Ski Bum, I have been using yoghurt for 30 years to ease some of the problems associated with eating. I feel less miserable after eating if my day starts with yoghurt and on some days, I will take a tablespoon before each meal, sort of my idea of a chaser. It has worked well, so I have never taken "probiotics" until ... I got a nasty ear infection while on vacation to visit the grandkids (Thunder shared his cold with Grammie Belle) The antibiotics just killed me and my usual standbys weren't working so i picked up an OTC package of probiotics and it seemed to get the gas and bloating under control again immediately. It still took awhile for the diarrhea to calm down to my norm of 5-7 a day. I have been taking the probiotics since every day, -- along with my natural active culture yoghurt.
I think the benefits of probiotics lie in symptom control related to the overgrowth of bacteria in the gut. I don't think they affect the actual course of the disease, but I do think they can help us minimize a lot of our nasty symptoms.
30+ years living with Crohn's.