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What Are Probiotics?

How to Use Them Safely

The FDA regulates probiotics like foods, not like medications. Unlike drug companies, makers of probiotic supplements don’t have to show their products are safe or that they work. Ask your doctor for more information about the correct product and dose for you.

In general, probiotic foods and supplements are thought to be safe for most people, though some people with immune system problems or other serious health conditions shouldn't take them. Talk to your doctor first to make sure they're OK for you. In some cases, mild side effects might include upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, and bloating for the first couple of days after you start them. They may also trigger allergic reactions. Stop taking them and talk to your doctor if you have problems.

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Reviewed on December 14, 2015

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