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Probiotics are good bacteria that may help protect the body against harmful bacteria that contribute to rosacea, acne, and other skin conditions. These bacteria are found in yogurt and supplements and are known to improve skin from the inside. However, they can also do much more, helping to treat diarrhea, prevent or reduce severity of a cold or flu, and even prevent or treat urinary tract infections. A new study indicates a link between lack of probiotics and new-onset rheumatoid arthritis. This chronic inflammatory disorder usually affects the lining of small joints in the feet and hands, causing painful swelling that can deform joints and erode bones. New York University School of Medicine researchers recently discovered that patients with new-onset rheumatoid arthritis had fewer good bacteria and were more likely to have Prevotella copri, a pro-inflammatory intestinal germ. Though there may be other contributing factors, the tie between probiotics and rheumatoid arthritis is enlightening. By increasing probiotic intake, people may contribute to their overall health. Kefir, kombucha, kimchee, barrel-fermented sauerkraut, and foods with live cultures including certain pickles, cheeses, and yogurt are among the foods high in probiotics. Sterilization and cooking techniques kill probiotic organisms so read product labels to identify food processing techniques. Some dermatologists have long recommended probiotics like kefir for healthy skin. These good bacteria create important vitamins, remove mercury and other food borne toxins, and produce substances that kill germs to prevent infections. Kefir brewed from kefir grains contains more probiotics than yogurt or a supplement does. These probiotics can help to prevent acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin diseases. Milk from kefir tastes like buttermilk and if this is not desirable, honey or fruit can be added to enhance the flavor. Drink a cup every night before bedtime to maintain a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria. Home brewing kefir keeps the beneficial microbes alive so they can immediately repopulate the intestines. This extra effort will deliver a constant supply of probiotics to the body, improving general health. Facial skin care products including cleansers and toners also help to control levels of harmful bacteria on skin. Cleansers get deep into pores, using antioxidants and other naturally derived substances to balance, nourish, and protect skin. Some, like Tilth Anti-Oxidant Foaming Cleanser, help to improve collagen levels and battle free radicals. Use these in combination with a probiotic-rich diet to keep skin and the body healthy for a lifetime.