HEALTH BENEFITS AND USES

1. SUPPORTS DIGESTIVE HEALTH

One of the top benefits of probiotics is their ability to boost digestive health. Healthy bacteria that are added to yoghurt help improve the microflora in the gut, which is responsible for supporting digestion and a healthy digestive tract. The yoghurt probiotic content could potentially help treat certain gastrointestinal conditions, including colon cancer, IBS, constipation, diarrhea and lactose intolerance. Not only that, but many individuals who struggle with lactose intolerance find that yoghurt is a soothing food rather than one that causes digestive distress.

2. MAY LOWER RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES

A recent study published in BMC Medicine found that eating more yoghurt was associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Like other probiotic foods, yoghurt supports digestion and the absorption of nutrients throughout the digestive tract, which is essential for healthy blood sugar regulation. Another large review of 17 studies also found that taking probiotics benefits blood sugar control, which could help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

3. COULD HELP PROTECT AGAINST COLORECTAL CANCER

In a large study of over 45,000 individuals published in the International Journal of Cancer, yoghurt consumption was linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. Researchers indicated “the protective effect of yoghurt was evident in the entire cohort.”The reason for this is a healthier digestive tract, which is due to the probiotics and healthy bacteria found in yoghurt.

4. INCREASES BONE DENSITY

What you put on your plate plays a central role in bone health, and getting enough calcium and vitamin D is absolutely essential when it comes to keeping your bones healthy and strong to protect against bone loss. The benefits of yoghurt with probiotics for women are especially important. It’s estimated that one in three women around the world will experience a fracture due to osteoporosis at some point in their lifetimes.

Dairy yoghurts are particularly high in calcium, which helps strengthen and maintain bone mass. Many dairy yoghurts are also fortified with vitamin D, which promotes calcium absorption and supports proper bone mineralization.

5. SUPPORTS WEIGHT LOSS AND FAT LOSS

According to a study from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, yoghurt may help increase fat loss. The study showed that consuming yoghurt daily for 12 weeks nearly doubled the amount of fat lost compared to a control group. The group that consumed the probiotic yoghurt also lost 22 percent more weight and 61 percent more body fat. The study found the belly region and the waist circumference were particularly affected by yoghurt consumption.

Probiotic supplements have also been linked to increased weight loss and fat-burning. In fact, one review conducted in 2018 found that taking probiotics for three to 12 weeks increased weight loss and led to reductions in body mass index and body fat percentage compared to a control group.

6. BOOSTS IMMUNITY

In one recent study, researchers noted that the probiotics found in yoghurt and other fermented milk products could improve immune function by increasing cytokine-producing cells in the intestines. Researchers also suggested that probiotic yoghurt for babies could be especially beneficial, stating that “supplementation of probiotic organisms in infancy could help prevent immune-mediated diseases in childhood.”

Another study evaluating the effects of probiotic yoghurt for toddlers and infants found that consuming formula with added probiotics reduced the number of days with fever, antibiotic prescriptions, clinic visits and child care absences.

For adults, consuming yoghurt with probiotic content helps keep the digestive tract free of disease-causing bacteria. A randomized and placebo-controlled study in Sweden found that taking a probiotic slashed the number of sick days for shift workers in half compared to a control group.

7. REDUCES BLOOD PRESSURE

Yoghurt has over 600 milligrams of potassium in a single eight-ounce serving, knocking out nearly one-fifth of your daily needs for this important, heart-healthy mineral. A review of 36 clinical trials and 17 studies confirmed that potassium intake can play a major role in regulating blood pressure levels. Potassium is believed to help decrease sodium reabsorption and alter nervous system cell function to help reduce blood pressure and improve heart health.

A 2005 study from Harvard School of Public Health led by Dr. Alvaro Alonso found that people eating at least two to three servings per day of low-fat dairy experienced a 50 percent reduction in the risk of developing high blood pressure. Therefore, adding a good probiotic yoghurt to your daily diet is imperative if you want to lower blood pressure or optimize your heart health.

8. DECREASES CHOLESTEROL

Some research suggests that the live probiotics in yoghurt, including Lactobacillus Acidophilus, could help reduce cholesterol levels with just one serving per day. In a controlled clinical study published in Journal of the American College of Nutrition, consuming just one serving of probiotic yoghurt containing Lactobacillus Acidophilus daily for three weeks led to a 2.4 percent reduction in serum cholesterol. According to the study, regular intake of probiotic yoghurt has the potential to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by a whopping 6 percent to 10 percent.

9. REGULATES MOOD

The effects of probiotics on the digestive tract and blood sugar levels have been well-documented. However, few people are aware just how closely gut health is tied to mood and mental health. In a study from UCLA’s Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family Center for Neurobiology of Stress that studied brain scans during and after the study, researchers found healthy women who consumed two servings of probiotic yoghurt daily for four weeks exhibited more control in emotions and less anxiety when introduced to emotional events than a control group.

A 2017 study also showed that the health of the gut microbiome could be closely linked to mental health as well. In the report, researchers noted that intestinal inflammation and alterations in the gut microbiome could potentially contribute to serious conditions, such as depression and anxiety.

10. PROMOTES BRAIN FUNCTION

In the same study mentioned above regarding mood regulation, researchers noted that probiotics have the potential to help with chronic pain, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and autism. Researchers also raised the question of whether repeated courses of antibiotics can affect the brain. Antibiotics are prescribed to kill the dangerous bacteria but also kill the healthy bacteria that reside in our guts in the process. This reinforces the recommendation that yoghurt and other probiotic-rich foods should be consumed as part of a healthy diet, especially after taking a course of antibiotics.