How Probiotics Can Benefit Digestive Health

In recent years probiotics have become popular as supplements and food additives that are used to promote healthy digestive health. A probiotic is a living microorganism that is many times called “good bacteria” or “friendly bacteria”.  Probiotics can provide many health benefits especially to the digestive system.  Probiotics can be bacteria or yeast that is similar to the organisms that are found in the body.  Probiotics can help to protect your body from harmful bacteria.  Probiotics are naturally found in foods like yogurt.
There is still ongoing research being done on the benefits of probiotics.  Evidence has shown many benefits of probiotics, such as:

  • Helping to treat irritable bowel syndrome
  • Speeding up treatment of intestinal infections
  • Treating diarrhea especially after the use of certain antibiotic

Research is currently being conducted to see if probiotics can help to reduce the recurrence of colon cancer.  Side effects associated with taking probiotics are rare.  Many adults with can take probiotics without any issues.  If you are thinking of taking probiotics to help with digestive health, consult your gastroenterologist.

1. “Are Probiotics and Prebiotics Important for Health?”  Mayo Clinic.  Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.  September 15, 2011.  Web 19 April 2014. 
2. “Probiotics: Supplements for Digestive Health.”  WebMD.  March 15, 2011.  Web 19 April 2014.