Medical Definition of Probiotics

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

Probiotics: live microorganisms (usually bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut that are taken as dietary supplements or found in foods. Most probiotics are bacteria similar to those naturally found in the intestine. Common examples are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium . They may occur naturally in yogurts and certain fermented foods. Probiotics have been used as treatment for various gastrointestinal conditions including irritable bowel syndrome and traveler's diarrhea.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018