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Thread: Probiotics - Dannon Activia, regular yogurt or health food pill?

  1. #1
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    Probiotics - Dannon Activia, regular yogurt or health food pill?

    Any advice on probiotics? My Gi system is sensitive (IBS, gas) ad right now is going though a weeklong gas/bloating episode (Yechh!). Anyway does anyone have any advice/experience about the new Dannon Activia (wish it didn't have so much sugar ). Is is just basically supercharged regular yogurt? Or are Health Food probiotic capsules more powerful/better for you in some way. TIA for the advice.

    Linda with tummy troubles
    Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised. Janeway : Voyager

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    Here is a recent thread from the Great Food board.

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    Linda, I have not tried the Activa, but I use the probiotic pills and IMO you are better off with those if you already have a sensitive system. For me, sugar is one of the things that can make tummy troubles worse, so I think I would be trading one problem for another by eating the Activa. Also, I would think you would have to eat a lot of yogurt to get enough benefit to deal with a current GI problem. My guess is the Activa is better suited for people who don't have any current issues (maybe it would be good to eat when you were taking antibiotics, for example).
    Claire

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    I have taken acidophilus tablets from Whole Foods when on antibiotics and when I got thrush while nursing. I haven't tried Activia...

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    I used the Activia for about 3 weeks and I finally had to stop. I have IBS "issues" sometimes and this stuff was causing me to "go" 3-4 times a day!! No cramping or anything but it was just too much.

    For some reason, though, I really liked the taste of it. It seemed a bit more tart than regular yogurt.

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    I have IBS issues now since my abdominal surgery three years ago (never had problems before). I tend to be constipated now, and I have been eating this yogurt for several weeks now with no change in anything (that I can tell). I do believe in probiotics though, and used to take acidophilus capsules when I had salmonella or went to another country on vacation - that sort of thing. It worked miracles on my samonella, so I've been a big believer ever since then.

    I was thinking Activia might be good because it's different bacteria than acidophilus, so I thought maybe it might be something they found that's particularly good for constipation (as they market it). But so far, I haven't noticed a thing . I'll keep eating it awhile longer though, I do like the taste of it, so maybe I just need more. I wish I had YOUR reaction, Christine!! That was my normal system before they ruined things with my surgery!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grace
    I have IBS issues now since my abdominal surgery three years ago (never had problems before). I tend to be constipated now, and I have been eating this yogurt for several weeks now with no change in anything (that I can tell). I do believe in probiotics though, and used to take acidophilus capsules when I had salmonella or went to another country on vacation - that sort of thing. It worked miracles on my samonella, so I've been a big believer ever since then.

    I was thinking Activia might be good because it's different bacteria than acidophilus, so I thought maybe it might be something they found that's particularly good for constipation (as they market it). But so far, I haven't noticed a thing . I'll keep eating it awhile longer though, I do like the taste of it, so maybe I just need more. I wish I had YOUR reaction, Christine!! That was my normal system before they ruined things with my surgery!!
    Isn't is just L. Bulgaris in the Activia? I think most good yogurts contain this anyway, just in smaller amounts. Also, the best place (food-wise) to get your probiotics is to drink plain kefir. You can make your own smoothies with it if you don't like the plain. It has tons more probiotics in it than the yogurt does.

    As for supplementation, I did some reading and heard that the brand Culturelle is very good. Although, not really sure that it helps with regularity issues.

  8. #8
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    My personal thought is that if you're looking purely for probiotics, the supplements that don't require refrigeration are the easiest to have on hand.
    Some studies show that there are females with a specific genetic makeup which makes them lack an enzyme to digest galactose. This seems to up ovarian tissue irritation and could increase epitheleal(sp?) ovarian cancers (but not serous-type cancers) for people who have this and consume dairy (amongst the main contributors of galactose).

    Of course, few of us get tested for the gene so there's no way to know if we have it or not. Still, supplements are easier to carry, take and have on hand---Just my humble opinion. Oh and if you want yogurt, I think regular is fine. Why pay extra for an extra strain of good bacteria
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

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    Dannon Activia yogurt has been super popular here for years. According to Dannon, they use a "unique proprietary culture" that they have named "Bifidus Regularis." I don't know how or if it is different from the probiotics in other yogurts, though. Does the plain really contain more "sugar" (which I'm assuming is lactose, not added sugar--here there is no added sugar) than other plain yogurts? I don't know what they are selling in the US, but here everyone eats the plain kind.
    "In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport."
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    Quote Originally Posted by honeygirl1971
    Dannon Activia yogurt has been super popular here for years. According to Dannon, they use a "unique proprietary culture" that they have named "Bifidus Regularis." I don't know how or if it is different from the probiotics in other yogurts, though. Does the plain really contain more "sugar" (which I'm assuming is lactose, not added sugar--here there is no added sugar) than other plain yogurts? I don't know what they are selling in the US, but here everyone eats the plain kind.
    They do have plain which is probably fine, but the flavored ones (berry, prune, vanilla) have a lot of calories for such a small container.

  11. #11
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    I have not seen plain Activa yogurt here (although I haven't looked that hard), only the flavored ones, and I don't eat flavored yogurts because of all the sugar. When you buy probiotic supplements, you can get them that contain different "strains" of good bacteria -- I know some have just acidophilus, and some have acidophilus and bifidus (which sounds like what is also in the activa), etc.
    Claire

    It doesn't matter what you think, just that you do.

  12. #12
    According to Dannon, they use a "unique proprietary culture" that they have named "Bifidus Regularis." I don't know how or if it is different from the probiotics in other yogurts, though.
    I remember looking at the containers of these at the grocery store, and comparing their active cultures to those in regular yogurt and also to the 3 strains that come in my Yogourmet yogurt starter powder (I make yogurt at home), and thinking there was little or no difference.
    They do claim to have a "proprietary version" of one strain, but in reading their stuff in little print "for doctors," it seems mostly like hype with possibly a tiny grain of truth not yet proved "in vivo."

    Does the plain really contain more "sugar" (which I'm assuming is lactose, not added sugar--here there is no added sugar) than other plain yogurts? I don't know what they are selling in the US, but here everyone eats the plain kind.
    There's a bunch of info about the amount of sugar (and what type it is) in both store-bought and homemade yogurts in this thread:

    http://community.cookinglight.com/sh...ad.php?t=88283

    ...in one of my posts in that thread, I listed the grams of sugar, calories, and grams of fat for a number of Dannon and Yoplait store-bought yogurts
    ... fruit-flavored Activia appears to have 17 g of sugar per 4 oz which would be 25.5 g per 6 oz when compared to the same volume of other yogurts
    ... it also has 3 g fat and 150 cal, if I figured right adding on another 50%

    I didn't see any plain Activia, though they do have Vanilla. Vanilla flavored yogurts have the same fat and sugar as fruit flavored ones though, since they're the same thing, just without any fruit.



    Diane B.
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    I use a great probiotic/greens product by Nutricology called Progreens; I mix a scoop in my shake every morning...when I first started using it I took it for 6 months...now I use it about every other month, and just during the week...I use the powder:

    http://www.allergyresearchgroup.com/.../ProGreens.pdf

    Also, another really good probiotic is Jarro-Dophilus EPS, for those who prefer capsules...very stable unrefrigerated:

    http://www.jarrow.com/product.php?prodid=228#;

    ~Gail
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    If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do any fellow being, let me do it now and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again."
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    I spoon some Stonyfield low-fat plain yogurt in a bowl, and top it with alittle real maple syrup and a spoonful of ground flax seed. Healthy stuff. The supplements would be a great idea as well. Definitely read the yogurt packages - the sugar, gelatin, etc. does no good at all. Stonyfield's label reads:
    Cultured pasteurized organic low fat milk
    *Inulin (Natural dietary fiber)
    Pectin
    Six live active cultures including L.Acidophilus, bifidus, S. casei, and L Reuteri.
    *Studies have shown that 8g. per day of Inulin increases calcium absorption. Each serving of this lowfat yogurt contains 3g. of inulin

    I was on a strong dose of i.v. antibiotics years ago, which will destroy the good bacteria along with the bad. I ate plain yogurt 1 - 3 times everyday, plus took the supplements. Takes about 4-6 weeks to really notice it kicking in. I noticed in my skin and digestion.
    "If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B.
    There's a bunch of info about the amount of sugar (and what type it is) in both store-bought and homemade yogurts in this thread:

    http://community.cookinglight.com/sh...ad.php?t=88283

    ...in one of my posts in that thread, I listed the grams of sugar, calories, and grams of fat for a number of Dannon and Yoplait store-bought yogurts
    ... fruit-flavored Activia appears to have 17 g of sugar per 4 oz which would be 25.5 g per 6 oz when compared to the same volume of other yogurts
    ... it also has 3 g fat and 150 cal, if I figured right adding on another 50%

    I didn't see any plain Activia, though they do have Vanilla. Vanilla flavored yogurts have the same fat and sugar as fruit flavored ones though, since they're the same thing, just without any fruit.



    Diane B.
    I can't look at the package of what is sold in the US, but I assure you, here in France the Activia yogurt they sell most is PLAIN, not vanilla (they don't even make vanilla here, but in one of those giant "hypermarkets" I did see the prune kind along with the plain). And it has no ADDED sugar. The grams of sugar listed on the package are for naturally occuring sugars in milk. I don't know anything else about it except that it has been VERY popular here for years.
    "In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport."
    --Julia Child

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    Quote Originally Posted by honeygirl1971
    I can't look at the package of what is sold in the US, but I assure you, here in France the Activia yogurt they sell most is PLAIN, not vanilla (they don't even make vanilla here, but in one of those giant "hypermarkets" I did see the prune kind along with the plain). And it has no ADDED sugar. The grams of sugar listed on the package are for naturally occuring sugars in milk. I don't know anything else about it except that it has been VERY popular here for years.
    In America, apparently, we cannot eat anything that is not loaded with sugar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineVA
    In America, apparently, we cannot eat anything that is not loaded with sugar.
    "If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineVA
    In America, apparently, we cannot eat anything that is not loaded with sugar.
    I hope you are not rolling your eyes at me...I was just responding to the BBer who implied that I was mistaking vanilla yogurt for plain. In any case, the French do eat plenty of sugar too, and in fact I think the reason that so many people buy plain yogurt (and fromage blanc) here is because they add sugar when they eat it at the table! I like the taste of plain, though, and so that's the way I ate it in the US and that's the way I eat it here. Finally, Dannon is a major multi-national corporation, and I'm sure there are better options out there--my point was just that Activia has been around for quite a while here (it used to be called Bio, but they had to change the name since "bio" means "organic" and the EU now has strict regulations about what you can label "organic.") and a lot of people eat it for it's so-called digestive benefits.
    "In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport."
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  19. #19
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    Wow! Thanks for all the info. You sort of confirmed my suspicions that I could do better than the Activia espeically since i am on WW and that sugar
    ... fruit-flavored Activia appears to have 17 g of sugar per 4 oz
    brings the points up. I got some plain Stonyfield (with fresh strawberries) and also some health food pills. Already my tummy is feeling better. Thanks!
    Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised. Janeway : Voyager

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    Quote Originally Posted by honeygirl1971
    I hope you are not rolling your eyes at me...I was just responding to the BBer who implied that I was mistaking vanilla yogurt for plain. In any case, the French do eat plenty of sugar too, and in fact I think the reason that so many people buy plain yogurt (and fromage blanc) here is because they add sugar when they eat it at the table! I like the taste of plain, though, and so that's the way I ate it in the US and that's the way I eat it here. Finally, Dannon is a major multi-national corporation, and I'm sure there are better options out there--my point was just that Activia has been around for quite a while here (it used to be called Bio, but they had to change the name since "bio" means "organic" and the EU now has strict regulations about what you can label "organic.") and a lot of people eat it for it's so-called digestive benefits.
    Oh, no, no, no...Please don't misunderstand. I was rolling my eyes at U.S. "marketers" who feel that they have to peddle everything to us with sugar. I think very few people (at least in the circles I run with) would *dare* to eat plain yogurt. They probably don't make the Activia in a "plain" here because no one would buy it (or very few). Sorry if it came off wrong.

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    As part of my job, I have attended a lot of physician CME lectures on GI function and immune system. Dr Robert Martindale spoke many times of the benefits of probiotics. He usually mentioned looking for lactobaccillus GG and L. Rheuteri (?sp.) He mentioned Culturelle as a good OTC brand.

    I took Culturelle before and during a recent trip to Mexico. I didn't get sick despite eating salads, raw fruits, etc. Don't know if it was the Culturelle or not, but for the peace of mind, I would do it again. It did not need to be refrigerated and came in convenient packaging for travel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RD chef
    As part of my job, I have attended a lot of physician CME lectures on GI function and immune system. Dr Robert Martindale spoke many times of the benefits of probiotics. He usually mentioned looking for lactobaccillus GG and L. Rheuteri (?sp.) He mentioned Culturelle as a good OTC brand.

    I took Culturelle before and during a recent trip to Mexico. I didn't get sick despite eating salads, raw fruits, etc. Don't know if it was the Culturelle or not, but for the peace of mind, I would do it again. It did not need to be refrigerated and came in convenient packaging for travel.
    Yep, there is some good reading on the internet regarding the studies on Lactobacillus GG (Culturelle). My co-worker takes the stuff daily and loves it.

  23. #23
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    We make Kefir from live grains and use it for smoothies. Good stuff. Cheap and easy to make. Flavor it however you wish and we sweeten it up a bit with maple syrup for the kids.

    The grains reproduce and grow and so we give them away frequently. You can probably find some available from others in your area or by mail by searching on the web. There is a gentleman in Austrailia that has a fabulous website all about Kefir.

    Lisa

    Here is the weblink:

    Dom's Kefir World

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