Overestimated benefits of probiotic yogurt

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Hardly recognizable health benefits of "probiotic" yoghurts

More and more consumers are turning to so-called "probiotic" yoghurts, which promise to strengthen the immune system and improve bowel activity. What sounds so promising on the packaging, however, is in many cases not the reality. Instead, there is hardly any health benefit to be seen.

Benefits for immune system and intestinal activity remain unclear Probiotic yogurt is becoming increasingly popular. Many consumers trust the promises on the packaging and hope for health benefits from the consumption. The extent to which yogurts with microorganisms actually have a positive effect on the immune system and intestinal activity remains unclear and is often simply overestimated, according to Rostock medical professor Andreas Podbielski: "Unfortunately, we do not know which people benefit from what and why," said Podbielski in advance 65th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology in Rostock, at which around 600 international experts are expected.

Yogurt with microorganisms cannot replace sensible therapies. Although the medical benefit of yogurts with microorganisms according to Podbielski is difficult to understand, he would also advise patients with a disturbed intestinal flora to eat such products. This is harmless for almost everyone: "With very few exceptions, such as severe mucosal dysfunction, you can't go wrong," continues Podbielski. According to the expert, however, serious therapy cannot be replaced by probiotic milk products, because "if one day you want to give reasonable probiotic therapy, it will no longer be a matter for the supermarkets." Instead, doctors and pharmacists would have to take control here to avoid side effects and overdoses as a result of self-treatment.

Öko-Test certifies: Not all products "without fault and blame" The skepticism towards probiotic yoghurts is not new. Already in 2009, the consumer magazine "Öko-Test" came to the conclusion that not all products were "faultless": "Even if one assumes that taking certain probiotic yoghurts purely statistically shortens the duration of a cold or for relief of diarrhea does not mean that everyone responds to it equally. ”According to Professor Knut J. Heller from the Max Rubner Institute in Kiel, assessing the additional health benefits is accordingly difficult, because" the studies only say something about Group of tested subjects, never above the individual consumer. "

Dutch researcher refutes Activia health benefits The Health Committee in the European Parliament also showed unmistakable skepticism about probiotic yoghurts last year by prohibiting all manufacturers from advertising their products in connection with health-promoting benefits.

Critics are receiving confirmation from more and more studies that question the effectiveness of products such as “Danone Activia”, “Danone Actimel” or “Nestlé LC1 Pur”. The nutritionist Martijn Katan from the Netherlands had already examined the product "Activia" in 2008 in a research project, "a yoghurt product with the probiotic bacterium Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010." The background: The manufacturing company "Danone" had advertised in the Netherlands that "Activia promotes bowel movements". However, as the researcher writes in an article on "PubMed", there was "insufficient scientific evidence" for this claim: "Except in a subgroup with 19 out of a total of 267 patients, Activia had no significant effect on frequency, quantity or consistency of the chairs reported. "(nr)

Image: Head of Media / markus

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