Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are often labelled as “good” and “helpful”, especially in the case of your digestive system.

Sales of probiotics are on a rise, reaching $35 billion in 2014 and an expected projection of $52 billion by 2020.

But do they actually work?

The science isn’t there yet. Claims stating that probiotics will improve your digestive capabilities and immune function have not been proved.

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A study evaluated 16 probiotic products to determine how well their ingredient list matched what’s actually in the bottle. Only 1 passed.

For most people, there is no likely harm with taking probiotics, except possibly some damage to your wallet.

Read: Detox water. A healthful scam?

If you still want to take probiotics, at least read the Clinical Guidelines to Probiotic Supplements and look for billions of CFU (colony-forming units) and higher clinical ratings (Levels I-III).

For more:

What to look for when buying probiotics

Probiotics come with claims, but the science is shaky

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