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The Little Organisms That Could: Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria in the human body that live primarily in the stomach and intestines. According to a recent article on The New York Times Well blog, probiotics play an important role in immune function, digestion, the production of vitamins, and resistance to bad bacteria, among other things. However, probiotics should not be confused with “prebiotics,” which are carbohydrates found in some foods (such as oats, wheat, garlic, and honey) and supplements that stimulate the growth of probiotics in the gut. When prebiotics are combined with probiotics, the resulting formula is called a “synbiotic.” Clinical research supports the use of certain probiotic foods and supplements, such as Dannon’s Activia yogurt, DanActive drink, Culturelle, and Align. While more research is needed on other probiotic brands, trying probiotic supplements from a reputable manufacturer does not appear to be harmful.

Source: The New York Times Well blog

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