Are Probiotic Supplements Better Than Yogurt?
Many microbiologists recommend a minimum effective dosage of at least 10 million CFU’s, however, most yogurt products contain low count levels of probiotic units.
The other advantage probiotic supplements have over yogurt is the number of strains. Probiotic yogurts are limited to one or probiotic strains, whereas supplements can contain multiple strains.
Having more strains is considered better because the digestive tract contains over 1000 different strains of good bacteria.
It’s also important to point out that not all yogurts contain probiotics. In fact, ordinary commercial yogurt doesn’t contain any probiotics at all and most are full of sugar which can encourage the growth of yeast infections.
I prefer low calories yogurt with less sugar as possible.
Probiotics are fragile — easily destroyed by heat and acidic environments — and foods and supplements must be carefully produced and stored to reap the benefits of live microorganisms. Foods or supplements with live probiotics have a short shelf life and require refrigeration, and freeze-dried supplements — which also have an expiration date — must be kept dry and at room temperature. In order for probiotics to provide any health benefits, they also need to survive the harsh digestive process, an environment designed to kill bugs that may cause illness.
The good news is that both pills and yogurt are known to provide live bacteria to the intestines. Milk products, including yogurt, are known to buffer the acid in the stomach, which can protect these microorganisms as they make their way through the digestive tract. Probiotic pills can be encapsulated so more bugs make it through the stomach alive, and taking non-enteric coated pills with or 30 minutes before a meal offers a better chance of probiotic survival in the gut.
Unless you have a milk allergy or a known intolerance to yogurt, eating more probiotic-rich yogurt is a relatively safe and healthful dietary change. As with any dietary supplement, speak to your doctor before starting probiotic pills to treat a medical condition. Also talk to your doctor first if you have preexisting health problems, take any prescription medications, or plan to give probiotics to infants with immature immune systems. If you have been told you have a weakened immune system, probiotics may not be advised as they may increase your risk of certain infections. A dietitian can provide you with more information about probiotic-rich foods and ways to increase prebiotics and probiotics naturally.
I also love Probiotic drinks and foods because there are live and the bacteria is active. This means when it gets to your intestines it goes right to work. Pill and powder probiotics supplements take up to 6 hours to colonize in your intestines (if they even make it there).
I eat yogurt and drink Kombucha.