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We now know that in reality we are a multi-species compendium. Research indicates that only 1 in 10 cells is human. The rest are mostly bacteria of a 1000 different types. These synergistic bacteria are essential for our survival. In part they compete for space and resources for destructive bacteria and in part produce biochemicals that help regulate our own physiology. A healthy person should probably be taking one to two caps of a quality probiotic each day. A chronically ill person may need as many as 20 or more capsules per day.
For a more detailed discussion see Health Resources: Probiotics Basics.