Part 3 in my series of posts about products which can contribute to nutrient deficiencies –
Antibiotics are effective because they destroy disease-causing bacteria in the digestive tract; however, they indiscriminately destroy beneficial bacteria that help maintain health. Several nutrients are manufactured by bacteria in the large intestine, including biotin, vitamin K, and other vitamins. Antibiotics upset the delicate balance in the digestive tract and reduce or halt the manufacture of these nutrients.
Long-term use of antibiotics produces a vitamin K deficiency and might deplete the small amount of vitamin C stored in the body. In addition, consuming some antibiotics, such as tetracycline, with a meal or with milk reduces the absorption of both the medication and several minerals, including calcium, iron, and magnesium. Reduced absorption of vitamin B12 and potassium also have been reported with long-term antibiotic use. These deficiencies are prevented if a nutrient-dense diet is consumed that contains ample amounts of vitamins and minerals and if antibiotic therapy is temporary.
In contrast, vitamin C might reduce bacterial resistance to antibiotic therapy and improve recovery from infection, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. In this study the combined effect of vitamin C and antibiotics was more effective in destroying bacteria than medication alone. In fact, the effective antibiotic dose could be reduced when vitamin C intake was increased.