When should I consider taking a probiotic?

Nancee Jaffe, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
You should consider taking a probiotic if you've been on a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill bacteria in the body indiscriminately, which means that they take away your good bacteria as well as your not-so-good bacteria. In that case, it helps to reintroduce good bacteria into your gut by taking a probiotic.

Also, if you've been traveling and eating foods that are different than you're used to, you should take a probiotic. Food travels through the gastrointestinal tract and can carry all sorts of microbes. Unfortunately, this can cause problems in the gastrointestinal tract, but a probiotic can counter that. In addition, if you've had a cold or the flu, it's a good time to go on a probiotic to help boost your immune system.

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.