Probiotics are a combination of live beneficial bacteria and/or yeasts that naturally live in your body. Bacteria is usually viewed in a negative light as something that makes you sick. However, you have two kinds of bacteria constantly in and on your body — good bacteria and bad bacteria. Probiotics are made up of good bacteria that help keep your body healthy and working well. This good bacteria helps you in many ways, including fighting off bad bacteria when you have too much of it, and helping you feel better.
Probiotics are part of a larger picture concerning bacteria and your body — your microbiome. You have trillions of microbes on and in your body. These microbes are a combination of:
- Fungi (including yeasts)
For a microbe to be called a probiotic, it must have several characteristics. These include being able to:
- Be isolated from a human
- Survive in your intestine after ingestion (being eaten)
- Have a proven benefit to you
- Be safely consumed