A broad review of science on how foods with live dietary microbes like yogurt impact health shows potential benefits while underscoring the promise of conducting more research in the area.

Researchers asked, “Does consumption of live dietary microbes improve health?”

Among the cases in which the microbes in foods were metabolically active like in yogurt and kimchi, “4 reported negative outcomes, 56 reported neutral outcomes and 66 reported positive outcomes,” according to the study.

For freeze-dried live dietary microbes (metabolically inactive), “2 cases reported negative outcomes, 60 reported neutral outcomes, and 90 reported positive outcomes.”

For probiotics research “6 reported negative outcomes, 104 reported neutral outcomes, and 141 reported positive outcomes.”

Across the above categories, positive outcomes underscore the promise of conducting more research in these areas.

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