Bacteria Yogurt. All about yogurt cultures and bacteria in yogurt. What are probiotics and what do they do?
Bacteria in Yogurt
Yogurt contains probiotics, live organisms or bacterial strains that have proven health benefits. The opposite of probiotics is actually antibiotics; while antibiotics kill bad bacteria, probiotics promote the growth of good bacteria. Probiotics feed on prebiotics, another component of yogurt live cultures. Prebiotics help promote the absorption of calcium in our bodies.
However, many yogurt products contain no live active cultures; you would thus not obtain the benefits of prebiotics and probiotics. Always look out for the National Yogurt Association ‘live active cultures’ seal on the yogurt container. This guarantees that there are at least 100 million cultures per gram of yogurt.
Benefits of Yogurt Bacteria
The two most common strains of beneficial bacteria are Lactobacillus Bulgaricus and Streptococcus Thermophilus. Some yogurt manufacturers are adding a third, Lactobacillus Acidophilus. These yogurt cultures help break down lactose into glucose and galactose, simpler sugars that are easier to absorb.
Yogurt culture also helps to treat or prevent bacterial diarrhea caused by strains such as Salmonella and E Coli. Children with diarrhea problems recover faster when they eat yogurt with probiotic cultures.
If you are on an antibiotic medication, you might want to consider eating yogurt at the same time in order to replenish the beneficial bacteria killed by the antibiotics. In order to optimize the effects, you should take yogurt that contains L. acidophilus or bifidobacterium; these are the two strains commonly found in the large intestine.