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What are Some Health Benefits of Probiotics?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, are a hot topic among those interested in natural health supplements. They are useful for helping to maintain the organism balance within the intestines. Under normal circumstances, the body has a few hundred of these bacteria in the digestive system, and one of the top health benefits of probiotics is their ability to help keep the digestive system healthy. They also help to reduce harmful bacteria in the body.

Since the health benefits of probiotics are related to the digestive system, people often use them to prevent diarrhea, particularly when a person is taking an antibiotic. For example, antibiotics are known for helping to treat certain illnesses, but they may also kill beneficial bacteria at the same time. When these good bacteria are destroyed, diarrhea can be the result. To avoid this unpleasant affect, some people use probiotic supplements to replace good or beneficial bacteria.

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Besides the health benefits of probiotics for those who have diarrhea caused by antibiotics, there are other reasons to take these supplements. For example, probiotic supplements may also prove helpful for dealing with infectious diarrhea, although they may not be effective for all types of it. They may also be good for dealing with such conditions as pouchitis, an inflammatory condition that affects people who have had their colons surgically removed. They may also help in preventing infections that form in the digestive tract, and they have even been credited with helping to control inflammation caused by such things as inflammatory bowel disease. Some believe that probiotics may also help in dealing with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and cancer of the colon.

Since probiotics are naturally occurring in the body, most experts consider them safe. However, it is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a different process for dealing with supplements than it does for medications. As such, the organization does not carefully monitor or approve supplements before they are marketed. A company can, therefore, produce a supplement and begin to sell it without researching its effectiveness or safety. For this reason, it’s a good idea to obtain a doctor’s opinion before taking a supplement.

Often, people try to take advantage of the health benefits of probiotics by eating yogurt. Many believe that doing so can help to prevent diarrhea, for example. Some yogurt containers are labeled to let consumers know whether they contain active cultures. If yogurt does not provide active cultures, it won't benefit consumers in this way, though it may still offer other health benefits.

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anon53851
Post 2

Apparently probiotic supplements are also effective in curing yeast infections. It's amazing the number of conditions that they can help with. Regards.

milagros
Post 1

Probiotics help prevent colds and flu. Allergies sufferers may benefit too. In general they seem to help the immune system.

In addition to yogurt the beneficial bacteria can be found in a variety of fermented products such as juices, miso and others.

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