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Probiotic Yogurt

A quick visit to any major supermarket dairy section will reveal a range of yogurt manufacturers promoting products with the promise to aid digestion, boost mental capacity and boost the immune system through the addition of probiotic's.

Some brands are adding substances such as omega-3 fatty acid associated with helping normal brain development to make these claims. The trend towards probiotics is so popular that these "good bacteria" can now be found in a wide range of other products.

What about probiotic yogurt drinks?

Scientifically, we know a fair amount about yoghurt and probiotic supplements, but too little about most probiotic drinks. But one thing we do know is that many of these drinks do not contain enough bacteria to do us much good (J Dairy Sci, 2000; 83: 894-907). This may be due to either a miserly manufacturer or to the notoriously short shelf-life of probiotics - another reason, we suspect, why manufacturers may be loath to declare the actual quantity of probiotic contents. source: WDDTY

The question is "are these claims credible"?

A 2006 report from the American Society for Microbiology noted that “at present, the quality of probiotics available to consumers in food products around the world is unreliable.”

"I think if people are looking to maximize their digestive health, it's probably going to take more than a container of something that's in your refrigerator," according to WebMD Director of Nutrition Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD.

So it seems that the evidence is not clear. While there is agreement that probiotics do help digestion, scientific studies are inconclusive. As to the question of whether yogurt probiotic levels are sufficient, it would seem not. So perhaps a better approach is to buy supplements?

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Better Than Yogurt Probiotic?

Do natural products like Yogurt contain sufficient quantities of good bacteria to make a difference. It would seem that the answer is unclear. Perhaps a supplement is a better alternative...

The alternative could be...

enzymes probiotics

Additional Reading

Probiotic Yogurt Drinks story - Telegraph UK

Can yogurt really boost your health - NY Times

 
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