8 Things Probiotics Can Do (And 3 They Can’t—Yet)


What are probiotics?

Girl holding her belly, front view, concept of acute pain

They’re live micro-organisms that support healthy populations of bacteria in your digestive tract. When the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut is off, you can develop diarrhea, constipation, bloating and other ailments. Probiotics help restore order in the gut, according to a new paper on probiotics in Frontiers on Microbiology. But these microbes must be alive and you have to get enough of them to benefit, explains study author Gregor Reid, PhD, MBA, Director of the Canadian R&D Centre for Human Microbiome and Probiotics at Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, Canada and past President of the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP). Reid also chaired the United Nations/World Health Organization Expert Panel that authored the definition of ‘probiotics’ in 2001. Learn even more facts about probiotics here.

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