What are probiotics and what do they do?

WE ALL HAVE bacteria that occur naturally in our gut. Certain factors (such as taking antibiotics) can cause an overgrowth of “bad” bacteria overtaking “good” bacteria in the gut, resulting in flatulence and/or severe diarrhea.

Probiotics are concentrated supplements of beneficial bacteria similar to those that occur naturally in the digestive tract. They can be purchased in liquid, powder or pill form. They are sold in almost any pharmacy and can even be found in some yogurt.

Although more research is needed, there is encouraging evidence that probiotics may:

  • Help treat antibiotic-associated diarrhea
  • Prevent and treat vaginal yeast infections
  • Help treat irritable bowel syndrome
  • Prevent and treat eczema in children

Side effects from probiotics are rare, and it would be difficult to overdose on them as long as you follow the directions on the bottle.

Although probiotic sounds like a wonder drug, more studies need to be done. My feeling is they couldn’t hurt and may be quite beneficial. Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new drug or supplement.

USANA® Probiotic – Probiotic food supplement for digestive and immune health

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