Best Website for info on probiotics from National Center on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (part of NIH)
Antibiotics are chemicals or drugs that kill bacteria. Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain "friendly" or "good" bacteria that have some proven and many purported benefits. Most common probiotics are lactobacilli (those that breakdown lactose and other sugars) and Bifidobacteria (added to yogurt in Activia)
· Treat diarrhea, esp rotavirus or those associated with antibiotic use
· Prevent or treat yeast (candidal) infections of the vagina or urinary tract
· Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, esp. the frequent bowel movements
· Treatment of lactose intolerance
Other possible benefits
· Reduce risk of colon cancer
· Lower cholesterol
· Reduce blood pressure
· Improve immune function
· Reduce inflammation
Side Effects: minimal, usually just bloating, intestinal gas
Consult your MD if immune system is suppressed by disease (HIV or cancer) or medication.
Activia - contains Bifidobacterium animalis (called Bififud Regularis TM! By Dannon). It''s shown to reduce intestinal transit time, esp. in women and older adults by 20-30%. Whether this is clinically significant (ie. Changes symptoms) is not known. Reasonable to try for irritable bowel syndrome, recurrent yeast infection, nonspecific or antibiotic associated diarrhea and lactose intolerance.