Probiotic vitamins, also often referred to as probiotic supplements, are used by many people to help increase the amount of good bacteria living inside their intestines. This good bacteria can be eradicated with the use of antibiotics, which might lead to problems with digestion and immune system function. Probiotics are present naturally in some foods, particularly yogurt, but not everyone eats these foods on a regular basis. Vitamins or supplements containing probiotics may be the answer for people looking to increase good bacteria without depending on certain foods to get enough of it.
Some of the benefits of probiotic vitamins may include improved immune system function and absorption of nutrients. People who are lactose intolerant or who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome often report that probiotic vitamins help to decrease the side effects they often experience. Probiotics can also help to keep yeast infections at bay, which tend to be more likely to occur while a person is on antibiotics. Even though antibiotics can effectively kill bad bacteria, they kill the good bacteria right along with the bad. Probiotic vitamins can help to replenish the good bacteria.
These vitamins may cause some side effects, but not everyone experiences them. Most of the time, the side effects are temporary and relatively minor. Bloating, gas, and some abdominal cramping may be experienced by a person who is taking probiotic supplements. Drinking lots of water and limiting foods that are very high in fiber might be beneficial for easing some of the discomfort associated with these side effects while they last. It is very important for a person with any type of serious illness to ask his or her doctor before taking probiotic vitamins or any other dietary supplement, because there is always a chance that they might do more harm than good.
Some experts believe that there is no guarantee probiotic vitamins are beneficial, because the microorganisms living inside the supplements may no longer be alive by the time a person buys the product and takes it. If the vitamins were manufactured several months before the date someone purchases them, there may not be as many live bacteria inside each supplement as what is advertised. Food sources containing probiotics, such as bananas, yogurt, and several types of cheese, may still be the best source. In spite of this, there is still a chance that probiotic vitamins may be of some benefit to people who rarely consume foods that are rich in healthy bacteria.