Myths About Probiotics – Article from Natren Probiotics
Yogurt and Kefir are considered ‘functional fermented foods’ and while they may contain ‘live and active cultures’ it is usually in very low doses, too low to have any therapeutic effect. (1) In addition, they are often pasteurized (which kills probiotics) and lack any protective delivery system to help them survive transit through our harsh acidic stomach to reach the small and large intestine where they are most active. (1) (2) (3)
Also, most yogurts and kefir are filled with sugar, preservatives and all kinds of things that aren’t good for you. To give you an example, an average six ounce serving of yogurt contains 22 grams of sugar and 157 calories, with some yogurts as high 36 grams of sugar and 260 calories per serving! To get the same quantity of probiotic bacteria found in one convenient probiotic capsule (30 billion cfu) you would have to consume 27 servings of yogurt; that’s 4,239+ calories and 594 grams of sugar! (4) (5) (6)
We’re not saying, don’t eat yogurt or throw away your sauerkraut, we enjoy these too and believe they are great additions to a healthy diet (our founder even played a role in setting the liquid yogurt standards), but realize that the amount of probiotic received is minimal and not likely to have a major impact on your overall gut health.
FALSE. The numbers of colony forming units (cfus) are important to be familiar with and should be clearly stated on the label for every strain included in the probiotic, however, a higher number does not always indicate a better product. Experts have agreed on a minimal number of viable cells at 1 billion cfus per day. (6) This provides a great starting point/minimum dose but what’s next? Well, it is not always an easy question to answer for one reason – you also need to know how PROTECTED those probiotics are and how well they will SURVIVE through transit, storage and shelf life.