“Yogurt with live cultures can contribute to gut health” is one of the 10 evidence-based conclusions made by the YINI board about the health effects of yogurt… learn more below
Yogurt can deliver millions of live bacteria to the gut and may beneficially alter the gut microbiota
Live yogurt contains millions of bacteria and eating yogurt could potentially increase the number of bacteria in the diet by up to 10,000-fold.
- While probiotic bacteria are unlikely to have longlasting effects on the gut microbiota, regular consumption of live yogurt will at least temporarily bolster the live bacteria in the gut.
- In addition, prebiotics may be added to yogurt (often in the form of fruit) and these may stimulate the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Lisko et al monitored the gut microbiota in healthy adult volunteers who ate 250 g of fat-free plain yogurt per day for 42 days.
- Analysis of faecal samples showed that in yogurt consumers, microbial community composition began to change by day 7, with microbial communities clustering together by 14 days.
- Yogurt consumption appeared to boost the numbers of Lactobacilli in the gut, and was associated with a slight increase in microbial diversity.
As well as beneficially altering the composition of the gut microbiota, probiotic bacteria in yogurt may alter the function of the existing resident bacteria by affecting the production of SCFAs; these have beneficial effects on energy metabolism.
- World Health Organization; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Codex Alimentarius.
- Fernandez MA, Marette A. Potential health benefits of combining yogurt and fruits based on their probiotic and prebiotic properties. Adv Nutr 2017;8:155S–64S.
- Marco ML, Heeney D, Binda S, et al. Health benefits of fermented foods: microbiota and beyond. Curr Opin Biotechnol 2017;44:94–102.
- Lisko DJ, Johnston GP, Johnston CG. Effects of dietary yogurt on the healthy human gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome. Microorganisms 2017;5:6.
- den Besten G, van Eunen K, Groen AK, et al. The role of short-chain fatty acids in the interplay between diet, gut microbiota, and host energy metabolism. J Lipid Res 2013;54:2325–40