Yogurt

What other names is Yogurt known by?

Acidophilus Milk, Bulgarian Yogurt, Cultured Milk, Lait Acidophilus, Lait de Culture, Live Culture Yogurt, Probiotic, Probiotique, Yaourt, Yaourt Bulgare, Yaourt de Culture Vivante, Yoghurt, Yogourt, Yogourt Bulgare, Yogourt de Culture Vivante, Yogur.

What is Yogurt?

Yogurt is a dairy product made by fermenting milk using one or more of a variety of particular bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Enterococcus faecium, Streptococcus thermophilus, and others.

Yogurt is used for restoring normal bacteria in the intestine after antibiotic therapy and for treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea and acute diarrhea in children. Yogurt is also used for treating and preventing vaginal yeast and bacteria infections, and preventing urinary tract infections. Some people use yogurt for lactose intolerance and for treating high cholesterol and Helicobacter pylori infections that cause stomach ulcers. Yogurt is also used for preventing colorectal cancer and sunburns.

Some women use yogurt inside the vagina for treating vaginal yeast infections and vaginal bacterial infections in pregnancy.

Yogurt is also eaten as a food and used as an alternative to milk in lactose-intolerant individuals.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Diarrhea in children. Yogurt formula given as a replacement for milk formula in infants and young children seems to relieve persistent diarrhea.
  • Diarrhea associated with antibiotics.
  • Preventing vaginal yeast infections.
  • Lactose intolerance, as an alternative to milk. Eating yogurt with live bacterial cultures seems to improve lactose tolerance in children and adults who cannot absorb lactose.
  • Treating a bacterial infection that can cause stomach ulcers (Helicobacter pylori), when used in combination with other medicines. The standard "triple-drug therapy" for stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection involves treatment with lansoprazole (Prevacid), amoxicillin (Amoxil, others), and clarithromycin (Biaxin). Adding yogurt that contains lactobacillus or bifidobacterium to standard triple drug treatment seems to help patients stick to their treatment plan. This makes the treatment more effective in killing the H. pylori bacteria. However, consuming yogurt alone without standard triple-drug therapy does not appear to kill H. pylori.
  • High cholesterol levels. Taking yogurt that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and a combination of Enterococcus faecium and Streptococcus thermophilus seems to decrease cholesterol in patients with borderline to moderate high cholesterol levels. This type of yogurt seems to lower total and "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol but does not raise "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Possibly Ineffective for...

  • Asthma.
  • Diarrhea in malnourished infants and children.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Bacterial vaginosis. Developing research suggests that eating yogurt enriched with Lactobacillus acidophilus daily might slightly lower the chance of developing bacterial vaginal infections that keep coming back. There is also some early evidence that pregnant women with bacterial vaginal infections might benefit from applying Lactobacillus-containing yogurt inside the vagina.
  • Preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). So far, research doesn't offer much support for using yogurt for UTIs. Researchers have found that consuming a yogurt drink containing Lactobacillus does not seem to prevent recurrent UTIs when used up to 6 months in women with a history of UTIs.
  • Preventing colorectal cancer.
  • Treating peptic ulcers.
  • Preventing sunburns.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of yogurt for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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