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Probiotics are “good” or beneficial bacteria that help maintain the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines. The normal human digestive tract contains 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of “bad” or harmful bacteria and promote a healthy digestive system. The largest group of probiotic bacteria in the intestine is lactic acid bacteria, of which Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt with live cultures. Yeast is also a probiotic substance. Probiotics are also available as dietary supplements.
Why use probiotics?
A decrease in beneficial bacteria will cause the overgrowth of harmful bacteria which will lead to digestive problems such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, and cramping. One of the causes is the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics will eliminate both beneficial bacteria and harmful bacteria. A reduction in good bacterial may lead to illnesses such as vaginal yeast and urinary tract infections.Taking probiotics may help replace the lost beneficial bacteria and to fight off the harmful bacteria causing such illnesses.
Probiotics may also be used to:
Help with other causes of diarrhea.
Help prevent infections in the digestive tract.
Help control immune response (inflammation), as in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Pharmacy Department (Sri Kota Specialist Medical Centre)