Are Probiotics Good for Your Health?

What are probiotics and how they can be used? Dr. Briggs explains.

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DR. RODGERS: Chances are you've heard something about probiotics.

Hi, I'm Dr. Griffin Rodgers with the National Institutes of Health.

What are probiotics? Do they have health benefits?

My colleague, Dr. Josie Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at NIH, explains:

DR. BRIGGS: Keeping the balance between good and bad bacteria in our body helps us stay healthy. Things like medications and diseases can upset that balance.

Probiotics are live bacteria that are similar to the good bacteria found naturally in our gut. They can help keep your gut healthy and come in products such as dietary supplements, and in dairy foods, such as yogurts.

Now the FDA has not approved any health claims for probiotics, but there is evidence that probiotics might help conditions such as the diarrhea that can be caused by antibiotics.

Talk to your doctor before using any kind of supplement, including probiotics.

DR. RODGERS: Follow us on Twitter @HealthyMoments.

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