We try to avoid germs to stay at top health, but there is some good bacteria that our body needs. They're called probiotics. There are several ways you can add them into your diet and who can benefit the most.
There are many kinds of bacteria and they are everywhere! in the air, on our skin, and inside our intestines. While some species can cause infectious diseases, others are not dangerous. They are even considered to be good, like probiotics.
"Probiotics are bacteria," says Dr. Kathleen Mueller, a physician. "They're live organisms that are found either in pill form or in food that actually can promote health."
Dr. Mueller is an M.D. that prescribes both eastern and western medicine. Mueller says "probiotics" have been a big focus of medical research in recent years.
"There's been a huge concentration in the last few years because we know it's something that's simple, it's safe for most people, it's readily available, it's inexpensive, and it really can promote good health," says Dr. Mueller.
She says people taking antibiotics could benefit from probiotics, especially if they get intestinal side effects.
"Taking probiotics during and for a week or two after you take antibiotics may help reduce those symptoms," says Dr. Mueller.
If you take probiotics, it's really important to keep an eye on the expiration date because it contains live bacteria. Some have to be refrigerated.
People with some infections and intestinal problems also use probiotics and they're being studied for benefits in colon cancer, skin infections, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Most are in pill form, but Dr. Mueller says yogurt is another way to get good bacteria regularly, but it has to list "active cultures" on the label.
Dr. Mueller says there are no side effects from taking probiotics, but people with a compromised immune system should check with their physician before they start taking it.
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