If You’re Eating Yogurt For Probiotics, Know The Facts

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yogurt probiotics
MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. MELISSA ANZELONE, ND

on August 5, 2019

You find yourself in the yogurt section of the supermarket. So many choices. Ah, this one says it contains probiotics. Must be healthy. Add to cart.

While there are many health benefits to incorporating a probiotic into your diet — such as improved digestion and increased nutrient absorption, which can lead to healthier hair — it’s important to check the label on these kinds of yogurt before you buy them.  

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Your Body’s Reaction

The job of probiotics is to enter the small intestine and replace bad bacteria with good bacteria. However, one major issue with efficacy of probiotics is how stomach acid affects probiotic-based yogurt during digestion. To become effective, a probiotic needs to enter the small intestine and replace bad bacteria with good bacteria. When you eat probiotics in yogurt, stomach acid digests the probiotics before they have a chance to be broken down to contribute positively to gut health.

Misleading Labels

Some yogurts containing probiotics mention “live cultures” and/or “live bacteria.” While this may seem straightforward, often labels will qualify a probiotic claim by stating “at the time of manufacture.” If this is the case, there is no guarantee that the live cultures and good bacteria of the probiotic have survived the pasteurization process, a heating process to kill off bad bacteria, before reaching store shelves.

All That Sugar

Yogurt is commonly seen has a healthy snack — with or without a probiotic — but the health benefits often come down to which brand or flavor you choose. Yogurts with fruit flavoring and added fruit tend to have high sugar content. Even natural and Greek yogurts, while healthier, still range higher in sugar intake than many people would expect. 

To ensure you’re getting the healthiest snack, choose natural and Greek varieties that state “contains active and live cultures” on the label. It’s also best to avoid pre-mixed fruit yogurts and add your own fresh fruit, honey, or cinnamon as a sweetener. 

Pro Tip 

If you want to cut out the uncertainty around probiotics, you can always try Nutrafol’s Hairbiotic supplement. Each Hairbiotic capsule is acid-resistant to ensure it reaches the small intestine where it can do what it was meant to do. The Hairbiotic will not only promote the inclusion of good bacteria in the gut, but also support increased nutrient absorption to help promote healthy hair growth.

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