How do probiotics work?
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
Help your body digest food.
Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed (through food or drinks) from entering your blood.
Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You don’t actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
What are the most common types of probiotic bacteria?
Though there are many types of bacteria that can be considered probiotics, there are two specific types of bacteria that are common probiotics found in stores. These include:
Probiotics are also made up of good yeast. The most common type of yeast found in probiotics is:
Can I use probiotics to help with medical conditions?
There is currently a large amount of research happening around the idea of what probiotics can do for your body. Even though there are a lot of possibly positive outcomes, researchers are still working to find definitive answers about how probiotics can help with various conditions.
However, there are some medical conditions where probiotics may help. This can vary between people meaning that what works for one person may not work for another. These can also vary based on the certain probiotic that is taken.
Some of the conditions that might be helped by increasing the amount of probiotics in your body (through food or supplements) include:
Diarrhea (both diarrhea caused by antibiotics and from Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infection).
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Urinary tract infections.
Eczema (atopic dermatitis).
Upper respiratory infections (ear infections, common cold, sinusitis).
Sepsis (specifically in infants).
FDA DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.