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Dairy-free probiotics are microorganism-containing supplements that do not contain any ingredients derived from milk products. There is a misconception that all probiotics contain milk because of the prevalence of yogurt and other dairy foods that contain digestive-friendly microorganisms. Individuals who are lactose intolerant or people who do not eat dairy products for other health reasons often choose supplements instead. The use of probiotics is generally not deemed as necessary by many medical professionals, but some consumers take such products in order to improve digestive health. Aside from supplements and certain dairy products, there are other types of foods that naturally contain similar active cultures as found in traditional probiotics.
Probiotics are microorganisms found in yeast and bacteria that are thought to help to treat and prevent minor digestive ailments. Constipation, diarrhea, and nausea are common symptoms of a torn digestive tract, as well as an imbalance of healthy bacteria. Some yogurt and chocolate companies add live cultures to their products as a way to market the foods to people looking for easy ways to treat minor digestive problems. There is also the belief that using probiotics on a regular basis can possibly boost the immune system. Although eating such products might be effective in some patients, many doctors do not think that they are necessary because the digestive system usually clears itself out on its own.
The problem with probiotic-containing dairy products is that not everyone can eat them. Patients who are lactose intolerant or those who lead vegan lifestyles cannot eat dairy products. Such individuals can benefit from dairy-free probiotics which come in the form of supplements. Capsules and tablets are the most popular types of dairy-free probiotics, but the supplements are also available in the form of powders and prepared beverages. Users should consider asking their doctors before taking any supplements, especially if they are undergoing treatment for another medical problem or are pregnant.
Supplements are the most commonly sought-after dairy-free probiotics, but many consumers are not aware of the fact that some of the same microorganisms are contained in other foods besides capsules and dairy products. Fermented vegetables, such as pickles and sauerkraut, also contain active cultures that react in the digestive tract similarly to over-the-counter pills. Eating these microorganisms is not considered harmful, but relying on the consumption of fermented vegetables for ongoing digestive problems might not solve any particular health ailments. Patients should consider calling a doctor in order to address any persistent digestive symptoms.