What Are Probiotics?
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.
How Do They Work?
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. Ask your doctor about which might best help you.
This may be the most common probiotic. It’s the one you’ll find in yogurt and other fermented foods. Different strains can help with diarrhea and may help with people who can’t digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
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. Researchers are still trying to figure out which are best for certain health problems. Some common conditions they treat are:
Irritable bowel syndrome
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)
There is also some research to show they help with problems in other parts of your body. For example, some people say they have helped with:
Skin conditions, like eczema
Urinary and vaginal health
Preventing allergies and colds
Top Foods With Probiotics
Yogurt. Yogurt is one of the most familiar sources of probiotics — “good” bacteria that keep a healthy balance in your gut.
Sauerkraut Boosts Digestion.
Kefir: Probiotic-Filled Drink.
Milk With Probiotics.