Do probiotics prevent drug-resistant infections?

Not enough research has been done to determine if probiotics prevent drug-resistant infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But some experts believe that these "good" bacteria, found in yogurt and kefir, may have a beneficial effect.

Probiotics can boost the immune system, helping to fight off infection. They may also help protect against the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestinal tract. What's more, probiotics may play a role in preventing the development of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics: One study found that infants who drank formula fortified with probiotics got sick less often -- and therefore needed to take antibiotics less often -- than those who didn't. The overuse of antibiotics has been associated with drug-resistant bacteria, so the less people take, the better.
Probiotics are defined as microorganisms that when administered in sufficient quantities may improve health. There are a variety of probiotics that have been studied for various health benefits. Their role in preventing drug-resistant infections in humans has not been established.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently monitoring research on probiotic use, but cannot make any recommendations at this time.

The presence of the CDC logo and CDC content on this page should not be construed to imply endorsement by the US Government of any commercial products or services, or to replace the advice of a medical professional. The mark “CDC” is licensed under authority of the PHS.

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.