Probiotics are known to support healthy digestion. That’s because the intestines contain trillions of bacterial cells, not all of which are friendly, and inserting a few billion of the good guys promotes a healthier environment. It also benefits immune health, because the intestines house about 70 percent of the body’s innate immune function.

By stabilizing the gut, probiotics can ameliorate IBS symptoms, such as bloating, cramping, gas, diarrhea and constipation. In a 10-week 2016 study of 50 patients, a probiotic mixture of seven probiotic strains relieved overall IBS symptoms and improved stool consistency.

The trick with probiotic supplements is that species and strains matter. If you’re looking to maintain general good gut health, you might opt for a multistrain formulation that also includes a prebiotic such as inulin or fructooligosaccharide (FOS) to feed the probiotics. But if you want help with a specific digestive-health issue, not just any acidophilus will do. As new research emerges, supplement makers are matching specific probiotic strains with specific health end points, but we’re not quite there yet. In the meantime, research your probiotic supplement wisely and well.