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Are probiotic supplements worthwhile?

Answer by:
Louise Chang, MD

Internist, WebMD Medical Expert
Medical Editor, WebMD

Probiotics can be effective when consumed either in food, pill, or powder form, according to probiotic microbiology consultant Mary Ellen Sanders, MS, PhD.

"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.

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