Probiotics are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits. They’re sold as dietary supplements, and they may also be added to foods, such as yogurt, or included in products that are applied to the skin, such as beauty products.
One way in which probiotics may be beneficial is by helping your body maintain a healthy microbiome. The microbiome is the community of microorganisms that lives on us and in us. Much research is being done on the microbiome and its impact on health.
Probiotics have shown promise for a variety of health purposes, including prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, prevention of certain conditions that occur in premature infants, and treatment of infant colic, periodontal disease, and ulcerative colitis. But much remains to be learned about probiotics, including the doses and types of microorganisms that are most likely to be safe and beneficial.