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Probiotics are dietary supplements containing potentially beneficial bacteria or yeasts. They are also called “friendly bacteria” or “good bacteria”, and help to maintain healthy gut function. Probiotics are available mainly in the form of dietary supplements and foods.
Most probiotics are bacteria similar to those naturally found in people’s guts, especially in those of breastfed infants (who have natural protection against many diseases). Most often, the bacteria come from two groups, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. Within each group, there are different species, and within each species, different strains. A few common probiotics, such as Saccharomyces boulardii, are yeasts, which are different from bacteria.
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