Probiotics can be found naturally in food sources like certain yogurts, or beverages like Kombucha, a fermented tea that can be found at your local health food store. However, the easiest way to ingest a large amount of probiotics is through a supplement that contains billions of helpful organisms.
Supplements can come in many forms from pills, to liquids, to powders. Because probiotic supplements are similar to the bacteria that is already found in our digestive system, and have been ingested in fermented foods throughout history, they are generally esteemed as safe and effective.
However, as with many dietary supplements, there is still some research that should be done about their effect on young children, elderly, and those with suppressed immune function. Talk to your doctor if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, to make sure that a probiotic supplement is right for you!
Are probiotics and prebiotics important for health? - MayoClinic.com. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved March 10, 2012, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/probiotics/AN00389
Health benefits of taking probiotics. (n.d.). Health Information and Medical Information - Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved March 10, 2012, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0905c.shtml
Oral Probiotics: An Introduction | NCCAM. (n.d.). Home Page | NCCAM. Retrieved March 10, 2012, from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm
Reviewed March 12, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith