Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

When we think of microorganisms in our food, we usually think about bacteria and viruses that cause food-borne diseases. But in some cases, you may actually want live microorganisms in the food you eat.

An example: Probiotics. These live microbes, in some studies, have been shown to provide certain health benefits to people when they’re consumed in products like yogurt. What can probiotics do for you and where can you get them? And how are they different from “prebiotics” -- another term you might have heard?


Probiotics are live microbes. Occurring in fermented foods, they can help the body sustain a healthy balance of microbes, which can help maintain healthy digestion.

The most common sources of probiotics are dairy foods such as yogurts, some cheeses, and kefir. Probiotics can also be found in other fermented foods like kimchee, sauerkraut, and tempeh. You can also get supplements that contain probiotics.

Some evidence suggests that probiotics may be helpful in supporting the body’s own immune responses, as well.


Prebiotics aren’t microorganisms themselves. They nurture certain beneficial organisms that live in the gut -- consider them “food” for healthy bacteria. They can be added to cereals, chocolates, spreads, and dairy products.

Prebiotics are also available as supplements.

Probiotics and prebiotics are generally considered to be safe for healthy people. The most common side effects of consuming them are gas and diarrhea, both of which usually decrease over time.