Should you include probiotics in your diet?

Although this study does not provide conclusive evidence that probiotics will reduce blood pressure, the evidence for their health benefits is growing. A 2013 review of studiesTrusted Source found that probiotics may improve intestinal health, and are useful in treating lactose intoleranceTrusted Sourceantibiotic-associated diarrheaTrusted Source, infectious diarrhea, and allergy.

2017 reviewTrusted Source found that Lactobacillus consumption could significantly reduce total blood cholesterol.

Probiotics can be taken as supplements or as part of a healthful diet.

“People get their nutrients such as probiotics through natural food rather than supplements, as food offers a more complete set of nutrients,” Dr. Chen recommended.

However, Profs. Li and Sun suggest “consuming probiotic powders or capsules that boast robust activity, ample quantity, and diverse strains,” to ensure you are getting a consistent supply. However, they caution that people who are immunocompromised should consult their doctor before taking any probiotic supplements.

Most people will benefit from a balanced, healthful diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, yogurt, cheese, and fermented foods.

“I would recommend in general that people eat a well-balanced and diverse diet of healthy foods, which includes both probiotic- and prebiotic-containing foods,” Dr. Chen advised.