Created: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 04:55:00 EST
Updated: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 10:14:29 EST
Good bacteria are for sale at your local grocery store.
It doesn't sound very appetizing, but it's marketed under the name probiotics.
You can find them in supplements, yogurt, kefir even olives.
Dr. Berguist says “I think probiotics are one way as part of a larger lifestyle to promote a good balance of bacteria in your intestines.”
Dr. Bergquist says healthy bacteria already live in our gut to help with digestion and ward off harmful bacteria. She says healthy people don't necessarily need to take probiotics, but when we're on an antibiotic or have an infection they may help replenish our good bacteria.
“There are some suggestions mostly from lab studies and animal studies that probiotics can strengthen your immune system. “
Look for products that contain live and active cultures. Probiotics shouldn't be used by everyone.
“The only people that need to be careful consuming the probiotics are people who have an immune system that's compromised, such as people with HIV or are receiving chemotherapy for cancer.”
Otherwise, experts consider probiotics to be safe with few side effects.