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I have heard that human strains of probiotics are the best. Is that true?


Partly. While it is true that the most beneficial probiotics (friendly bacteria) can be isolated from humans' digestive tracts, certainly not all strains found there are healthful. In the womb, the baby's digestive tract is virtually sterile; the bacteria that will grow there following birth are due to exposure from the mother in the birth canal or at the breast during breast-feeding. Historically, our diet has contained additional sources of probiotics, including yogurt, buttermilk, fermented cheeses and even sauerkraut. So-called "human strains" of probiotics did not originate in humans therefore, but came originally from consuming them as part of a healthy diet. There are hundreds of different strains of bacteria living in the colon of a healthy person. Some of them confer benefits to humans, others are potentially harmful, and some can be either. A better question would be to determine the potential the specific strains of bacteria in question have for providing reliable and consistent health benefits.

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