Probiotics and Yogurt


 Is there a yogurt pill?

 

Not exactly, but there is something close.  One of the main reasons why yogurt is healthy for you is due to the live cultures of beneficial bacteria.  These bacteria, mainly acidophilus, are used to ferment the sugar and proteins in milk to create yogurt.  In our body, these bacteria colonize the intestinal tract and help to keep us healthy. 

They do this by several different mechanisms.   One way involves the ability of these bacteria to crowd out unwanted organisms like yeast.  They also help break down our food ensuring we extract the most amounts of vitamins and nutrients possible.  As bacteria, they help to stimulate our immune defenses without causing infection.  This supports our body's ability to fight off other harmful bacterial and viral infections. 

These same bacteria are readily available in supplement form, commonly referred to as probiotics.  This will give you the same benefits of eating yogurt in regards to supporting intestinal health, nutrient absorption and immune function.  In fact, supplementation is often more effective because the original cultures used to make the yogurt do not always survive by the time the finished product hits the grocery store shelves.  



Back to all Questions     View More by Dr. Kevin Passero

Lead Medical Director

As a certified and fully trained Naturopathic Doctor, Passero has trained and preceptored with some of the nation's leading doctors in the field of natural medicine, working under the guidance of MD’s, Chiropractors, Naturopaths and Acupuncturists. Furthermore, he is currently the Vice President of the Maryland Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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