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Myth #7 Yoghurt from the store is a good source of probiotic microbes

Myth #7 Yoghurt from the store is a good source of probiotic microbes

Myth #7 Yoghurt from the store is a good source of probiotic microbes

Fresh yogurt that you make yourself and eat fresh can be a good source of probiotic microbes. But when the lactose runs out, the microbial numbers drop rapidly.

In addition, post fermentation treatment/processing of commercial yogurt can dramatically reduce numbers. A store-bought yogurt may be delicious and nutritious, but it is unlikely to have high enough numbers of probiotic microbes to produce a probiotic effect.

Common myths about probiotics #6

Common myths about probiotics #6

Myth #6:  All “probiotic” microbes are equal

There are a broad range of microbes touted as being “probiotic”. Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are common in many ‘traditional’ probiotics, but one may find many novel products claiming to be probiotic with other types of microbes listed on the label.

Many processed foods now claim to be probiotic. These products are manufactured with spore forming (Bacillus) microbes. A Bacillus microbe can cease activity and form an endospore which are very tough and can endure certain manufacturing processes. The problem with spore-forming microbes is this very capacity to form a spore. When challenged, rather than fighting to the finish, they simply retreat into their spore form. This is not an option for ‘traditional’ probiotic microbes like lactobacilli.

Spore forming microbes also have a slightly higher risk than non-spore formers. In the very rare event that a probiotic microbe causes an infection (something that generally only happens in individuals who are severely immunocompromised) a spore-forming microbe can be harder to kill with pharmaceutical antibiotics than properly selected non-spore formers.

Common Probiotic Myths #5

Common Probiotic Myths #5

Myth #5:

Having some live microbes in a product makes it a probiotic.


The World Health Organization defines a probiotic as: “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host.” This definition has. been amended to say that the microbes must be of strains shown to have probiotic characteristics.


Thus it is not enough to say that a product has some live microbes and is therefore a probiotic, it must be shown that there are sufficient numbers of microbes with proven probiotic characteristics before a product can be accurately described as a probiotic.