of microbiota and their associated disorders so as to adopt good practices on a daily basis.