There is a higher concentration of live bacteria in the pill form of probiotics than in foods that contain the beneficial microorganisms, according to Dr. Michael Schmidt, chief of gastroenterology at New Jersey's Holy Name Medical Center. Although many questions remain about how and how well probiotics work, Schmidt says he's seen evidence of their efficacy, and data suggest probiotics are useful for treating irritable bowl syndrome, colitis and antibiotics-associated diarrhea by boosting intestinal health, reducing inflammation and promoting immune function.

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