Good Bacteria yogurt drinks?


Distinguished Member
Came across this artile to day. I was wondering if others use these type of drinks and wether they did any good?

Who benefits from probiotics? Anyone with a stressful life; people prone to colds, infections; women prone to thrush; anyone who has been taking antibiotics; anyone travelling abroad; people prone to digestive disorders.

The age-old quote by Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food'‘ has never rung so true as it does today. The links between good health and diet are increasingly obvious. As a result, the market for foods that promote health is flourishing, particularly in the area of probiotics.

Earlier this month, Tesco reported that probiotic drinks were its fastest growing dairy-food product. Products such as Actimel, Danone Bio-Activa, Benecol, Glenisk organic yogurts and the latest addition to this ever expanding market, Yakult, are on supermarket shelves everywhere. But what exactly are probiotics?

The word probiotic literally means “for life'‘. The correct scientific definition is: “A live microbial feed supplement, which beneficially affects the person by improving their intestinal microbial balance.”

In other words, probiotics are living bacteria that, when consumed in sufficient quantities, provide health benefits over and above their basic nutrition value.

“The concept behind these functional foods is that we maintain beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut,” says Aveen Bannon, consultant dietician at the Dublin Nutrition Centre.

“Probiotics are considered good bacteria that we can introduce to the gut through food.”

According to scientific research studies, poor eating habits, chlorinated drinking water, alcohol, stress and the use of antibiotics can wreak havoc in the gastrointestinal tract by destroying good bacteria and allowing harmful bacteria to multiply. When the ratio of good bacteria to bad is lowered, problems such as gas, bloating, indigestion, diarrhoea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome can occur. Other disorders such as Candida, yeast infections and chronic fatigue have also been linked to low levels of beneficial bacteria.

“Probiotics can be a good idea for people with gut problems. Also, if a person is on antibiotics, probiotics may be a good idea to readjust the bacteria levels in the gut. They are thought to be of benefit when taken during or after antibiotic treatment or when travelling abroad,” says Bannon.

So how do we know we are getting sufficient quantities of good bacteria in the products promoted as “probiotic'‘?

The packaging for most probiotic drinks clearly states the type of bacteria contained inside. The most commonly found probiotics are the lactic acid bacteria known as lactobacillus, streptococcus and bifidobacterium.

To work out whether a probiotic drink is good for you, you need to know the particular strain of bacteria and the dose it contains.

The dose is important as the stomach will kill of much of the probiotics swallowed.

“Most live bacteria that are ingested die when they reach the acidic juices of the stomach. For a beneficial bacterium to be classified as a probiotic, it must be resistant to the stomach and pancreatic acids in order to reach the colon alive.

The probiotics then attach to the wall of the intestine where they increase the number of beneficial bacteria and fight against harmful bacteria,” says Bannon.

So do products like Danone's Actimel and Yakult contain enough bacteria to be effective?

Danone clearly labels the exact strain used in its product, lactobacillus casei imunitass, as does Yakult, lactobacillus casei shirota, and both contain well over the recommended one billion bacteria dose per serving.

However, according to Professor Colette Short, director of science at Yakult: “Yakult is a food product, not a medicine. What we promise is that Yakult positively influences the balance of the beneficial bacteria in the gut.”

As research into what ‘friendly bacteria' can actually do for you continues, the general consensus is that it is important to read the labels and buy a good quality probiotic that clearly states the strain and dose it contains.

And it appears the worst that can happen if you choose to eat or drink these products is that they do nothing extra for you, bar providing you with the calcium and other nutrients you would normally get from a yoghurt or yoghurt drinks.



Active Member
I used Yakult a few years ago when my ME started getting the better of me again, and it really did make a huge difference. I also found that taking some acidopholis helped immensely, too. It does take a while to get into your system but if you continually take it, it does help. Strangely enough, I have just started using a Canadian equivalent, can't get Yakult or Danone over here, as I have been having some serious digestive issues and it made me really ill, at one point it felt like I had a lump in my gut and intestines, so I had to stop taking them immediately. I guess it must have had different bacterias to what I was used to in the past.


Well-known Member
Funny you should mention these, I am out tonight with the lads for a few beers and a yogurt:devil:


Saw a bit on BBC Breakfast a few months ago about these drinks . IIRC It suggested the bacteria were all destroyed by the stomach acids as part of the digestive process .
Waste of time , good marketing gimmick tho :devil:



Distinguished Member
Just about to say the same thing John.

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