The Activia lawsuit 2009 against Dannon is centered around a report made by the American Academy of Microbiology and called Probiotic Microbes: The Scientific Basis.
I've read every word of this report and to me it clearly supports probiotics in general as useful to human health.
It includes statements such as:
"Clinical trials have now been performed which substantiate the beneficial effects of probiotic strains of some lactobacilli against urogenital infections, such as urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginosis."
"Oral administration of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri is beneficial in the management of atopic dermatitis."
"The clearest example of an effective probiotic therapy may be the use of beneficial bacterial strains to treat diarrhea resulting from rotavirus infection. Several probiotics have been shown to shorten the duration of acute watery diarrhea caused by rotavirus in children."
However, this report does not specifically say that Dannon's claims about Activia are correct. They don't do that about any commercial products.
A South California woman, Trish Wiener, says that she brought Activia to get relief from digestive complaints. It didn't work for her so she bought this Activia lawsuit! And it has to be said that many other folk have found it didn't agree with them. However it has also helped many - evidenced by the ordinary people springing to Activia's defence.
Personally, I eat Activia on a reguar basis and will continue to do so.
Here's a page if you want to know how other readers have found Activia yogurt.
Weiner also appeared aggrieved that Dannon have invented a name for the particular probiotic bacteria that is in Activia. This is something that more and more manufacturers are doing and, whether you like it or not (I don't - because the bacteria already has a name), it is a fact of commercial life.
There is certainly nothing sinister about it. The bacteria that Dannon have trademarked as Bifidus Regularis is simply Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010. And a useful strain of Bifidobacteria it is.
Dannon provide plenty of scientific evidence to back up their claim that Activia can help "keep you regular". One study actually used their product and found that Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 "shortens the colonic transit time in healthy women". If you're finding it helpful, then simply continue eating it.
This Activia lawsuit is a war of words - not an indictment against probiotics.
Probiotic Microbes: The Scientific Basis. This report is based on a colloquium, sponsored by the American Academy of Microbiology, convened November 5-7, 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland.
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