Probiotics have been suggested to help improve digestive function and enhance the immune system. Research shows that taking a probiotic can help reduce the development of allergies within children and some other beneficial effects. Probiotics should be taken if you are on an antibiotic as well. What are probiotics and how beneficial are they to us? Probiotics are made up of microorganisms of “good” bacteria which are those bacteria normally found in the gut. Vaginal and gut bacteria can sometimes get overrun with other “bad” bacteria and this produces an infection or illness. Probiotics can be beneficial in gastrointestinal issues, such as IBS, and autoimmune disorders such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. They can help reduce the symptoms of acute bowel issues. The condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome is defined as being a collection of symptoms such as: abdominal cramps, bloating or constipation and/or diarrhea for long lengths of time. Although there is no cure for IBS, probiotics have been proven to help relieve the symptoms. Effective only if taken regularly, you would need to look for a probiotic that at least contains the most popular strain called Lactobacillus Acidophilus and preferably other strains as well. The recommended dosage would be from 1 to 15 billion live organisms or CFU’s. Women who are using birth control pills, spermicides or antibiotics could also benefit from taking a probiotic. Restoring the normal balance of bacterial flora for vaginal health is very important. Probiotics can also help reduce the most common infections like yeast, urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginosis. Most practitioners recommend that probiotics be taken orally to help prevent bacterial overgrowth of resistant organisms. Probiotics are also found in yogurt, cheese, milk, soy and some juice beverages, and they can also be taken orally through a capsule or powder mixture. There are numerous types of bacteria strains but the most commonly found one that is typically safe for everyone is lactobacillus acidophilus. Bifidobacterium is the second common bacteria that appears within days after birth and is found in the colon. Saccharomyces boulardi is another form of probiotic that is actually a yeast. This organism has been found to help reduce the occurrence of diarrhea in those who are taking an antibiotic. Adding a probiotic to your supplement program or diet can not only help with your regularity but also help your gut get healthy from any infectious disease.