Moderators in one of the IBS Forums often suggest trying Dannon Activia ™. I have not. That’s because lactose is sometimes a trigger for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)–and lactose is an ingredient in milk and milk products such as yogurt. Of course Activia ™ is a food–yogurt–and not a medicine.
Now comes this FAQ from the Chicago Tribune health reporter Julie Deardorff. On her blog she asks and answers this question about Activia and other probiotics:
Q. What’s the deal with yogurt?
A. All non-heat-treated yogurts do contain live active cultures, which include the bacteria used as starter cultures to make the yogurt [Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilis], Sanders said. “Yogurts may also contain added cultures, including probiotics. A wider range of health benefits have been documented for some of these added probiotic strains,” Sanders said. But “many of the organisms in yogurt cannot survive in the acidic environment of the stomach,” said Sri Komanduri, an assistant professor of medicine in gastroenterology and nutrition at Rush University Medical Center. “In addition, yogurt contains lactose, which can be a potent gastrointestinal irritant and may only add to the patient’s symptoms [if the person is lacatose intolerant].
Sanders also suspects many yogurts marketed as “probiotics” with added strains don’t contain enough bacteria to be effective or haven’t been studied. “I also bet there are many yogurts that contain probiotics that have little if any efficacy studies done on them,” she said.1
What do you think? Has anyone tried Activia, ™ or do you know someone who has tried Activia? Is the advertising for Activia helpful at all in “normalizing” the tummy problems of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?
- August 1, 2007 Chicago Tribune Features Blogs - Julie’s Health Blog 7/07 [↩]