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Every day, a war rages in your gut and just like an action movie script, there are good guys and there are bad guys. Characters like "Lactobacillus" and "Bifidobacterium" lead the charge in maintaining a healthy gut environment, and preventing the bad guys like "E. coli" from setting up shop. We have an estimated 100 trillion bacterial cells living in and on our bodies; outnumbering our human cells ten to one. We are now starting to appreciate and understand the vital role that they play in our overall health. It goes far beyond the gut. Probiotics are finding new applications in mental health, immune system support, and skin health The term "probiotic" refers to living microorganisms (mostly bacteria) that provide a health benefit when taken at sufficient doses. Some experts have gone so far as to say that we have a "good bacteria deficiency" that has been linked to a range of scary conditions including obesity, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), autism, depression, allergies, diabetes, celiac disease, and colorectal cancer. Probiotic organisms can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi, but it’s a bit of a question mark as to how much and which strains you get from these foods. With a probiotic supplement, you know exactly what you’re getting and in a form that transports them unscathed through your searing stomach acid. To find a wide range of probiotic supplement forms, from capsules to drops, visit your local natural health retailer. Click here for a more in-depth discussion about the complex benefits of probiotics.