Under normal or "balanced" conditions, friendly bacteria in the gut outnumber the unfriendly ones. Probiotics can act as gut-beneficial bacteria that create a physical barrier against unfriendly bacteria.
Probiotics can also help offset the bacterial imbalance caused by taking antibiotics. Antibiotics kill good bacteria along with the harmful ones, often leading to gas, cramping or diarrhea. Potential benefits of probiotics have been seen in the treatment or prevention of many conditions such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease.