dssfaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa IBS, Probiotics, and Dannon Yogurts DanActive, Activia, and Activia Lite (tm) | For My Tummy

Quick summary of the For My Tummy position:
Probiotics in pills or capsules that protect against stomach acid, GOOD.
Probiotics in food, exposed to digestive juices all the way to the gut, BAD.

Types of Probiotics
That is to say that probiotics such as Digestive Advantage-IBS ™ and Align ™, both reviewed on this blog, are helpful forms of probiotics, and the strains seem to help more than Acidophilus or the multiple strains in the Neutraceuticals products. Both Digestive Advantage-IBS ™ and Align ™ are encapsulated in such a way that they do not need to be refrigerated, as some probiotics do. They also seem to reach the gut and then have the intended effect of improving gut (large intestine) response in the digestion of foods on an IBS diet, and perhaps extend the range and types of foods that can be eaten.

Probiotics in Food
Probiotics as food additives are unlikely to produce such help, because they are unlikely to reach the gut with their probiotic bacteria intact. Dannon’s web site section for health professionals summarizes a study that says that indeed their probiotic travels the entire digestive tract and emerges in the same strength–and then omits all the details that help to judge a study’s validity. Not to mention that people with some digestive problems have lactose intolerance, strong enough that they cannot eat yogurt. The encapsulated pill/capsule form of probiotic stays together and protects the contents, the millions of “colony-forming” GOOD bacteria that will change the digestive activity in the gut in a good way.

Immune System Probiotics
This–the unlikeliness to be helpful–also goes for DanActive, ™ which contains “l-casei immunitas” ™ as its resident strain of bacteria. In contrast, if increased immune function is what you want, search here for the Ganeden Biotech product Sustenex ™. Sustenex provides an encapsulated form of patented probiotics that are designed to bypass digestive juices in the upper digestive tract. I’m holding off on a wholehearted endorsement, just because I haven’t investigated the research, and only know that Dr. Mehmet Oz is a fan.

Further Information
See the many posts here; search on “probiotics” and on “Dannon,” or select the category “Probiotics.”

Feel Welcome to Comment
Thanks for visiting; please leave a comment below, by clicking the “Comments” link.

19 Responses to “IBS, Probiotics, and Dannon Yogurts DanActive, Activia, and Activia Lite ™”  

  1. 1 Greg

    I see that a law firm Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins in San Diego, CA. is out to get Dannon their claims of their probiotic products Danactive and Activia.

    I think Danactive is a fantastic product. These high powered law firms are probably being funded and prodded by Big Pharma.

    The only thing I can say is Danactive WORKS.

    As a sufferer of Gerd, Asthma and Allergies, Danactive has made a HUGE difference in my current health level. I no longer take Protonix as I did over a year ago. I no longer need that puff of Albuterol nearly as ofeten as I used to. I no longer have the watery eyes and runny nose when I mow my lawn as I use to. I no longer have the seasonal colds that lasted 2-4 months LONG while everyone else I knew lasted 2 weeks.

    I think Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins will get SLAMMED in court. I would hope that a investigation gets launched afterwords as to WHO specifally was behind the lawsuit and their motives uncovered, which will probably put Big Pharma on the run.

    I sort of don’t understand WHY any company would want to make product that MASK immune system/digestive problems, all the while giving possible side effects, vs. creating a product that WORKS, like Danactive.

    Oh, I must have forgotten, Big Phrama must be their losing market share, so lets SUE Dannon for having a product that WORKS FAR better than theirs does.

    I get it now.

  2. 2 tummyblogger

    Dear Greg,
    Thanks for your comment. Activia Yogurt and DanActive are milk products. As you might want to check, the list of triggers for IBS include milk products, which contain lactose.
    I agree that the probiotics included in these products do, when tested alone, have a positive effect on a) ordinary constipation (Activia), and b) immune system (DanActive). For people who do not have IBS, particularly IBS triggered by milk products, they (and you) are welcome to pay the premium price for Dannon’s products.
    There is an additional question of whether the good bacteria in these products actually gets to the colon, where it can do some good. Clearly your testimony is that it does.
    It is the position of this blog, aimed at people with IBS, that there are better probiotic products, supported by research, that have the same or better effects than the Dannon probiotic line. Two of them, Digestive Advantage-IBS, and Align, have been given eight week tests here on ForMyTummy.

    If you would like to review a probiotic (Sustenex) aimed at immune function (with or without DanActive), and write about it here, I would welcome your review, and would publish it in the main blog area as a guest review.

    On the lawsuit, I understand it to have been started by a single individual, although the suit is now being pursued as a class action lawsuit. The claim of harm from Activia is the premium price for something that has no effect, as I understand it. This is, to begin with, the Erin Brockovich kind of lawsuit.

    We’ll have to see! And I’m glad DanActive works for you.

    All the best,

  3. 3 Greg

    Tummy Blogger-
    I don’t have lactose intolerance or colon issues. But just to review again I have:

    1. GERD or “Acid Reflux” caused by a hiatal hernia in the esophogaus.(sorry no spell check)
    2. Allergies. VERY bad.. ExampleI mow the lawn during the summer, and I get sick with allergies.
    3. Asthma. I was never a smoker, yet I always coughed like a 3 pack smoker and most always had a pile of mucous ready to be spat out at any time, and for no apparent reason…

    I hope I’ve explained and reviewed my prior past issues to you clearly enough. When I started drinking Danactive, it wasn’t because somebody told me it would get rid of my gerd, I had ZERO idea it would even have any effect on it.

    I initially tried Danactive because the of claims for immune system health improvements the TV commercial stated.

    To my surprise, my gerd was hardly noticable after one week, no more acid coming up. And thruhfully, this could not have came at a better time in my life for the simple fact that my Protonix was becoming less and less effective.

    To top it all of, I was on Protonix because my 2 year script with Prevacid seemed to be working intermittently.

    …I had a hiatal hernia that somehow was becomimg immune to “proton pump inhibitors” WHY ? Ya got me there. I didnt drink, smoke, do drugs…NOTHING. And myself, 184 lbs X 6′1″ tall, I can guarantee you I wasn’t eating wrong, nor was I eating to late.

    The allergies and asthma calmed RIGHT down, but Danactive REALLY took care of the Gerd. I now drink one Danactive every two days, as my body has apparently built itself a great defense wall now against the allergy and asthma as well.

    Lactose Intolerance you say ? Again, I DON’T have an issue with that, but HERE’S what Danactive’s web page says about probiotics and Lactose Intolerance:

    ABCs of Probiotics

    Lactose Intolerance
    Thirty million Americans are lactose intolerant, meaning their bodies don’t produce enough lactase, the enzyme needed to digest lactose, the natural sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Common symptoms of lactose intolerance include nausea, cramps, bloating, gas, and diarrhea, which may begin about 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating or drinking foods that contain lactose. Fermented milk products, such as yogurt, containing L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus can help decrease the symptoms of lactose intolerance, because the probiotic cultures they contain reduce lactose content by “predigesting” some of the milk sugar, metabolizing it to lactic acid and by providing additional lactase enzyme activity.

  4. 4 tummyblogger

    Thanks for writing again.
    I am glad that DanActive works for you.
    That yogurts (all/many) decrease the symptoms of lactose intolerance has been known for some time. For part of my life I could tolerate yogurt and cottage cheese, though not Lactaid.

    I’m sure I said before that ForMyTummy.com is specifically for people with a specific, defined disorder known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. For many with IBS, using a lactose-laden product as a vehicle for probiotics is not helpful, and this web site will not recommend it. We do endorse probiotics such as Align and Digestive Advantage-IBS, which have been tested specifically for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    Again, I’m glad that DanActive works for you.

    All the best,

  5. 5 Greg

    Thanks so much for your kind remarks, Tummyblogger.

    Best of Heatlh to you !

  6. 6 tummyblogger

    You’re welcome, Greg.

    All the best,

  7. 7 Mary

    I am lactose intolerant and have been diagnosed with IBS based on results of a recent colonoscopy. My doctor has recommended “Align” probiotic treatment but I see that is has Sodium Caseinate as an added ingredient. Historically this additive has caused me problems. Is there something in the “Align” to prevent the negative reactions to the Sodium Caseinate?

  8. 8 tummyblogger

    Thanks for your comment. I think that in the case of sodium caseinate as an ingredient in Align, this is in the realm of “your mileage may vary (YMMV).” That is, while although I am lactose intolerant to the max, I did not have any difficulty taking Align for ten weeks. On the other hand, I just checked on Digestive Advantage-IBS (DA-IBS) for the list of ingredients, and there’s no sodium caseinate listed. The only questionable item I can see is one called “FD&C Red #40 Lake.” This is the caplet form of DA-IBS, NOT the chewable tablet form of DA-IBS, which contains a small amount of sucralose.
    To answer your specific question, as far as I know there is nothing in Align that counteracts an effect from sodium caseinate. Please look at my reviews of both Align and DA-IBS for more information. I did find that when I tried out the DA-IBS chewable tablets with sucralose, to which I am generally very reactive, there was almost no reaction. I just felt very slightly off. That was offset by the benefit of the probiotic.

    On having a dialog with your doctor on this, he or she probably has a lot of impressive literature from Align (Procter & Gamble) and from Digestive Advantage, not so much. DA does have simple report of a clinical trial for their product, and it is more available over the counter. In other words, your pharmacist may be more familiar with DA than with Align, while the reverse would be true for your doctor.

    The bottom line is, please resolve the issue with your doctor or your pharmacist, whoever knows your history of sensitivities, and determine which probiotic would be best to take. And DO take a probiotic (outside of yogurt). It really helps.

    All the best,

  9. 9 ashley

    I am lactose intolerant and I have ulcerative colitis. I would like to eat yogurt as a good source of calcium/ dairy, but I’ve experienced severe cramping and bloating the last time I ate yogurt. I take Asacol for my colitis and Acidophilus daily. Does Activia have more probiotics than the average yogurt brand? Can you recommend the best yogurt brand for me? Thanks in advance!

  10. 10 tummyblogger

    Dear Ashley,
    Thank you for your comment.
    This is on a person to person basis, as I am not a doctor in the medical sense.
    You say you are lactose intolerant, and did experience a bad reaction when you ate an unspecified yogurt before.
    Unles you think you have only a mild degree of lactose intolerance–don’t need to take pills to drink milk, can tolerate yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese–I think Activia will not be any different from the yogurt you had before. If your lactose intolerance *is* mild–see above–you might cautiously try it.
    There are many other sources of calcium.

    You ask, “Does Activia have more probiotics than the average yogurt brand?” As far as I know, even the makers of Activia don’t claim “more” probiotics, but better, better tested, better preserved, and so forth.

    I don’t work for Activia, or Align, or Digestive Advantage-IBS. I’m following the story on probiotics because of the series I wrote here last summer.Acidophilus is a probiotic, though not one I’ve written about. How does it work for you?

    Again, thanks for your comment. Let us know how it turns out for you.

    All the best,

  11. 11 joan

    shouldn’t you include in your product package the types of probiotics it contain and how much probiotics there is just like yakult drink…since some health experts recommend a required amount of probiotics for treatment of some disease process including what species for certain type of disease too.

  12. 12 tummyblogger

    Dear Joan,
    Thank you for your comment. I don’t have a product, and I don’t sell a product on this web site.

    Yes, you are right. The Dannon company should include information on the probiotic content of its Activia line of yogurts. Dannon is skirting very close to marketing Activia as a “medical food.” Yet, as I have written, critical of Dannon, they do not have clinical studies of people with diagnosed ailments who might benefit from their products. They just make claims that lead people to believe there is some benefit.

    Thanks for taking the time to write in.

    All the best,

  13. 13 mistur e

    Hi all. Thanks for the discussion. I am lactose intolerant and I have been eating Laloo’s Goat Milk Ice Cream to get my dose of probiotics - especially their frozen yogurt flavors. The story of Laloo’s inception is inspiring. You should check it out. In a nutshell, the owner quit her high powered LA job to open a goat farm in Northern California and int he past few years her goat milk ice cream brand has taken off! The owner, Laura Howard explains her take on probiotics and the slow food movement here: http://www.goatmilkicecream.com/sharethelove.php

    I love this product and will sing its praises when and where I can. It saved me from living a life void of ice cream.

  14. 14 tummyblogger

    Hi, Mistur e
    Thanks for your contribution. I normally turn down product suggestions for items that I haven’t (or can’t) check out myself, but I did check out the LaLoo’s web site. It seems that they only make goat’s milk ice cream and their product is carried by the Whole Foods chain. That makes it fairly accessible for many. Then, too, I just read about goat’s milk (cheeses, usually) in an IBS Diet Book that I’m about to review, so I have two sources for giving a qualified “okay, maybe” to the goat’s milk substitution ploy.
    The thing is, I avoid anything cold, because it turns my tummy into knots. Now *melted* goat’s milk ice cream, that I could try ;- )

    All the best,

  15. 15 BEBE

    Well i got a bug called C Diff Colits difficult from taking antibiotics. The Cure more Antibiotics to say the leas 5 months later my digestion is still f upped so I tried ALign i was ok for about a week. WOW think severe cramping an the big D for 3 days i stopped the ALIGN took me 4 days after i stopped to get better anyone else have this problem?

  16. 16 Eddie

    I tried Dannon Activia after seeing this guy rave about it on his blog http://www.thedeucediaries.blogspot.com . I agree with him/her that it works better than Align GI.

  17. 17 tummyblogger

    Dear Eddie,
    I gave his blog a quick scan. As far as I could see:

    a) He doesn’t follow an IBS diet
    b) He relies on probiotics alone
    c) Align, he says, works, just doesn’t work miracles
    d) The jury is still out on Activia

    So, go ahead and follow his lead. Then come back to ForMyTummy if you have further problems.


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