ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Alternative & Natural Medicine»
  • Alternative & Natural Supplements

Probiotic Yogurt

Updated on August 13, 2009

What is Probiotic Yogurt?

Probiotic yogurt is basically yogurt with live and active cultures. It contains different kinds of bacteria that are believed to be beneficial to your overall health. You may be wondering "isn't all yogurt probiotic?". The answer is yes. All yogurt contains active cultures. In the early century manufacturers decided to market their yogurt as probiotic which can be very confusing. The difference between probiotic yogurt and regular yogurt is that in probiotic yogurt there is a third strain of bacteria in addiction to the regular two. Usually there is Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. In probiotic yogurt a third strain is thrown in - L. acidophilus.

Many people believe that "probiotic yogurt" is simply a marketing tool used by dairy and yogurt companies. Having two bacteria in a yogurt creates a hostile environment and it is unlikely that the third bacteria would be able to survive. Additionally, there is no way of knowing how much of the bacteria is actually in the yogurt. Another issue with getting probiotic nutrition from "probiotic yogurt" is that yogurt is a wet environment. In a wet environment bacteria is able to run its life's course very rapidly and may no longer be active and living by the time it is ingested

Health Benefits of Probiotic Yogurt

Probiotic nutrition is important and probiotic bacteria, like the bacteria found in regular yogurt and/or "probiotic yogurt". Though probiotics aid our health, they are not needed. Some people are actually skeptical of the large doses of probiotics that are found in some foods. Nevertheless, here are some of the health benefits you can obtain from probiotic yogurt.

Probiotics can promote and maximize digestion of certain nutrients in the human body. This is extremely beneficial. Occasionally a large chunk of food will pass through the human body, right through the intestinal wall where 70% of our immune system lies. Generally when food passes through our intestines it is broken down and our immune system decides whether it is nutrition or an invader. If it's nutrition we digest it and use it as energy and absorb the nutrients. If it is an invader our immune system fights it. On occasion our immune system will get confused and think that nutrition is an invader. It will fight the nutrition, wasting our immune system's energies. A hyperactive immune system can lead to automimmune diseases and to allergies.

Probiotic yogurt also has some other benefits. It is said to improve our mood. We have plenty of nerve endings in our GI tract, in fact we have more there than in our brain. Trouble with digestion can make us depressed and uncomfortable. Probiotic yogurt aids in digestion, therefore keeping us happy. It also helps maintain the rate of digestion. We don't want things moving through us too slow or too fast, probiotic yogurt keeps everything moving just right. Lastly, probiotic yogurt helps maintain healthy digestion in relation to stress. Any stress on our bodies, including exercise, effects how we digest things and can often suppress our digestion. Probiotics help keep everything normal in regards to stress.

Other unproven benefits of probiotic yogurt include aiding in lactose intolerance, preventing cancer, asthma and allergy prevention, preventing infections, reducing cholesterol, and relieving irratable bowel syndrome.

So is Probiotic Yogurt Good For You or Not?

That's a pretty simple question and the answer is yes. There's a however here, though, and that however is that it's probably not as good for you as companies are making it out to be. Probiotic yogurt is not a good substitution for a healthy lifestyle, eating an all around healthy diet, exercise, and good hygiene. Not enough research has actually been done on probiotics to determine how beneficial it is to your body and with that said, not enough research has been done to show that consuming probiotics in large quantities isn't at all harmful.

We know that too much of a good thing isn't always good, and that should be the case with probiotic yogurt. Probiotics have a lot of potential to aid in helping with a number of illnesses and conditions. Over the past decade a lot of research has been conducted on probiotics and probiotic yogurt, though not enough to draw any concrete conclusions from. As time goes on there will no doubt be more research into it, but for now the many health claims, especially those coming from probiotic yogurt companies, must be taken with a grain of salt.

Like all health food and diet fads, there is a lot of hype out there that can't necessarily be backed up. This is a dangerous thing that we do in our culture. For years people have been consuming probiotics. No, probiotic yogurt isn't dangerous and harmful but for some reason people have lately been under the impression that we should be eating as much probiotic yogurt as we can get our hands on. This is mostly the fault of advertising companies and yogurt companies. In fact, a researcher contacted Stonyfield Farm and the Food and Agriculture Organization recently enquiring as to where their research is on the benefits of certain strains of bacteria in their probiotic yogurt. Neither one knew of any research, and concluded that no such research existed. This is parly troubling and would be even more so if it wasn't so predictable. Nowadays it's hard to believe anything. I guess the moral of the story is don't overdo it.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      solonge janiqe edwards 5 years ago

      all probiotics yogurts are very yummy. i tried all the flavors already

    • profile image

      Filthy 80 5 years ago

      I love using yogurt in sex but my wife is lactose intolerant what do I do? The rash is such a turn off and she looks like the elephant man. TEE HEE!

    • profile image

      Satano 5 years ago

      I love yogurt too, especially when you make it :)

    • profile image

      fdfffds 5 years ago

      i dont like probiotic youghurts but yayy

    • profile image

      chris aylmer 6 years ago

      Adding dried milk powder(about 50g per litre) to the milk makes a nice thick yogurt. With just milk it can be thinnish and more of a pouring yogurt. This is how the shop-bought ones are generally can tell by the % of protein shown on the carton label that extra powder has been added. I heat the milk(1 litre)in a microwave oven in a large open bowl on high for 15 mins to kill off unwanted bacteria before adding the yogurt culture. It does not boil but reaches around 90 degC. It's a lot less messy than heating in a pan! No stirring is needed and no milk burns on the bottom. Take some of the yogurt out as a starter for the next batch right away after it's ready and keep in a pot in the fridge, so it does not get contaminated from the air. I use an Easi-Yo yogurt maker which just requires boiling water to be added once to a jacket surrounding the tub of culture which must be at room temperature to start with.

    • ActiviaUK profile image

      ActiviaUK 6 years ago

      At this time of year (Activia) probiotic yogurt becomes part of my essential daily diet - it prevents illnesses - assists in recovering from them and also helps my digestion and weight loss (on a pre Christmas diet!) I find yogurts are the best way to consume probiotics and they taste so great these days too.

    • profile image

      Crystal 6 years ago

      It also depends on the quality of the yogurt and the additives. All those sugar filled or aspartame laden yogurts likely do not have any live cultures left in them. Organic plain yogurt is best - or ones with the fruit at the bottom. But why not just add your own real fruit with a little bit of honey on top?


    • profile image

      juliet 6 years ago

      I make my own yoghurt bring to boil organic milk, just before it rises turn it off let cool till you can put your little finger without burning it just warlm add couple tablespoons of natural organic yoghurt I use the bio dynamic one turn oven on heat oven for half hour, then put your yoghurt in a clean glass jar with screw top or whatever wrap in a teatowel and switch oven off and put yoghurt in the oven with the door left open for 7 hours take out and date it and put in the fridge. yum yum the more times you do this the thicker it gets so you can actually use your yoghurt to make more. I also have been taking probiotic 45 billion and take digestive enz. for a while as I suffered IBS which this has helped me live life a lot better with no side effects just benefits from it no more bad IBS.hope this helps cheers julie

    • profile image

      Kirsten 6 years ago

      Great article, thank you. I'd been wondering what the difference was between 'probiotic' and regular yoghurt with live cultures, and also whether having multiple strains in the one yoghurt was really effective.

    • profile image

      shelley 6 years ago

      im trying to find a suitable pro booting for my 14 month old. Can anyone help?

    • profile image

      Gebhu 7 years ago

      Probiotics are the key to a healty nation in the sense that they have no harmful residual effects. lets all use the probiotics like the Bulgarian Nation.....

    • profile image

      Eileen 7 years ago

      Is it at all possible that yogurt containing probiotics can have a laxative effect (cramping, diarreah)?

    • profile image

      Lizzie 7 years ago

      Trying to follow a recipe to make yoghurt: 500ml of milk brought to the boil then cooled until doesn't scald a finger. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in 2 tablespoons of a bought live yoghurt. Cover and place on radiator or in airing cupboard for 8 hours. Cool down and refrigerate.

      My problem is identifying which yoghurts in the supermarket are 'live'.Is probiotic exactly the same thing?

    • profile image

      Brenda 7 years ago

      Good analysis of pro's & con's-Would like to see an available product use & study of kinds & amounts of live bacteria in each. Paula-above-what is Fage?

    • profile image

      Paula 7 years ago

      Supposedly, probiotic yogurt contains a third bacteria not normally present in normal yogurt (2). The jury is out on whether this is actually true--for a variety of reasons--you can do a search.

      A high quality yogurt with live cultures (I have Fage in a smoothie after every workout) will do the trick.

      Most regular yogurts sold in grocery stores do not contain live, active cultures--read the labels!!

    • profile image

      Ishita 7 years ago

      Can anyone tell me that is probiotic yogurt different from normal yogurt??? if yes then how to make at home.

    • profile image

      enid 7 years ago

      i've been eating weight watcher's yogurt for a long time

      and have been suffering with constipation, i read about yeo valley yogurt and started to have it on my breakfast

      every morning, will give another comment in a few week's

    • profile image

      Rita 7 years ago

      Consuming other sources of probiotics is also a good idea. Especially after taking antibiotics and if you are a woman and take contraceptives. Miso is a good source and sauerkraut. I read in another article that eating about a table spoon a day of sauerkraut (unpasteurized) is good enough.

      I eat a yogurt almost every day and maybe eat sauerkraut 3 times a week. My digestive system hasn't been this good in the last 6 years. I'm 33.

      Great article, thanks!

    • profile image

      thomas 7 years ago

      have taken probiotic yogurt for a month

      lost two inches from my waist without losing weight

    • profile image

      Sean 7 years ago

      Wow, thanks for this really useful info. I've fallen prey to the advertising and have been using different so-called probiotic yogurt brands with mixed results. Your article will help me make better choices.

    • profile image

      ashi 7 years ago

      thanks for this valuable information

    • profile image

      amine 7 years ago

      i am taking probiotic plus and it is really a good bacteria for me.It helps treating crohns.

    • profile image

      memory foam 8 years ago

      Probiotics were once recommended to me by a doctor, to be taken after taking a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics will reduce the 'good' bacteria in the intestinal system that aid in good digestion, so it is especially important to restore these afterward. Of course as mentioned above it is always a good practice, in moderation.

    • profile image

      Melanie 8 years ago

      I am a big believer in taking a probiotic everyday to encourage the growth of the good germs. The key as always, everything in moderation.

    • missmarsh profile image

      Loralie Lyndon 8 years ago from USA

      Great hub on probiotic yogurt! Lots of great info. Thanks.