Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body. They can be found in yogurt and other fermented foods, dietary supplements and beauty products. Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics, the friendly bacteria that can improve your health. The first probiotic discovered was a strain of bacillus in Bulgarian yoghurt, called Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
The discovery was made in 1905 by the Bulgarian doctor and microbiologist Stamen Grigorov. Modern theory is usually attributed to the Russian Nobel laureate Élie Metchnikoff, who postulated around 1907 that Bulgarian yogurt-consuming peasants lived longer. While some probiotic strains come from plants or dairy products, the most common bacteria in many supplements are “human strain” probiotics. Probiotic supplements also contain living organisms.
A single dose may include a particular strain of microbe or mixture of microbes. As with prebiotic supplements, probiotic supplement companies market products for specific conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Get information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, and updates for Mayo Clinic patients and visitors. Mayo Clinic offers consultations in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live microorganisms intended to maintain or improve good bacteria (normal microflora) in the body. Prebiotics are foods (usually foods high in fiber) that act as food for the human microflora. Prebiotics are used with the intention of improving the balance of these microorganisms. Probiotics are found in foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut.
Prebiotics are found in foods such as whole grains, bananas, vegetables, onions, garlic, soy, and artichokes. In addition, probiotics and prebiotics are added to some foods and are available as dietary supplements. Research is being conducted on the relationship of intestinal microflora with the disease. The health benefits of currently available probiotics and prebiotics have not been conclusively demonstrated.
However, side effects are rare and most healthy adults can safely add foods containing prebiotics and probiotics to their diets. Future Research May Lead to Advanced Probiotics with Greater Potential for Improved Health. If you're thinking about taking supplements, check with your doctor to make sure they're right for you. ErrorInclude a valid email address: Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.
Advertising Revenue Supports Our Nonprofit Mission. There is currently a lot of research around the idea of what probiotics can do for your body. Although there are many potentially positive results, researchers are still working to find definitive answers on how probiotics can help with various conditions. Probiotics work by changing the composition of gut bacteria or the metabolic activity of existing bacteria.
Several clinical studies provide evidence of the potential of probiotics to reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis and mortality in preterm infants. Probiotic treatment of bacterial vaginosis is the application or ingestion of bacterial species found in the healthy vagina to cure the infection of bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis. There is no recommended daily intake of probiotics, so there is no way to know exactly which fermented foods or how much is better. Some research has shown a positive connection between taking probiotics after an antibiotic and relieving diarrhea.
Some foods undergo steps that eliminate probiotics, such as beer or wine, or make them inactive, such as baking and canning. Second, probiotics must have undergone a controlled evaluation to document the health benefits in the host. In addition, there are several other types of bacteria, each with dozens of species, which makes a dizzying variety of probiotics available. Yogurt is considered the most valuable ingredient in probiotic foods because it has a taste and texture that is generally appealing to Western palates.
If your child has a disease that requires an antibiotic for treatment, taking a probiotic may help shorten symptoms. As reported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, some experts have warned that the rapid growth in marketing and use of probiotics may have outpaced scientific research on benefits. There are also fermented drinks such as kombucha (fermented tea) or kefir (fermented milk drink) that introduce additional probiotics into your diet. .