The Benefits of Yogurt
What's tasty, easy, and has lots of health benefits? Yogurt!
Benefit No. 2: Yogurt May Reduce the Risk of High Blood Pressure
A recent study, which followed more than 5,000 Spanish university graduates
for about two years, found a link between dairy intake and risk of high blood
''We observed a 50% reduction in the risk of developing high blood pressure
among people eating 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy a day (or more), compared
with those without any intake,'' Alvaro Alonso, MD, PhD, a researcher in the
department of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said in an
Although most of the low-fat dairy consumed by the study subjects was as
milk, Alvaro believes low-fat yogurt would likely have the same effect.
Benefit No. 3: Yogurt With Active Cultures Helps the Gut
Yogurt with active cultures may help certain gastrointestinal conditions,
- Lactose intolerance
- Colon cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- H. pylori infection
That's what researchers from the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture
Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University concluded in a
recent review article.
The benefits are thought to be due to:
- Changes in the microflora of the gut
- The time food takes to go through the bowel
- Enhancement of the body's immune system
A recent Taiwanese study looked at the effects of yogurt containing
lactobacillus and bifidobacterium on 138 people with persistent H. pylori
The researchers found that the yogurt improved the efficacy of four-drug
H. pylori is a type of bacteria that can cause infection in the stomach and
upper part of the small intestine. It can lead to ulcers and can increase the
risk of developing stomach cancer.
Benefit No. 4: Yogurt With Active Cultures May Discourage Vaginal Infections
Candida or "yeast" vaginal infections are a common problem for women
with diabetes. In a small study, seven diabetic women with chronic Candidal
vaginitis consumed 6 ounces of frozen aspartame-sweetened yogurt per day (with
or without active cultures).
Even though most of the women had poor blood sugar control throughout the
study, the vaginal pH (measure of acidity or basicity) of the group eating
yogurt with active cultures dropped from 6.0 to 4.0 (normal pH is 4.0-4.5).
These women also reported a decrease in Candida infections. The women eating
the yogurt without active cultures remained at pH 6.0.
Benefit No. 5: Yogurt May Help You Feel Fuller
A study from the University of Washington in Seattle tested hunger,
fullness, and calories eaten at the next meal on 16 men and 16 women who had a
200-calorie snack. The snack was either:
- Semisolid yogurt containing pieces of peach and eaten with a spoon
- The same yogurt in drinkable form
- A peach-flavored dairy beverage
- Peach juice
Although those who had the yogurt snacks did not eat fewer calories at the
next meal, both types of yogurt resulted in lower hunger ratings and higher
fullness ratings than either of the other snacks.