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Antibiotics may severely disrupt the balance of microbes living in the gut

Antibiotics may severely disrupt the balance of microbes living in the gut, with unforeseen health consequences, U.S. researchers reported Monday.

An intimate study of three women given ciprofloxacin showed the drug suppressed entire populations of beneficial bacteria, and at least one woman took months to recover.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, supports the common wisdom that antibiotics can damage the "good" germs living in the body.

It may also support the idea behind the development of so-called probiotic products including yogurt with live cultures of bacteria.

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