Fermentation benefits

Yogurt and gut function: a preventive action?

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Early microbiota colonization significantly impacts future health. According to Dr. Goulet, this ‘microbial programming’ can be disrupted by pre-and postnatal events and antibiotic use, he also describes the preventive effect of yogurt on human gut health.

Intestinal microbiota determine human gut health early after birth by promoting intestinal function and developing the gut immune system. The microbial composition of gut microbiota depends on prenatal events, delivery methods, feeding, infant care environment and antibiotic use. Early implementation of microbiota influences the health of future adults.

 Microbial programming

Dr. Goulet (Hospital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France) introduces the term of ‘microbial programming’, describing the effect of early colonization on the occurrence of later diseases. Epidemiological studies suggest that dysbiosis or changes in the diversity of gut microbiota are associated with obesity, metabolic and autoimmune diseases, allergy, acute and chronic intestinal inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), allergic gastroenteritis and necrotizing enterocolitis.

 Yogurt and friendly bacteria

Recent studies recommend the intake of probiotics, prebiotics or fermented dairy products as treatment or prevention for the described disorders. The living microorganisms in yogurt, in particular Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, positively influence disorders such as IBS, infectious diarrhea, allergic disease and necrotizing enterocolitis. Clinical studies confirm the healthy benefits of yogurt consumption, as a source of host-friendly bacteria.

 Source: Goulet, O., Potential role of the intestinal microbiota in programming health and disease, Nutrition Reviews, August 2015, Vol 73(8), pp. 32-40.