Probiotics are bacterial cultures widely used in the treatment of disease. They are available without a prescription. Bacterial interference between types of bacteria and immunomodulation are the most common explanations as to why people may benefit from these treatments. The data on the use of probiotics in pediatric and adult diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, ileal pouchitis, urogenital infections, allergy, skin infections, and cancers are reviewed. Although generally safe, cases of complications from probiotic therapy are discussed, as well as potential problems that may develop.
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