Are there any serious side effects of probiotics?

Supplements containing probiotic bacteria -- live microorganisms that are the same as or similar to the bacteria found naturally in the human body -- appear to be generally safe for healthy people, although studies haven't been designed to pick up rare problems or risks that crop up only after years of use. People with compromised immune systems or chronic disease should be cautious because of the risk of serious side effects like probiotic sepsis (a dangerous complication of an infection). Safety research on probiotics is ongoing.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.