Do all yoghurts have probiotics?

All yoghurt contains live bacterial cultures, which ferment milk to make yoghurt, but only some types of yoghurt have added probiotics (bacteria that have a proven health benefit).

Last updated 30/04/2021

The addition of live bacterial cultures to milk results in fermentation, where the lactose in milk is converted to lactic acid which ‘sets’ the yoghurt. Traditional bacterial strains used to make yoghurt are Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus.

In addition to these 'starter cultures', some yoghurts also contain added probiotics; the most common species being Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. When consumed in adequate amounts, probiotics have been shown to provide a benefit to overall health.

Probiotic dosages are measured in CFUs (colony forming units). To make sure you're consuming enough probiotic, go for a yoghurt that contains at least 108 CFU per serve.1

Specific strains of probiotics, such as the well researched Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (known as LGG), have shown positive health effects in the digestive system, particularly on lactose intolerance, immunity, allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.2,3,4 Health benefits of probiotics are unique to the specific strain, so when you're choosing a yoghurt with added probiotics look at the type of probiotic strain listed on the food label and speak to an Accredited Practising Dietitian for individual advice.

Probiotics take effect by passing through the gut and interacting with body cells and existing micro-organisms. So to keep benefiting from them, you need to have them on a regular basis. Eating yoghurt with probiotics every day will not only be good for your gut health, but the other nutrients in there will help to ensure overall good health.

For information about the digestive benefits of yoghurt and other dairy foods visit this page

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