Probiotic Primer

Bottle with pills

Probiotics are live microorganisms that may aid in improving gastric discomfort, reducing diarrhea caused by antibiotics, help with the digestion of lactose (the sugar in milk products), and lower the risk of infections. Probiotics can be found in some supplements. When choosing a supplement, look for the strain and number of live bacteria to help ensure an effective dose.

Some foods have probiotics too, like fermented foods, which can contain live bacteria and aid in digestive health. It’s important to note that not all fermented foods have probiotics due to processing that can kill or remove the live microorganisms. Some foods with probiotics include yogurt, sauerkraut (sold refrigerated), kefir (fermented dairy), and kombucha (fermented tea). The food label should state the type of live bacteria.

Talk to your doctor about the strain and amount of probiotic recommended for the health benefit you are seeking and if probiotics are appropriate for you.

International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics,