How Much Probiotics Do You Need a Day?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that have many health benefits. Aslo called good bacteria, probiotics, help your body in the digestive process and in fighting off harmful bacteria. Most of the probiotics used in health supplements are of the bifidobacterium and lactobacillus strains to increase the levels of good bacteria in the body with the aim of achieving better overall health.

Probiotics are found in foods such as yogurt, or in supplement form. (Image: Tinatin1/iStock/Getty Images)

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are microorganisms that have health benefits similar to normal flora found in the body. Your intestinal tract is home to many of these beneficial organisms. They aid in normal digestion and inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms. The use of probiotic supplements is often part of complementary and alternative medicine treatments that promote better health.

Recommended Probiotic Intake

Probiotics help restore the normal levels of good bacteria in the body that might have been depleted by antibiotic treatments or medications. They are recommended for people suffering from chronic yeast infections, constipation, diarrhea, gastrointestinal infections and urinary tract infections. A number of food sources contain probiotics, and including these foods as part of your regular diet helps maintain healthy levels of good bacteria in the body. You may also choose to purchase probiotics in the form of a nutritional supplement, but be sure to choose one that guarantees live delivery to the gut.

Sources of Probiotics

Good food sources of probiotics are fermented, curdled or churned food products. These food sources include yogurt, sauerkraut, dark algae, dark chocolate and pickles. Miso soup contains Japanese seasoning made from fermented beans or grains. Kimchi, a Korean seasoning made from fermented cabbage, also provides a good source of probiotics. Yogurt contains high levels of lactobacillus and acidophilus that increase the levels of good bacteria in your body.

Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics help restore the normal levels of flora in your body, which may become depleted due to stress, poor diet or disease. They also treat diarrhea, which is sometimes a side effect of antibacterial medications. In addition, they help treat irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal illnesses, urinary tract infections and yeast infections. Restoring normal levels of flora in your body is important to prevent harmful microorganisms from multiplying and to promote good overall health.

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