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Probiotics are products containing the helpful bacteria that normally live inside the human digestive tract. In the intestinal tract, these beneficial microbes aide digestion, some actually produce necessary vitamins. There’s evidence that without them, the immune system cannot work properly, increasing our risk of infection. Most of these friendly bacteria occur naturally in yogurt with active cultures or kefir, as well as natural pickles and sauerkraut. When you’re on antibiotics, I recommend taking probiotics concurrently. Antibiotics wipe out “friendly” intestinal bacteria along with the bad bugs that cause infections. Antibiotics also upset the bacterial balance in the female genital tract leading to vaginal yeast infections. Probiotics help relieve the symptoms associated with GI disturbance such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and traveler’s diarrhea. Children with autism can also benefit from probiotics, possibly because they decrease leakage of large molecules from the gut that can trigger immune reactions with effects on brain function. Be sure to check the expiration date to make sure that the bacteria these products contain are alive and in good condition. Look for probiotics with “colony forming units” (CFUs) in the billions. After you buy, be sure to keep the container refrigerated



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