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Because there are different types of probiotics, their effectiveness depends on finding the right one for the condition. They are best used as a supplement to treat digestive diseases, but they are not replacements for the treatment a doctor prescribes, according to the American Gastroenterological


Probiotics are microorganisms, such as bacteria and yeast, found naturally in the intestines, according to WebMD. The human intestinal tract contains more than 500 types of bacteria that help digest food. The American Gastroenterological Association indicates the two most common types of commerciall


Some good probiotic supplements are Align, Florastor and RepHresh Pro-B, according to Women's Health. Most probiotic supplements contain bifidobacterium and lactobacillus, which are two most common researched bacterial strains,


The best probiotics in supplement form contain at least 20 billion bacteria, according to WebMD. However, nutritionists prefer getting probiotics from natural food sources such as yogurt and kefir whenever possible.


As of 2014, doctors are still deciding on the best way to prescribe probiotics, as stated by WebMD. There is too little information on probiotics for doctors to advise people on the right dosage.


Research suggests that probiotics work by correcting an imbalance of the friendly bacteria in a person's digestive system, according to WebMD. The digestive system contains over 500 different types of bacteria, which are believed to benefit everything from digestion and intestinal health to the immu


Some of the most effective probiotic foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, miso soup, kefir, and Gouda cheese, according to WebMD. Sourdough bread, acidophilus milk, and naturally fermented sour pickles are also high in beneficial bacteria.


Probiotics are found in fermented foods, such as cultured dairy products, fermented vegetables and fermented beverages. If purchased from a store, it is better for the foods to be raw and unpasteurized, since the pasteurization process kills the very bacteria that make these products beneficial.


The best probiotics are those derived from fermented foods with live cultures unaffected by the manufacturing process, states Women's Health Magazine. Raw, lacto-fermented or unpasteurized are helpful identifiers on the packaging of these foods. Yogurt, sauerkraut and pickles are examples of ferment


Probiotics are used to support or improve a variety of health conditions, but WebMD reports concerns about probiotics being regulated as a food rather than a drug. As of 2014, uncertainty remains as to possible complications probiotics present in children, the elderly and people with poor immune sys