Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases, but your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.
Probiotics are naturally found in your body. You can also find them in some foods and supplements.
Many people use probiotics to prevent diarrhea, gas and cramping caused by antibiotics. Antibiotics kill “good” (beneficial) bacteria along with the bacteria that cause illness. A decrease in beneficial bacteria may lead to digestive problems. Taking probiotics may help replace the lost beneficial bacteria.
» Boosting immune system.
» Preventing and treating urinary tract infections.
» Improving digestive function.
» Healing inflammatory bowel conditions like IBS
» Managing and preventing eczema in children.
» Fighting food-borne illnesses.
How do they work?
Here are some of the ways they may keep you healthy:
» When you lose “good” bacteria in your body (like after you take antibiotics, for example), probiotics can help replace them.
» They can help balance your “good” and “bad” bacteria to keep your body working like it should.
Types of probiotics
Many types of bacteria are classified as probiotics. They all have different benefits, but most come from two groups.
Lactobacillus – This may be the most common probiotic. It’s the one you’ll find in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains are available that help with diarrhea and may help with people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
Bifidobacterium – You can also find it in some dairy products. It may help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and some other conditions.
What do they do?
Probiotics help move food through your gut. Some common conditions they treat are:
» Irritable bowel syndrome
» Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
» Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
» Antibiotic-related diarrheae
» Probiotics also help in :
» Skin conditions, like eczema
» Urinary and vaginal health
» Preventing allergies and colds
» Oral health