How should I consume probiotics?

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Ms. Ashley Koff, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Before probiotics became the food trend they are today, reliable food sources of probiotics included fermented foods such as: kimchi, raw sauerkraut, pickles, miso/natto, cultured vegetables, yogurts, aged cheese, and kefir. Today, a rapidly growing number of food products (not fermented foods) are marketing themselves as containing probiotics.

This raises two issues: a) Can/do they support live bacteria in their product and b) Should they? It is my opinion that we don't need to be eating foods that added probiotics to them -- there is no danger, and in fact they could do good if the probiotic is viable (live) -- but the question is about need and dietary diversity. We don't need cereals that contain probiotics -- our cereals can be our fiber and other nutrient sources and if we want probiotic we can eat some yogurt with the cereal. We can choose from the above list of foods that naturally contain probiotics. If we are allergic to one, don't like the taste of another, we can move on to a different one on the list.

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.
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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.