Probiotic/prebiotic health claims criticised

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Yoghurt, Bacteria

Health claims made on yoghurt products were scrutinised, and
criticised, in the latest report from the US magazine Consumer
Reports.

Health claims made on yoghurt products were scrutinised, and criticised, in the latest report from the US magazine Consumer Reports.

The article in the March issue of the magazine made the following observations. Firstly, that yoghurt's live and active cultures may promote gastrointestinal/gut health, but that the bacteria must remain alive until they settle in the intestine for these benefits to be realised. However, the two bacteria that federal standards require to be used in yoghurt making, Lactobacillus bulgaricus​ and Streptococcus thermophilus​, are unlikely to survive the journey.

Secondly, the report claims that many yoghurts include added bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus​. Some may survive the passage through the gastrointestinal tract and proffer health benefits. But the article maintains that research providing evidence that this is true is lacking.

The report goes on to add that food processing methods may destroy the beneficial bacteria and, furthermore, that regular consumption of yoghurt is necessary to achieve any probiotic benefits.

There were no hostages taken in this critical report and food manufacturers will no doubt be keen to prove them wrong. Consumer Reports​ did, however, admit that yoghurt is a good source of calcium, protein, B vitamins and some minerals.

Related topics: Science

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