YOGURT Overview Information
Yogurt is a dairy product made by fermenting milk using one or more of a variety of particular bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Enterococcus faecium, Streptococcus thermophilus, and others.
Yogurt is used for restoring normal bacteria in the intestine after antibiotic therapy and for treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea and acute and persistent diarrhea in children. Yogurt is also used for constipation, treating and preventing vaginal yeast and bacterial infections, and preventing urinary tract infections. Some people use yogurt for lactose intolerance and for treating high cholesterol, diabetes, HIV/ADS and Helicobacter pylori infections that cause stomach ulcers. Yogurt is also used for preventing colorectal cancer and sunburns. It is also used to improve muscle strength, to prevent the common cold, and for asthma.
Some women use yogurt inside the vagina for treating vaginal yeast infections and vaginal bacterial infections in pregnancy.
Yogurt is also eaten as a food and used as an alternative to milk in lactose-intolerant individuals.
How does it work?
Yogurt contains bacteria which may help restore the normal bacteria in the digestive tract and vagina. This might help treat diarrhea and vaginal infections.
Possibly Effective for:
- High cholesterol levels. Taking yogurt that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and a combination of Enterococcus faecium and Streptococcus thermophilus seems to decrease cholesterol in patients with borderline to moderate high cholesterol levels. This type of yogurt seems to lower total and "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol but does not raise "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
- Lactose intolerance, as an alternative to milk. Eating yogurt with live bacterial cultures seems to improve lactose tolerance in children and adults who cannot absorb lactose.
- Preventing and treating vaginal yeast infections. Taking yogurt by mouth seems to prevent vaginal yeast infections. Applying a mixture of yogurt and honey inside the vagina seems to reduce symptoms and help treat vaginal yeast infections.
Possibly Ineffective for:
- Asthma. Eating yogurt along with standard treatment doesn't improve asthma symptoms.
- Diarrhea in malnourished infants and children. Replacing milk formula with yogurt formula doesn't help treat diarrhea in malnourished infants and children.
- Diarrhea associated with antibiotics. Eating yogurt enriched with the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG seems to decrease symptoms of diarrhea in people taking the antibiotic erythromycin. But eating yogurt that is not enriched with probiotics does not seem to prevent diarrhea in children receiving antibiotics.
- Bacterial vaginosis. Developing research suggests that eating yogurt enriched with Lactobacillus acidophilus daily might slightly lower the chance of developing bacterial vaginal infections that keep coming back. There is also some early evidence that pregnant women with bacterial vaginal infections might benefit from applying Lactobacillus-containing yogurt inside the vagina.
- Diarrhea in children. Yogurt formula given as a replacement for milk formula in infants and young children seems to relieve persistent diarrhea. Eating yogurt that is not enriched with probiotics doesn't seem to relieve sudden diarrhea in young children. But eating yogurt with added probiotic bacteria might help. Yogurt does not seem to prevent diarrhea.
- Treating a bacterial infection that can cause stomach ulcers (Helicobacter pylori), when used in combination with other medicines. Adding yogurt that contains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium probiotics to standard triple-drug treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection might help treat this infection. But results are conflicting. Consuming yogurt without standard triple-drug therapy does not appear to be beneficial.
- HIV/AIDS. Early research shows that eating yogurt might improve white blood cell counts in HIV/AIDS patients. But conflicting results exist. It's not clear which yogurt product or length of treatment works best.
- Muscle strength. Early research shows that eating yogurt daily during a strength training program does not increase strength better than strength training alone.
- Preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). So far, research doesn't offer much support for using yogurt for UTIs. Researchers have found that consuming a yogurt drink containing Lactobacillus does not seem to prevent recurrent UTIs when used up to 6 months in women with a history of UTIs.
- Preventing colorectal cancer.
- Preventing sunburns.
- Treating peptic ulcers.
- Other conditions.
YOGURT Side Effects & Safety
Yogurt is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth. Yogurt is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in the vagina. There aren't many reported side effects, but some people might experience diarrhea, stomach problems, or a skin rash. There have been cases of people getting sick from yogurt contaminated with disease-causing bacteria. Be careful to choose yogurt that has been prepared and stored properly.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Yogurt seems to be safe in food amounts and might be safe when applied intravaginally during pregnancy. Pregnant women involved in a small study reported no side effects.
Yogurt seems to be safe in breast-feeding women when used in normal food amounts, but researchers haven't adequately studied the safety of intravaginal use of yogurt during breast-feeding. It's best to avoid intravaginal use if you are nursing.
Weakened immune system: There is some concern live bacteria in yogurt might reproduce unchecked, causing illness in people with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV/AIDS or organ transplant recipients. Lactobacillus in yogurt has caused disease, but rarely, in people with weakened immune systems. To be on the safe side, if you have a weakened immune system, avoid eating large amounts of yogurt that contain live bacteria for prolonged periods of time without advice from your healthcare professional.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Antibiotics (Tetracycline antibiotics) interacts with YOGURT
Yogurt contains calcium. The calcium in yogurt can attach to tetracyclines in the stomach. This decreases the amount of tetracyclines that can be absorbed. Taking calcium with tetracyclines might decrease the effectiveness of tetracyclines. To avoid this interaction take yogurt two hours before or four hours after taking tetracyclines.
Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).
- Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) interacts with YOGURT
Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) is an antibiotic. Yogurt might decrease how much ciprofloxacin (Cipro) the body absorbs. Taking yogurt along with ciprofloxacin (Cipro) might decrease the effectiveness of ciprofloxacin (Cipro). To avoid this interaction take yogurt at least one hour after ciprofloxacin (Cipro).
- Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with YOGURT
Yogurt contains live bacteria and yeast. The immune system usually controls bacteria and yeast in the body to prevent infections. Medications that decrease the immune system can increase your chances of getting sick from bacteria and yeast. Taking yogurt along with medications that decrease the immune system might increase the chances of getting sick.
Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:
- For lowering cholesterol: Several different doses have been tried depending on the preparation. A typical dose of 200 mL of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus per day has been used. A combination product of 125 mL Lactobacillus acidophilus yogurt with 2.5% fructo-oligosaccharides three times daily has also been used. A dose of 450 mL daily of yogurt containing the Causido culture (which contains Enterococcus faecium and two strains of Streptococcus bacteria) has also been used.
- For lactose intolerance: 500 grams of yogurt daily for 15 days.
- For preventing vaginal yeast infections: Typical doses are 8 ounces or 150 mL Lactobacillus acidophilus yogurt per day for 4-6 months.
- For treating vaginal yeast infections: A small amount of a honey and yogurt mixture has been placed in the vagina every day for 7 days.