Why a probiotic?
RomarioIen/Shutterstock The idea of these little wonder bugs can be a bit off-putting at first: You’re going to willingly swallow live bacteria? Yep—because that’s what probiotic means. The good news is that these friendly strains of bacteria can help put the bacterial populations in your body back in balance—and that can heal a surprising number of ailments, according to Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, a dermatologist and probiotic expert.
tobe24/Shutterstock If you often find yourself bloating after meals or eating certain foods, you may want to consider a bifidobacteria probiotic. “These bacteria are found in the gut within days after birth, particularly in breastfed infants and is the best measurement of gut health,” Dr. Shainhouse says. “Bifidobacteria may also help improve glucose tolerance and hyperlipidemia (an abnormally high concentration of fats or lipids in the blood) and could also reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome like bloating or slow mobility,” she explains.