From being touted by Dr. Oz to Jamie Lee Curtis yumming it up in yogurt form, probiotics continue to be a health and food trend. Examiner.com reported that Dr. Oz considers probiotics to be the best trend for weight loss. He said that too much bad bacteria can cause weight gain. Probiotics' good bacteria reduce inflammation and eliminate bad bacteria.
Perhaps that is why other celebs are also shaking things up. Shakira is singing about a “smiling belly” on Activia commercials. Experts say we can thank the yogurt giant, Dannon for bringing awareness to these better belly bacterias after putting out the live culture packed yogurt in the U.S. market about eight years ago.
“We’ve been tracking this topic for more than 20 years, and it really was doing nothing until Activia. And now it’s super hot,” says Mary Ellen Sanders, executive director of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics.
So what are probiotics? According to The National Institutes of Health, “Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. They are also called ‘friendly bacteria’ or ‘good bacteria.’ Probiotics are available to consumers mainly in the form of dietary supplements and foods.”
Some of those supplements and foods come in the form of drinks, powders and tablets. They may be found in fortified foods like yogurt. The bacteria that are used most often in probiotics are bifidobacterium, lactobacillus and saccharomyces boulardii.”
According to the Harvard Medical School, probiotics are often recommended as a solution to helping some ailments. “Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies have established that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.”
Nutritionist Ebeth Johnson told the Washington Post that some additional foods contain probiotics.