Subscribe in a reader

Activia Yogurt: Healthy profits from false advertising? What you should know about probiotics.

Many people know about the benefits of probiotics - the healthy bacteria found in your gastrointestinal tract as well as in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, fermented soy products and of course yogurt. In fact, Danone - the makers of popular brands such as Activia and DanActive was the first the tout the benefits of it probiotic yogurt. It was advertised as helping to keep you regular and good for the immune system.

A lawsuit filed back in January 2008 alleged that Danone's own studies failed to support its own advertised claims. And this month, Danone has agreed to set aside a $35 million dollar fund to reimburse customers in an out of court settlement and denies any wrongdoing. Danone has agreed to make changes to how it advertises its yogurt line.

Does this mean that probiotics don't work? No! As my patients already know, I'm a big fan of probiotics especially for certain digestive & immune related conditions. But what people don't know is that the therapeutic dose required to treat diseases vary and that it matters what strain of probiotics you're taking. Certain strains have been shown to be effective at combating MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which is found in a number of hospitals. Recently, the journal Pediatrics published a study showing that a combination of two specific strains of probiotics was more much more effective at preventing the FLU vs. a single strain of probiotics and even more effective than no probiotics (ie. placebo). The key to probiotic therapy is to know how to effectively dose the probiotics and with which strains. Naturopathic doctors are certainly adept at this and have access to these different strains. I currently have many of my patients & myself on the exact strains published in the journal of Pediatrics for those of us who wish to reduce the risk of catching the flu. Also, I'm hoping that it decreases the risk of catching H1N1 should that get out of hand. Let's hope for the best though.

Yours in health,

Ian Koo, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Essentials Health Centre
"The care you want, the health you need"

1 comment:

Weezy said...

Excellent article, very well written and great you provide so many references.