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What is Probiotics: Types, Use and Sources

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What is Probiotics: Types, Use and Sources: Our body is a home to the untied living bacteria, which benefit us in a different ways. Probiotics are living microorganisms, which are good for our health.

Some essential Probiotics that are useful to us, can be obtained through food, medicine or supplements, while we face deficiency.

Types of Probiotics.

Many types of bacteria are classified as Probiotic. All of these have different benefits, but most come from two groups. Those are following types;


This is the most common type of Probiotics. It can obtained from yogurt and other fermented food. Lactobacillus can be used to get relieve from diarrhea and effective for those who cannot digest sugar and lactose of milk.


You can find Bifidobacterium in some dairy products. It can help to reduce the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and some other conditions.


There are many types of probiotics. But apart from that the most two common type of probiotics are lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.

How Probiotics Work?

Lot of research are still going on regarding the advantages and function of Probiotics. But still it’s not clear how it actually works.

But research said that when there is a shortage of “good” living microorganisms in the body, at that time probiotics help to make those bacteria into the body. Deficiencies of good bacteria can occur after taking Antibiotic.

The study also said that Probiotics helps to balance “good” and “bad” bacteria in the body so that your body can work efficiently.

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How probiotic works is not clear but through some study, it has been said that it helps to generate good bacteria in the body.


Probiotics have many health  benefits. The benefits of it depend on the conditions of the body. The following are some advantages;

  • It helps to balance friendly bacteria in your digestive system.
  • It can help to prevent and treat diarrhea.(1)
  • Correct doses improve mental conditions.(2)
  • Probiotics can reduce certain allergies and eczema. (3), (4)
  • It also reduce the symptoms of digestive disorders.(5)
  • Probiotics helps to increase immunity power. (6)
  • It helps to give your body the right shape (Shrewd look).
Footnote. There are many health benefits of probiotics like, it helps to balance digestive system, prevent from digestive disorders, allergies and eczema etc.
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Before starting medicine or supplement with Probiotics, be sure to consult a doctor. In general, Probiotic food and supplements are considered safe for most of the people.

However, those who are suffering from weak immunity power or undergoing to health related problems, they may face little problem with it.

In some cases, mild side effects such as stomach irritation, diarrhea, gas and swelling may be seen. Stop taking them if you face such problems and consult with your doctor regarding the same.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) categorize probiotics in food, not in any drugs. Therefore, medicine regarding this, is not illegal.

Click here to know about Nutrition for Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease.

Some Possible Effects of Probiotics.

To understand how probiotics affect health, scientists are still working on it. Here are some examples that shows what research has found;

Atopic Dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a skin condition that affects most of the children. When a person has dermatitis (atopic dermatitis) he or she may face dry and itchy skin, scratched and rashes.

Some studies have shown that taking probiotics during pregnancy and infancy may reduce the risk of developing atopic dermatitis and reduce the severity of dermatitis symptoms. But the use of effects varies depending on stress, whether it is during pregnancy or childhood.

Pediatric Acute Infectious Diarrhea.

Acute infectious diarrhea in infants and children causes loose or liquid stools within 24 hours and three or more bowel movements. This condition is often caused by a viral infection and can last up to a week. Some infants and children also have fever and vomiting.

Some studies have shown that probiotics shorten the bouts of acute diarrhea within 1 day. LGG and Saccharomyces foulard pediatrics show the most promise for treating acute infectious diarrhea.

However, other studies have not shown that probiotics are effective – most episodes of diarrhea are successfully treated by drinking a lot of fluids.

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Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea.

Antibiotics, such as erythromycin and penicillin, can kill beneficial microorganisms that live in the GI path, resulting in diarrhea.

Some probiotic strains, such as LGG and Saccharomyces boulardii, can help to reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated with diarrhea in people under the age of 65, but not in the elderly people. But this especially benefits only. if people start taking probiotic products within 2 days of the first antibiotic dose.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

IBS is a common disorder that often causes abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, changes in bowel movement frequency and diarrhea or constipation.

The reason is still not clear, but people with IBS may have highly “bad” microorganisms and very few “good” microorganisms in their intestines.

Taking probiotics may reduce the symptoms of IBS. But the effects vary depending on the strain of the probiotic used, it also depends on how long it is used and then the symptoms are being treated.

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Hypercholesterolemia, (a condition of high cholesterol level in blood). The formation of cholesterol in the walls of the blood vessel can block blood flow to the heart and increase the risk of heart disease.

Some studies have shown that levels of probiotics, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, can reduce total level of cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad” cholesterol) to some extent.

However, more research is required to understand the exact effect of it on blood cholesterol.


Researches are still going on to know the effects of probiotics on body weight and obesity. Some studies have shown that it can slightly reduce body weight or body fat percentage. Other studies have shown that probiotics have no effect or can also increase body weight.

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Footnote. Probiotics have a great effect on health like atopic dermatitis, antibiotic associated diarrhea and IBS etc. But yet more researches are need to be done to know the exact effect of probiotics.


It have different sources. Probiotics can be obtain from dairy products and non-dairy product. But on the other hand it can also be obtain from tablets and supplements.

Dairy Products.

Yogurt, buttermilk, cheese, milk and mozzarella etc., are the major sources.

Non-Dairy Products.

Non-dairy yogurts, fresh pickles, kimchi, sour cabbage, Tempeh, Kombucha (fermented tea), Natto and fermented soybeans etc. are the rich sources.

Probiotic Capsules or Tablets.

Many Probiotic Capsules or Tablets are available in the market. You can take these capsules online or directly from the medical store. If you want to start this capsules, first consult with your doctor.

The following are some popular Probiotics medicines;

  • Bifilac Capsule.
  • Becelac PB Capsule.
  • Vibact Sachet.
  • Vibact Capsule.
  • Profic Capsule.


Many package supplements are available in varieties. You can choose Probiotics supplements as per your need.

The following major Probiotics Supplements in India are;

  • Carbamide Forte Probiotics Supplement.
  • Pronutrition Advanced Probiotics.
  • WOW Life Science Probiotics.
  • Boldfit Probiotics Supplement.

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. Can Probiotic be taken with Antibiotic?

Yes, it can be consume with antibiotic, but at the different times. Taking it along with antibiotic can cause different side effects, which may be harmful for your overall well beings.

2. Can Probiotics be taken with other medicines?

Yes, it can be taken with other medicines, but at first consult the doctor. However, it may cause side effects and can increase the entire health issues.

3. Does Probiotics cause problems like diarrhea?

No, it cannot cause diarrhea. However, you may face little problem at the beginning stage. Because at the initial stage the body required some time to adapt the probiotic components.

4. When and how to take Probiotic capsules?

Probiotic capsules should be taken on an empty stomach, but you must consult with your doctor. Because he can suggest you the right time and dosage according to your health condition.

5. In which place can I keep Probiotics?

It should be packed, dried and kept in a cool place. You must protect it from direct sunlight. Because it may degrade the quality of the product.

6. What are the Difference Between Prebiotics and Probiotics?

Prebiotics is a special form of fiber, which acts as a fertilizer for good bacteria in the intestine. Prebiotics are in raw onions and garlic. On the other hand they are living bacteria, which are found in yogurt and other Fermented food.

7. Can Probiotics be Harmful?

People have been using many microorganisms in probiotics for thousands of years for fermentation of food. In healthy people, it can cause gas, but they rarely cause infections or other health problems. They are most likely to have problems such as bacterial infections those who are suffering from most serious diseases or weakened immune system.

Bottom Line.

Probiotics are living microorganisms which are really good for overall health. It helps to maintain good bacteria in the body and prevent from many health related problems.

It can be taken from both dairy and non-dairy sources. But in case if some people are not used to have dairy products or have some lactose induced problem, they can go for supplements or tablets in order to keep your body fit and healthy.

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Experienced in the field of nutrition, health, fitness, and more. She earned Master Degree from National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad and currently serving in the Eastern branch of ICMR.



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