Antibiotic-Therapy-Induced Gut Dysbiosis Affecting Gut Microbiota-Brain Axis and Cognition: Restoration by Intake of Probiotics and Synbiotics

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Feb 4;24(4):3074. doi: 10.3390/ijms24043074.


Antibiotic therapy through short-term or repeated long-term prescriptions can have several damaging effects on the normal microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract. Changes in microbiota could be multiple including decreased diversity of species in gut microbiota, changed metabolic activity, and the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant strains. Antibiotic-induced gut dysbiosis in turn can induce antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and recurrent infections caused by Clostridioides difficile. There is also evidence that the use of different chemical classes of antibiotics for the treatment of a variety of ailments can lead to several health issues including gastrointestinal, immunologic, and neurocognitive conditions. This review discusses gut dysbiosis, its symptoms and one important cause, which is antibiotic therapy for the induction of gut dysbiosis. Since the maintenance of good gut health is important for the well-being and functioning of physiological and cognitive activities through the normal gut-microbiota-brain relationship, the condition of dysbiosis is not desirable. Specific therapies are prescribed by medical practitioners for the cure of a variety of ailments, and, if the prescription of antibiotics becomes unavoidable, there is a possibility of the onset of gut dysbiosis as the side or after effects. Therefore, the restoration of imbalanced gut microbiota to its balanced condition becomes necessary. A healthy relationship between gut microbiota and the brain can be achieved with the introduction of probiotic strains into the gut in a practical and consumer-friendly way, such as consumption of food and beverages prepared with the use of characterised probiotic species, fermented foods as the potential biotics, or synbiotic supplements.

Keywords: antibiotics; beverage; brain; dysbiosis; food; gut; health; microbiota; nutrition; probiotics; psychobiotics; synbiotics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Brain
  • Cognition
  • Dysbiosis / therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics*
  • Synbiotics*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Prebiotics

Grants and funding

The writing of this review did not receive any grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.