We eat certain foods and take supplements to keep our eyes, brain, bones and joints strong and youthful, but do you eat to keep your gut happy and healthy? Lately, there has been an explosion of new products geared for improving gastrointestinal health. Specially fortified yogurts, probiotic supplements in the forms of capsules, powders and liquids, and many other options have been appearing on store shelves, TV shows and in doctor’s offices. These products have been touted to improve digestive health, boost immunity, and relieve inflammation that causes everything from arthritis to eczema. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any label health claims for probiotics.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), “probiotics are live microorganisms (e.g. bacteria) that are either the same as or similar to microorganisms found naturally in the human body and may be beneficial to your health.” Although some bacteria are harmful to humans, we rely on a wide variety of bacteria to help our body function.