Q: My doctor has prescribed a 14-day course of antibiotics as a precaution against lyme disease. In the past, I have had thrush after taking antibiotics. Is there any way to help prevent this – would proper bio-yogurt help?
A: By their nature, antibiotics wipe out gut bacteria in your digestive system indiscriminately – the ‘good bugs’ as well as ‘bad’ ones. According to nutritional therapist Olga Hamilton, ‘It would be very beneficial for a person taking antibiotics to consume a small pot of organic Greek-style yogurt every day during the course and for at least a month after.’
Olga Hamilton (bodhimaya.com) recommends Yeo Valley Organic Greek Style Natural Yogurt for its combination of probiotics, which include lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus. She also mentions Rachel’s Organic Greek Style Natural Yogurt, which contains lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium. (Pasteurisation of the finished yogurt would destroy the probiotics, but most yogurts now use pasteurised milk rather than putting the finished product through this heat process.)
Pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends adding a good-quality probiotic supplement alongside the course and after. ‘This is because, as with yogurt, some good bacteria will begin to thrive and colonise in between the doses of antibiotics. While the next dose may eradicate large numbers, there will be some proliferation of beneficial flora as opposed to simply destroying the majority and having to wait until after the course to try to restore the balance.’ He advises taking Mega Probiotic-ND (£18.50 for 60 capsules) with or immediately after a meal so that the food in the intestines helps the good bacteria to flourish.
For information on lyme disease, visit lymediseaseaction.org.uk, or write to Lyme Disease Action, PO Box 235, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 8WZ
WEBSITE OF THE WEEK
Coleen Rooney’s beloved sister Rosie McLoughlin died last year, aged 14, from Rett syndrome (RS), a genetic brain disorder caused by a fault on the gene MECP 2 – the gene that is crucial for a child’s brain development. RS almost exclusively affects girls and causes multiple physical and communication disabilities. In total, genetic disorders affect one in 25 children born in the UK and are the biggest cause of death of children aged 14 and under. The ray of light is that RS may prove to be the first genetic condition to be treated by gene therapy. After successful research in mice, clinical trials on RS girls could start within the next five years. Jeans for Genes day takes place this Friday to raise money for Genetic Disorders UK, the charity supporting families affected by disorders including RS . So just wear your jeans for the day – you’ll be in great company with Coleen (right) and a host of other stars – and donate to this important cause. Find more information and a free fundraising pack on the website.
COOL FOR THE POOL
If your children (or you) go swimming, the Cuddledry Cuddletwist Children’s Hair Towel – made of super-absorbent bamboo fibre and cotton – acts like a turban. Short hair is virtually dry in minutes, says our tester (whose whole family are fans), and long hair is drip-free. In gingham or ecru, £8.99, from johnlewis.com.
SHOW YOU CARE
May I remind you about a series of heart-warming events? Tickets are on sale for Breast Cancer Care’s annual celebrity-hosted fashion shows in London and Glasgow to mark October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Enjoy a champagne reception, musical entertainment, goody bag and luxury prize draw, with a choice of afternoon tea (hosted by Kirsty Young) or dinner (hosted by Sophie Raworth) at the London shows, and lunch or dinner in Glasgow. Each of the gorgeous models has had a diagnosis of breast cancer, which affects one in eight women in the UK. Proceeds from ticket sales – from £75 in London and £60 in Glasgow – will fund Breast Cancer Care’s free support services. Last year’s shows raised nearly £500,000.
HOW TO BOOK
Visit breastcancercare.org.uk/theshow or call the numbers below:
London, 1 October
Grosvenor House, a JW Marriott Hotel, 0345 092 0806.
Glasgow, 12 November
Radisson Blu Hotel, 0141 353 8337.