We try to avoid germs to stay at top health... but there is some "good bacteria" that our body needs...they're called "probiotics".
NBC's Lisa Carberg explains how to add it to your diet and who can benefit most.
There are many kinds of bacteria and they are everywhere! in the air, on our skin, and inside our intestines.
and while some species can cause infectious diseases, others are not dangerous - they are even considered to be "good". like probiotics.
Dr. Kathleen Mueller, physician: "probiotics are bacteria, they're live organisms that are found either in pill form or in food, that actually can promote health."
Dr. Kathleen Mueller is an m.d. that prescribes both eastern and western medicine.
mueller says "probiotics" have been a big focus of medical research in recent years.
Dr. Kathleen Mueller: "there's been a huge concentration in the last few years because we know it's something that's simple, it's safe for most people, it's readily available, and it's inexpensive and it really can promote good health."
she says people taking antibiotics could benefit from "probiotics" - especially of they get intestinal side effects.
Dr. Kathleen Mueller: "taking probiotics during and for a week or two after you take antibiotics may help reduce those symptoms."
if you take probiotics it's really important to keep an eye on the expiration date because it contains live bacteria.
some have to be refrigerated.
people with some infections and intestinal problems also use probiotics - and they're being studied for benefits in colon cancer, skin infections and irritable bowel syndrome.
most are in pill form, but dr. mueller says yogurt is another way to get "good bacteria" regularly, but it has to list "active cultures" on the label.
Dr. Meuller says there are no side effects from taking probiotics...
but people with a compromised immune system should check with their physician before they start taking it.