The amount of money Americans spend on probiotics has tripled over the last decade. It’s become a billion dollar business — as growing research shows this so-called “good bacteria” can make us healthier. All of us have trillions of bacteria — good and bad — in our stomach, but life can sometimes take a toll on the good stuff.
“When we’re under stress or take antibiotics or eat certain foods that we shouldn’t be eating all the time, then we destroy that natural good defense mechanism that we have,” said Dr. Linda McClintock, Medical Director of Age-less Medicine in Tampa.
Dr. McClintock encourages her patients to take probiotics to add good bacteria to their system. She’s seen it help with many conditions — from urinary tract infections, acid reflux, immunity and digestion. Her patient Rose Rosanelli says it worked for her. “I didn’t really have bloating. I didn’t have gas. I didn’t have the negative things that tend to go with when you’re not digesting properly,” said Rosanelli.
Probiotics have also been shown to help with certain skin conditions like acne, eczema and rosacea. Dermatologists are encouraged by early research. Click here to read more from the American Academy of Dermatology.
With the growing awareness of the benefits of probiotics in the US, we’re seeing more foods on the shelves promoting them. The key is fermented food — everything from pickles to sauerkraut and miso soup and yogurt – all good natural ways to get probiotics.
If you’re not eating enough pro-biotic foods, supplements packed with millions of friendly bacteria can offer similar benefits.