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All About Probiotics

What Are Probiotics?  

Probiotics are bacteria and yeasts that live naturally in our bodies. Unlike some bad bacteria and yeasts which cause people to fall sick, probiotics actually help to keep the body healthy. For example, they help to digest food and can reduce the growth of harmful bacteria in your stomach and intestines.

What Are They Used For?  

Many types of bacteria and yeasts can be considered probiotics and they have different benefits. Scientists are still trying to find out if different probiotics are helpful for different health problems.

So far, studies have found that some probiotics maybe helpful for:

  • Preventing diarrhea caused by some types of infections
  • Preventing diarrhea when you take antibiotics
  • Relieving symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes stomach cramps, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea.

However more information is still needed to determine if probiotics are really effective for preventing or treating any health problem.

Who Can Take Probiotics?  

Probiotics appear to be safe for most people, including children and babies. Side effects are rare but can include mild stomach discomfort such as bloating and gas.

However, if you suffer from serious health conditions or have a medical condition that affects your immune system, you could be at risk of serious side effects such as having an infection. Inform your doctor or pharmacist before starting any health supplements. 

FACT 

Probiotics can be found in:  

  • Dairy products such as yoghurt and cultured milk drinks
  • Fermented foods e.g. miso, tempeh and kimchi
  • Health supplements
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