By Dr. Deanna Lites

DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Store shelves are stocked with foods and supplements that contain probiotics. Some promise to improve your digestion, strengthen your immune system, and even help you lose weight.

Probiotics are often called the good bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy says WWJ health reporter Dr. Deanna Lites.

These micro-organisms are found naturally in the body and are good for your health, especially your digestive system. So do you need to take extra probiotic supplements or is it just hype?

“Yes,” says Blue Cross Blue Shield registered dietitian Grace DeRoche, “because of the way we eat and treat our bodies.”

DeRoche says food is the best way to get an extra boost of probiotics.

“Yogurt, Kefir (milk), sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, pickled vegetables – even dark chocolate will have some probiotics in them,” she recommends.

Illness and medications like antibiotics can change the good bacteria in your gut and that’s when it might be a good idea to take a probiotic supplement.

So what should you look for?

“Thirty parts per-billion of the probiotic, in the supplements, is a good number to strive for,” says DeRoche.

Supplements are not regulated by the FDA so it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist first about the product you’re buying.

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