An estimated 3.9 million American adults use some form of probiotics or prebiotics. There’s no denying that probiotics, whether found in yogurt or capsules, are a popular health trend—especially with probiotic sales expected to exceed $6 billion in the United States this year.
Probiotics (aka good bacteria) are live microorganisms intended to have health benefits when consumed or applied to the body. However, a recent American Gastroenterological Association report explains that probiotics do not do much for gut health. Selecting an effective probiotic involves matching the probiotic strain to the disease that needs treatment. Most of the time, over-the-counter product labels will not be helpful when trying to figure that out.
The report’s key takeaway is not all probiotics are created equal. Some strains are very effective for diseases and should not be overlooked due to research that lumps all probiotics together. Probiotics require a personal approach, so refer to your doctor to learn whether probiotics are right for you.