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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-17 (EDT)

See Also Food Supplements

Probiotics are bacteria or yeast that may have beneficial effects by enhancing digestion and immune function. They do this by competing with pathogenic microorganisms for binding sites on mucosal surfaces, and by producing chemicals that inactivate or kill pathogens.[1] }}

Article Probiotics for the Prevention of Childhood Eczema , Natural Medicine , 2011 May [1]

Food Sources

Foods that contain probiotics include:

  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Miso
  • Tempeh


Probiotics have been found to be useful in treating/preventing the following:[1]

Article Probiotics in Functional Bowel Disorders, 2011 June Natural Medicine [2]


Infectious disease:


Article Can probiotics impact the development of allergy in infants?, IHP, June/July 2008
  • Cirrhosis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Dental caries
  • Liver transplant
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Vaginitis
  • Xerostomia

Prescribing Considerations

Article Strain- specfic probiotics: Differentiating probiotic prescriptions based on clinical presentation Part II, IHP, September 2008

The recommended dosages have not yet been established. To determine what your specific requirements are, talk to your naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional.


Probiotics are generally considered safe. Side effects are rare, but specific safety precautions include:

Article Ensuring Probiotic Quality, NMJ, [3], 2012 January
  • People with milk protein allergy may experience allergic reactions to probiotics grown on milk protein.
  • Probiotic-induced bactermia or fungemia can result from compromised immune function, a damaged gastrointestinal barrier, the presence of an indwelling central venous catheter, severe underlying disease, prior surgical interventions, prior prolonged hospitalization, administration of multiple antibiotics, and prolonged treatment with probiotics or use of excessive dosages.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gaby, AR (2011) Nutritional Medicine. Fritz Perlberg Publishing.