Metro Bariatrics - Amir Moazzez MD, FACS

Probiotics the “Good Bacteria”

Probiotics as defined by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization are “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”  Probiotics are regularly refered to as the “good bacteria” and are available in many forms over the counter.  Probiotics and prebiotics are not the same thing and many times are confused.  Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial microorganisms already in people’s colons.  Probiotics are found in many yogurts and typically are lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidus.  Many yogurts will market the active cultures on the label.

The bacteria balancing act within the body can be thrown off in two major ways:

      To create a better balance some people will choose to add probiotics to there routine.  This can be done through yogurt or an over the counter probiotic.  The most common use for probiotics is to help treat diarrhea.  This also is the area where there is the strongest scientific evidence supporting the use of probiotics.  Probiotics’ side effects, if they occur, tend to be mild and digestive, such as gas or bloating.  Keep in mind that probiotics are not regulated as a medication or drug, but is considered a food product.  If you are looking for a place to purchase probiotics, Bariatric Advantage has a chewable probiotic.