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3 March 2017, 5:44:56

Health Desk:Supermarket shelves are littered with products containing probiotics, but do they actually have any benefits?

Having become a buzzword in recent years, the yoghurt drinks and supplements have been under close scientific scrutiny.

But now studies are at last beginning to focus the power of products such as Yakult and Actimel.

Probiotics are are thought to help restore the natural balance of bacteria in the stomach gut.

The live bacteria, mostly lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, are strong enough to survive the acid environment of the stomach.

And just this week, researchers found that the supplements can help to suppress hay fever symptoms.

While a study in 2014 noted that probiotics could help to lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of both heart disease and stroke.

And they are also believed to have weight loss benefits and aid the digestive system's balance, data shows.

But some experts have previously claimed that probiotic drinks and yoghurts make little difference to the make-up of the gut bacteria.

Here, MailOnline has pulled together five studies that have outlined the powers of probiotics.

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