As a parent with a background in science, I usually feel comfortable in the drugstore medicine aisle. I’ll stand there for 15 minutes comparing ingredients and prices, getting in every other parent’s way, and I’ll walk out feeling confident that what I have bought is a good value and will make my wee one feel at least a little bit better. Not so when I found myself faced with a daunting aisle of probiotics—live microorganisms that can confer health benefits—at my local health food store recently. I wanted to find some good bacteria to repopulate the gut of my toddler daughter, who was finishing up what seemed like her 80th dose of antibiotics in three months. I couldn’t even understand the labels, let alone fathom what I should buy. Did I want Lactobacillus GG? Bifidobacterium lactis? Lactobacillus acidophilus? What the hell were Lactobacillus anyway, and why does one small tub of them cost $28?
So, there is vitamin K. If you regularly consume lots already while on blood thinners (warfarin, coumadin) then your dose should already take this into account. A cup a day will not be a major impact.
Yogurt has recently been show to lower risk of type 2 diabetes in several large-scale human studies. While the greatest risk reduction has been shown in individuals who average about 6 ounces per day, even 3 ounces per day has been shown to decrease risk.
Probiotic yogurts (containing millions or tens of millions of live bacteria per gram of yogurt) have been found to decrease total blood cholesterol levels while increasing HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels when consuming 10 ounces a day.
2 cups per week is associated with lowering hip fracture risk
Yogurt is known for decreased appetite (not surprising, given the protein-rich nature of this food), better immune system function, and better bone support.
Cancer: There’s only a decreased risk in bladder cancer when consuming yogurt. 2+ servings, but we don’t know what the size was…
Yogurt can be made from either animal or plant foods. Animal-based yogurts are often referred to as “dairy” yogurts and plant-based yogurts as “non-dairy” yogurts.
Not all Greek yogurt is made according to traditional fermentation and straining techniques. Due to the rapid growth in popularity of this yogurt type, some manufacturers are working to meet the marketplace need by taking tapioca or other thickeners and adding them to non-strained yogurt, together with supplemental protein in order to match the amount in traditionally strained Greek style yogurt. While these “no-strain” Greek style yogurts may match traditional Greek style yogurts in texture and protein content, these are considered to be a further step away from whole, natural food and recommend traditionally fermented and strained products when choosing Greek yogurt.
Wandering into any conversation about vitamins and other health supplements is wandering into a thicket of hyperbole and half-truths. We’re here to cut through some of the bullshit in the $28 billion supplements industry.
The biggest fallacy we need to let go of is that all vitamins are good, and more vitamins is always better. Vitamins are potent chemicals packed in potent pills.
…It’s also worth noting, the quality of supplement products varies greatly from brand to brand. Not only can the amount of active ingredient differ from the label, but adulterants can also be sneaked in. If you’re wondering if your (expensive) brand is up to snuff, Consumer Labs regularly publishes tests comparing the quality of different brands. Pro tip: More expensive is not always better.
There is strong medical evidence available that suggests one of the simplest, most natural, and perhaps even most effective ways of dealing with digestive problems such as IBS, candida, acid reflux, Crohn’s Disease, and leaky gut could be fermented foods.
Commercial yogurt in the US is made from pasteurized milk which is inoculated with a select variety of fermenting lactobaccilli, which I suspect is why the author poo-poos it – because it’s not the wild, all-natural, found on your fruits and vegetables wide variety of yeasts and bacteria you’d get elsewhere.
If you eat raw fruit and veg you probably get plenty of said raw, natural microbia. Ever notice that grapes appear to have a sorta dusty appearance ? That’s mostly yeast. Rinsing doesn’t remove most of them. Same for plums, cherries, cabbage, and most any other fruit or vegetable you can think of, it’s just more visible on red grapes. Eat raw fruit and vegetables as well as fermented food, and don’t worry so much about probiotics.