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People's Pharmacy

Calcium in yogurt may interfere with antibiotics

January 10, 2011|Joe Graedon, Teresa Graedon | The People's Pharmacy

I suffer from digestive upset when taking antibiotics, and I'd like to counter that with the probiotic bacteria in yogurt. Does taking antibiotics with yogurt affect absorption of antibiotics?

It depends to a certain extent on the antibiotic, but many should not be taken within a few hours of yogurt or other calcium-rich foods. That includes antibiotics in the tetracycline family and drugs such as ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin, but not ofloxacin. Fruit juice fortified with calcium also can interfere with antibiotic absorption.

You've had questions on how to get rid of cockroaches. A simple way to get rid of them and other insects is to place a few fabric-softener sheets around your home in the corners, on the floors and on the kitchen counters behind appliances. Some chemical in these dryer sheets really irritates and kills bugs. This is easy and cheap. I use off-brand fabric-softener sheets.

Several years ago, an e-mail circulated claiming that fabric-softener sheets could repel ants, yellow jackets and other insects. Skeptics scoffed. Now scientists at Kansas State University have determined that Bounce fabric-softener dryer sheets actually do repel adult fungus gnats. In a study published online last month in HortScience, the scientists also analyzed the dryer sheets and found that they contain linalool, a pleasant-smelling compound naturally found in basil, lavender and marjoram. This compound is known to be toxic to certain mites and other insects.

We were not able to find any data on cockroaches, but we appreciate your suggestion.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. http://www.peoplespharmacy.com.

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