Q. and A. with Dr. Kiskila- This Month’s Topic: Probiotics

Kiskila croppedQuestion– Dr. Kiskila, what are probiotics?

Answer– Probiotics are “good bacteria” that live in the body to help it work well and help defend the body from “bad bacteria” caused from germs or infections.

Question– Who should take probiotics?

Answer– Only take probiotics if your doctor tells you to. Some people think that probiotics improve health, but scientists haven’t proven that yet. They think more research is necessary. Right now studies are trying to find out if probiotics can help prevent infection, help with diarrhea and constipation, or treat allergies.

Question– Are there any negative side effects from probiotics?

Answer– Probiotics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) so there is no way to tell what’s in the probiotic for sure. Even if the probiotic is what you think it is, in theory a probiotic is a “bacteria” and could hurt someone with a weak immune system.

Question– There are many different brands of probiotics.  For the most part, do they all offer the same benefits?

Answer– Many brands claim they are the best probiotic. It’s uncertain if they offer the same benefit. I usually tell my patients to choose one that claims to be safe for the reasons they are taking it, and maybe to choose the least expensive one (some probiotics can be quite pricey).

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.



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