Probiotics are live bacteria that you ingest. The bacteria then pass into the digestive area and enter the intestine, where they promote health. Probiotics help to improve health by balancing the number of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the intestine. They’re the opposite of antibiotics—which kill bad bacteria. Probiotics are commonly used in treating stomach bugs, having shown the most impact on infants with diarrhoea. Probiotics have been shown to decrease the duration of the illness by a day. Similarly, some use them to ease symptoms of lactose intolerance - a condition in which the gut lacks the enzyme needed to digest significant amounts of the major sugar in milk, and which also causes gastrointestinal symptoms.
Earlier last year, the Advertising Standards Authority watchdog banned a TV advert for Actimel, manufactured by Danone, which suggested it stopped children falling ill. It ruled that the promotion was ‘misleading’ and its claim that the drink was ‘scientifically proven to help support your kids’ defences’ was not supported. Danone has subsequently dropped most of its claims that Activia yoghurts and Actimel drinks boost the immune system. It concluded there is no scientific proof that products such as Yakult have any health benefits at all.
I think that Probiotics drinks are a con because despite claims from the manufacturers there is no there is no solid evidence that Probiotics have effect on those who drink them. The supposed health benefits of Probiotics goods enable manufacturers to sell them at much higher prices than normal yoghurts and milkshakes. For example, a packet of seven 65ml bottles of Yakult costs up to £2.50 – double the price of the same quantity of chocolate milk.