Probiotics are living microorganisms that can be beneficial for helping digestion, destroy harmful microorganisms, and produce vitamins. The most common probiotics belong to the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups of bacteria. For example, you may have seen Trubiotics advertise that their product contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis. Prebiotics are different than probiotics. They are nondigestible carbohydrates that favor the growth of helpful bacteria. Both prebiotics and probiotics are available in the form of dietary supplements. There is some evidence to suggest that probiotics may help with treating diarrhea, preventing and treating vaginal yeast infections, treating irritable bowel syndrome, treating intestinal infections, and preventing colds.
Probiotics should be taken while taking antibiotics. Antibiotics kill good and bad gut bacteria. Taking probiotics can help prevent diarrhea due to antibiotic use and help maintain a balanced digestive system. Supplements must contain living organisms and must be ingested on a regular basis in order to be effective. Through manufacturing the living organisms may become nonviable. However, probiotics can be found in fermented foods. Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kombucha, pickles, and aged cheese are all sources of probiotics.
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