b'The Science of probioticsThe two most prevalent types of probiotic bacteria that live in our gut are Lactobacillus, found in the small intestines, and Bifidobacterium, which resides in the large intestines. Not only do these two types of bacteria favorably alter the microbial balance in the intestines, they also promote good digestion and may help to ease the symptoms of some chronic digestive disorders.Several large studies show that probiotics can reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by up to 60 percent. A Cochrane Database review of 33 studies involving 6,352 children (ages 0 to 18 years) found that children who took probiotics proactively had less than half the odds of developing diarrhea while on antibiotics compared to those who did not take probiotics. Plus, the probiotics were safe and well tolerated. Another common malady improved by probiotics is irritable bowel syndrome. According to one randomized clinical trial by researchers from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, MN, simply boosting the number of friendly microbes in the gut may improve both colon function and IBS symptoms. A study of 362 people with IBS found that one specific strainBifidobacterium infantiswas especially beneficial for reducing abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and constipation. Lactobacillus rhamnosus is another type of bacteria that fortifies the intestinal barrier and reduces IBS symptoms by up to 42 percent.Luckily, while IBS can be painful, it doesnt lead to serious damage. Inflammatory bowel disease, on the other hand, triggers inflammation in the gut that can cause physical damage to the gut wall. feed your Beneficial BacteriaLike any living organism, the beneficial bacteria in your gut need food to thrive. Prebiotics are a non-digestible type of soluble fiber that promote the growth and proliferation of good gut bacteria. But preliminary evidence shows that prebiotics dont just feed beneficial bacteria. They may also play an independent role in digestive health by doing the following:improving antibiotic-associated diarrhea easing travelers diarrhea soothing gastroenteritis normalizing bowel function improving colitis reducing irritable bowel problemsSome probiotic supplements include prebiotics. Check the supplement facts label for prebiotic olgosaccharides such as a-gluco oligosaccharide (GOSa), fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), or inulins.8the G o od Gut'