Consumer Wise: Probiotics a popular new phrase in the grocery aisle

By Angie Moreschi, Consumer Wise
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2014, 11:35 AM EDT

There are a lot of reasons to reach for yogurt in the grocery aisle. It’s one of the many foods and supplements that contain probiotics. Probiotics are natural bacteria that are good for you.

Everyone has trillions of good and bad bacteria in our stomach, but life can sometimes take a toll on the good kind.

“When we’re under stress or take antibiotics or eat certain foods that we shouldn’t be eating all the time, then we destroy that natural good defense mechanism that we have,” Dr. Linda McClintock said.

McClintock encourages her patients to take probiotics to add good bacteria to their system. She’s seen it help with many conditions, like urinary tract infections, acid reflux and digestion. Rose Rosanelli said it helped her.

“I certainly felt a lot more regular,” Rosanelli said. “I didn’t really have bloating. I didn’t have gas. I didn’t have the negative things that tend to go with when you’re not digesting properly.”

As probiotics get more popular, there are more foods on the shelves promoting them. You’ll find probiotics in fermented foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, miso soup and, again, yogurt.

If you’re not eating enough probiotic foods, supplements packed with millions of friendly bacteria can offer similar benefits.

Early research by the American Academy of Dermatology shows probiotics can help with some skin conditions like acne, eczema and rosacea.