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How do probiotics work?

ANSWER

Researchers are trying to figure out exactly how probiotics work. Here are some of the ways they may keep you healthy:

  • When you lose "good" bacteria in your body (like after you take antibiotics, for example), probiotics can help replace them.
  • They can help balance your "good" and "bad" bacteria to keep your body working like it should.

From: What Are Probiotics? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Medline Plus: " Saccharomyces boulardii."

American Gastroenterological Association: "Probiotics: What They Are and What They Can Do for You."

Ciorba, M.  , 2012. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Cleveland Clinic: "Probiotics."

Floch, M.  , Sept. 24, 2014. Pharmaceuticals

Heller, K.  , 2001. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Oral Probiotics."

Neal-McKinney, J.  , Sept. 4, 2012. PlosOne

The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: "Health benefits of taking probiotics."

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on June 25, 2018

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES:

Medline Plus: " Saccharomyces boulardii."

American Gastroenterological Association: "Probiotics: What They Are and What They Can Do for You."

Ciorba, M.  , 2012. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Cleveland Clinic: "Probiotics."

Floch, M.  , Sept. 24, 2014. Pharmaceuticals

Heller, K.  , 2001. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: "Oral Probiotics."

Neal-McKinney, J.  , Sept. 4, 2012. PlosOne

The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide: "Health benefits of taking probiotics."

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on June 25, 2018

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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