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THE probiotics they are known for their power to do good for our body and for this reason they have long had a special place on our tables.

They do not only represent the choice of health enthusiasts who are particularly attentive to the specific needs of the body, but of everyone, precisely because they know how to provide great well-being without too much effort and also do so with taste if taken through food.

But here comes the first doubts: what exactly are they for and how can we recognize them?

Today we want to focus on these two aspects, focusing on a much loved food product rich in probiotics. We are talking about probiotic yogurt, especially indicated in cases of irritable colon. 

We are closely acquainted with this health ally which comes in many different variations and flavours.

What are probiotics and how to recognize them

Probiotics are live microorganisms that regulate the intestinal flora and guarantee its normal balance.

They can be found on the market in different formats: supplements in capsules or sachets, and food products. But, to be considered probiotics, they must have precise characteristics:

  • contain microorganisms of very specific strains in quantities of at least 1 billion per type;
  • be characterized by microorganisms that are alive and can reach the intestine to help it stay healthy.

Among the best known on the market we remember Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Streptococcus thermophilus, which many of you will have heard of perhaps in some advertisements, but there are many others that are equally important for the well-being of the microflora.

Yet, despite being talked about often, there is still a tendency to get confused: so it happens that we consume foods thinking that they have the benefits of natural probiotics but in reality we are off track and far from taking the live microorganisms necessary for intestinal care.

How to recognize them, then?

The advice is to carefully read the nutritional labels and make sure they contain live lactic ferments in the quantities described above. 

One of the most discussed foods when it comes to probiotics is yogurt, generally indicated for rebalancing the functions of the microbiota. However, it is necessary to make some clarifications to understand once and for all the role of yogurt for the well-being of the body and its relationship with the category of probiotics.

Yogurt: probiotic or not?

A common misconception identifies yogurt as a probiotic food: but is it entirely true?

Yes and no, as you need to be careful about the yogurt you choose because not all of them contain the live microorganisms in question. Let's start from the definition of yogurt: it is a light, digestible and nutrient-rich food, appreciated by both adults and children.

It is obtained from the fermentation of milk and provides the body with calcium, phosphorus, vitamins and proteins. Furthermore, it does not contain lactose and is therefore indicated in diets followed by those suffering from intolerance.

It comes in different variations: fat-free, sugar-free, liquid or in a jar, fruit or white, to meet everyone's needs.

To be defined as probiotic yogurt it must be enriched with live lactic ferments of certain strains. Only if this addition of probiotics occurs can it be consumed with the aim of benefiting from its advantages at the intestinal level.

And here too the same advice applies: you must necessarily read the nutritional label which will tell you with certainty whether it is a probiotic product or a simple yogurt.  

If it contains only Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus it is a common yogurt, while if the label reads strains such as Lactobacillus Acidophylus, Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosum GG, Lactobacillus johnsonii La1 (LC1), Bifidobactetium Lactis DN-173010, Saccharomyces Boulardii, it means which is actually a probiotic yogurt.

Let's discover its many benefits and understand the reasons that have chosen it as one of the best allies for the well-being of our intestines and in the treatment of irritable colon.

Probiotics, what they are for and what benefits they can give to the body

Probiotic yogurt has all the powerful benefits of common probiotics. So, let's summarize their main features:

  • regulate the functions of the intestine and bring more balance to the intestinal flora;
  • they defend against some pathologies such as intestinal cancer;
  • prevent the proliferation of fungi that cause vaginal infections;
  • they help in case of diarrhea, swollen stomach, digestion problems and various gastrointestinal disorders;
  • they also act on the immune system by strengthening its defenses and therefore protecting against germs and viruses causing seasonal flu.

Furthermore, they also seem to be effective in widespread pathologies such as irritable bowel syndrome, which we will talk about later. 

The action of probiotics takes place optimally when the microorganisms they contain are able to adhere well to the intestinal walls and reproduce (without being destroyed by gastric juices) to guarantee the well-being of the entire intestinal ecosystem.

Among the most widespread probiotics as precious health allies there are healthy drinks, such as Kombucha (rich in probiotics) and of course probiotic yogurt, also highly recommended for contributing to the rebalancing of the human microbiota.

Probiotics for irritable colon: there's also yogurt!

As we mentioned before, probiotics are taken to help with various pathologies. In particular, there are different strains of probiotics for irritable colon, also contained in probiotic yogurt.

But what is irritable bowel syndrome? This term groups together all those disorders that involve the gastrointestinal tract and involve diarrhea, constipation, bloating.

We can talk about irritable bowel syndrome when the disorder is not transitory but chronic and causes enormous physical and social discomfort, since it also embarrasses the person who has to deal with this problem throughout their day.

Unfortunately, it also happens that irritable bowel syndrome brings other widespread consequences, such as headaches, anxiety, excessive fatigue, difficulty sleeping and even cystitis.

Among the treatments used to treat the syndrome there are also probiotics, especially in cases of diarrhea which are the most frequent. And this is where probiotic yogurt also comes into play, an excellent help together with the supplements and medications prescribed by the doctor.

They are especially suitable for breakfast as a replacement for milk or for snacks during the day, strengthening the bacterial flora and helping to reduce discomfort related to the colon and therefore ideal for combating ongoing irritation.

Probiotics, usually recommended for at least a two or three week cycle, even in the form of foods such as probiotic yogurt, must be taken regularly and stored appropriately, otherwise they risk losing their effectiveness.

Let's give an example: if you open a yogurt today and are unable to consume it all in one day, it is not recommended to eat it the next day. In fact, the probiotic load, upon contact with oxygen and external temperature, would become null and the microorganisms would die, thus losing their power to defend the intestine.

Is a probiotic yogurt or a probiotic-based supplement better?

It seems clear that, taking care of our body, to stabilize (or normalize) the functionality of the intestinal system we choose to look for probiotics.

Faced with this research, we must also decide whether to prefer a food product or a supplement, perhaps in practical pills. Which one to choose?

As always, we recommend consulting your doctor. He knows your clinical situation well and will be able to tell you with certainty how to intervene to defend the bacterial flora in the most appropriate way. 

However, we want to tell you that a probiotic yogurt, in addition to being healthy, is also a good food choice for treating yourself to a tasty product and respecting any diets or intolerances, because it is light and healthy. 

Therefore, even when you take supplements (preferably recommended by your doctor or nutritionist) you can still decide independently to buy this type of yogurt. In fact, it certainly cannot harm your health as it has no contraindications or side effects.

Best lactic ferments, choice guide and advice

probiotic yogurt

It is not easy to know which probiotics to introduce into your diet, especially if you do not have precise indications to help you make the choice. This is why we want to help you with a small guide that allows you to immediately understand where to find the best lactic ferments for irritable colon or other disorders.

As regards the category of milk derivatives, there is kefir, which regulates the intestine and is also excellent for its effectiveness in case of irritable colon.

There are also many specific brands on the market that make probiotic yogurts and ensure the presence of natural probiotics. For convenience and composition, they are mainly drinking yoghurts, easy to consume even outside the home during breaks from work and sport.

More than paying attention to the brand, however, it must be said that we need to look at the number of lactic ferments contained within it: do you remember how many there must be? Here's a reminder: no less than a billion! Then, another important aspect not to be underestimated to have an effective 100% product is to check the expiry date. In fact, the closer the product is to the expiration date, the fewer live probiotics it will have retained inside it. 

In conclusion, don't trust advertising slogans that invite you to purchase certain fridge products by passing them off as probiotic yogurt. Often these are just advertising stunts that have the sole purpose of increasing sales, but they care little about your intestinal health.