What to Know About Probiotics

Probiotics, a combination of bacteria and yeast, have become a $30 billion dollar industry, but do they really benefit your health?
4:06 | 08/11/15

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Transcript for What to Know About Probiotics
Now to our special series, diet wars, this morning we're tackling pro biotics, sales have increased by nearly 30%. How do they benefit your health? ABC's Mara schiavocampo set out to find out. It's the tiny pill with potentially big benefits that claims to boost your immune system and improve your dejestive system and help with weight loss. What is this powerhouse? Probuy got ibs, actually a combination of live bacteria and yeast. Try the number one probiotics. Reporter: They're flooding store shelves in Al different forms, promising to revamp your health. Some evidence bloating, intestinal infections. Reporter: There are tons of options. So, how exactly do all of these work? Well experts say they may create a barrier against bad bacteria in your gut, although doctors aren't sure how. Al for all the health claims, many of the promises from probiotic companies are still unproven. It could boosting your immune system. We're certainly not there yet. Reporter: Now, researchers are studying probiotics like crazy, to understand the process and see if they can help with a host of health issues, with weight loss, life disease and even type 2 diabetes. For "Good morning America," Mara schiavocampo, ABC news, new York. Here with us now is ABC's Dr. Jennifer Ashton. You're going to explain a little bit more about what probiotics are. Right. We hear the terms. Think of this as your small intestine and large colon, take a deeper look inside. What you see here, as the whole gut Maco. You can see, this thick lush grass, that's the prebiotics. On top this is the environment that we hear about, the probiotics, these are all the good bacteria. What you see here is no Bueno. This could lead to leaky walls of the intestine, which could have an effect on your entire body. Wow. Let's talk about what -- the impact it has on your health. Let me show you, we're going to medical school here, we start at the head down, there there's ex's theive research starting in the brain, we call it the gut brain access, mood, depression, the term you're going to be hearing about, psycho biotics. Treatment for lung infections, treatment for life disease. Then, certain gyn infections and obesity. Amy, the intestine track very different than lean individuals. We need more research, some data has shown that taking probiotics help. We saw in Mara's piece, lots of supplements and pills to take, you can get this through food. Prebiotics this is what feeds the probiotics. Sourdough bread. If you don't like any of these foods, you can go for the over the counter supplement. The three species -- if you have any questions check with your question. # Doctor. Jen will be taking your questions on Twitter throughout the morning. Thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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