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There’s Sh!t In My Yogurt!


Written by Josh Gitalis.  Read Josh’s bio here.

There is more bacteria in and on our body, than human cells. We are outnumbered ten to one. You might even say that we are more bacteria than human. The implications of this are becoming more and more evident.  Bacteria influence our health in hundreds of ways. Everyday there are new discoveries on how these microorganisms interact with human physiology.

The benefits of consuming probiotics (“pro” meaning “for”, “biotic” meaning “life”) are truly abundant.  However, the cultured foods that are available are usually of the lowest quality and advertised to consumers through clever marketing. An example of one of these products is Activia yoghurt by Danone.

Activia uses a strain of bacteria known as Bifidobacterium Animalis (B. animalis) which they sometimes label as Bifidus Regularis (more on this in a moment). Just to give you a bit of background, bacteria species that are normally found in humans are not found in animals and visa versa. B. animalis (as the nomenclature suggests) comes from animals.It is found in the feces of rats, chickens, rabbits, calfs, and in sewage. You read that right- the bacteria culture in Activia yogurt is derived from poop.

Why do they add this particular strain to their yogurt?

This strain helps humans to be more regular- temporarily. This is why their marketing ploy involves suggesting you take on the “Activia challenge”- consuming their product for 14 days to see if it helps get your digestive system “back on track”, or your money back.

Here’s the BIG catch, once you stop eating Activia, your digestion goes right back to the way it was. The reason is that since B. animalis is not a resident of the human digestive tract, as a result it eventually gets eliminated. In addition, it displaces the resident probiotics that should be taking up residence in your gut. This means that yes, Activia might make you more regular while you eat it, but might actually cause more digestive challenges when you stop. Sounds a lot like pharmaceuticals- treating the symptom, not the cause.

Probitoics, the kind that body can actually utilize have major benefits.

Some Benefits of Probiotics:

  • Regulate the immune system
  • Prevent diarrhea and constipation
  • Decrease Inflammation
  • Reverse Allergies
  • Treat/prevent yeast infections
  • Promote strong bones
  • Prevent cancer
  • Relieve acid reflux

Most indigenous cultures consume at least one fermented and/or cultured food. And chances are our great grandparents included cultured food as well.

What is a better option to getting the kind of probiotics into our diet that will actually stick around and help rebalance our gut flora?

Nowadays most people don’t even know what a fermented/cultured food is. You might want to try a top quality probiotic supplement or some amazingly delicious naturally fermented foods including:

These foods inoculate our digestive tracts with good bacteria (probiotics).

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Question of the Day: What are your favourite digestive friendly health tips? Share below!


42 Responses to “There’s Sh!t In My Yogurt!”

  1. Christine Cordone said…
    I have never bought Activia. The only product out of the ones I have tried that worked and worked dramatically (there is no doubt in my mind) is a product called Latta Russian Kefir. It is made with grass fed milk and has 12 live kefir cultures (according to the label). It worked after the first cup. I am 70 years old and have had trouble with my gut and many other problems all my life. I am gluten and grain free and eat grass fed and free range meats and eggs and organic milk and fruits and vegetables. This regimen took care of most of my problems, but my gut still was not right until I found this product. It is expensive so I do not eat it every day. I eat it probably twice a week.
  2. Tracey said…
    Why is yogurt on the list of alternatives to yogurt?
  3. kay cano said…
    Wow, could this be in other yogurts? I buy whole foods plsin yogurt and a yogurt I get from a farmstand I get containing pastarized milk. The yogurt from the farmstand just says milk and cultures, could yogurt from farmstands contain this ingredient?
  4. kay cano said…
    I love fresh yogurt made from raw milk, especiallybsince the milk getsvpastarized during tge process. Iv even used soured raw milk, as I heard raw milk is safe soured. But I just realized, when u cook with soured milk, does it becone danferous since its not raw anymore?m Iv used soured raw milk akso for creamy soups where milk gets heated to a simmer.
    • Elaine F. said…
      kay cano, for lots of info on raw milk uses, go to Weston A. Price Foundation website. Cooking with raw milk probably destroys most it not all of the bacteria, so you are most likely safe using sour milk for cooking. I've used sour raw milk for years with no issues. Now it is harder for me to get raw milk, so you are very lucky to have access.
  5. kay cano said…
    Sorry, my last message does not make sense. I said, I love my homemade yogurt made from fresh raw milk. Tge milk gets pastarized during the process. I use soured raw milk for yogurt and cream based soups, as I read soured raw milk is safe. But I just realized, is soured raw milk still safe even when it is cooked?
  6. kay cano said…
    Im sorry about my typos in my previous messages. Im terrible withbtouch screens. The one message I noticed was very hard to read. I Havnt made yogurt in a long time and have been buying whole foods yogurt. But anyway, iv made my own yogurt ftom both fresh and spured raw milk. Fresh is the best and smoothest tadting. I also use raw cream when I can get it or commercial cream, which makes a smooth creamy yogurt. Soured raw milk I read is safe, but I wonder is it still safe to use soured raw milk in cooking when it reaches tge temperature where milk pastarizes?
  7. Sondra Thomas said…
    Hi my doctor says if I use a probiotic, use for only 1 month, if you use Activia, how come they say use for 2 weeks. By eating probiotics are we putting bad bacteria into our bodies? Also if we eat sauerkraut, how much should we eat, & also how many pickles?? Thanks!
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Probiotics and fermented foods are not bad bacteria. You can read a lot more about fermented foods in these articles, where I go into more depth about them:

Before you post your comment, please note that I am unable to offer nutritional advice or recommendations via my blog.

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