Many people are just beginning to hear about probiotics and I have very few patients who take them regularly. Probiotics have been demonstrated to aid gastrointestinal health repeatedly in studies. This is especially important since most of our common everyday ailments begin in the digestive system. The majority of our immune system begins in the digestive system and it provides the first barrier against pathogens such as yeast, bacteria, parasites, and other toxins. Unfortunately, when these pathogens break through this barrier, it can lead to diseases such as allergies, headaches, depression, muscle aches, weight gain, chronic fatigue and just about every other disease you can think of. So, who should take probiotics? For the most part, all of us. The North American lifestyle, filled with environment and food toxins combined with high stress, is a good indicator of the widespread need for probiotics. Daily intake has been shown to enhance the immune system, prevention of eczema in youth, reduce incidence of yeast infection and vaginitis, alleviation of constipation and diarrhea, treatment for bad breath, increase absorption of essential vitamins and minerals and promotion of anti-cancer activity in the body. For more information about probiotics, contact your health care or naturopathic provider.