Answers to Your Questions about Probiotics
5 things you should know about probiotic products.
4. Are probiotic supplements worthwhile?
Sanders believes that probiotics can be effective when consumed either in
food or pill form.
"Food sources of probiotics have the advantage in that they offer good
nutrition along with the probiotic bacteria," she says. Still, supplements
can be more convenient for some people and may provide higher levels of
probiotic, depending on the product in question, she says.
"The most important consideration is that the product -- food or
supplement -- deliver adequate numbers of efficacious probiotics for your
needs," Sanders says.
5. Are Probiotics Safe for Everyone?
People who are acutely ill or who have a compromised immune system should be
cautious about consuming probiotic products and supplements. Researchers are
still trying to figure out which types of disease and illnesses should preclude
the use of probiotics.
Although no studies have shown probiotics to be harmful in healthy people,
Barry Goldin, MS, PhD, a professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, says
terminally ill cancer patients and people with conditions with the potential
for leaky bowels, including acute pancreatitis, should NOT consume
Just to be safe, tell your doctor if you’re thinking about taking (or
eating) probiotics regularly.