Probiotics: The Friendly Bacteria

Author: Shannon Miller

There has been a growing interest in bacteria known as probiotics.

Probiotics have quite a following because of the potential health benefits that they may have.  So, appropriately, probiotics have been nicknamed friendly bacteria.

These friendly bacteria can be found in food items, such as:

  • Yogurt
  • Fermented and un-fermented milk
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Some juices and soy beverages.
Probiotics are also available in dietary supplements – capsule, powder, and tablet forms.

Research on the health benefits of probiotics is in the early stages.  But there are some uses for probiotics for which preliminary research suggests a reason to be hopeful…

  • To treat diarrhea
  • To prevent and treat infections of the urinary tract or female genital tract
  • To treat irritable bowel syndrome
  • To reduce recurrence of bladder cancer
  • To shorten how long an intestinal infection lasts that is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium difficile
  • To prevent and treat pouchitis (condition that can follow surgery to remove the colon)
  • To prevent and manage atopic dermatitis (i.e. eczema) in children

TIP:  For more information about probiotics, visit the National Institutes of Health website.  Remember, knowledge is power!  And anything that you can potentially reap health benefits from is worth being knowledgeable about!

Source: “An Introduction to Probiotics”, National Institutes of Health – National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Web Design and Marketing