PROBIOTIC PROBIOTIC bacteria have been shown to digest gluten into peptides, and thus make it harmless. Researchers in Finland studied the effect of probiotic bacteria on cultures of epithelial cells (cells that line the intestine) to find out their effect on gluten-induced cellular damage. The researchers found that probiotic bacteria called Bifidobacterium lactis countered the harmful effects of gluten, and that it may be a helpful addition to a gluten-free diet. Despite supplementation, a healthy diet and lifestyle are the most important factors controlling the health of your digestive tract. The type of bacteria you have in the gut depends on what you put in there. A healthy diet with plenty of raw fruit and vegetable fiber cultivates healthy bacteria. A diet full of processed food, sugar and animal products cultivates unhealthy bacteria. Drinking enough water throughout the day and engaging in regular exercise are also important.