I asked readers to let me know how they found Dannon's Activia yogurt and many of you did. It seems to be a product that no one can remain undecided over. Either you love it or you hate it!
Activia yogurt contains Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 (also called Bifidus Regularis in the US and Bifidus Digestivum in the UK) which has been proven to shorten the colonic transit time in healthy women.
Some people find it "shortened the transit time" more than anyone would want! There are certainly a number of reviews where people have had a similar experience, but don't forget, just as many folk love it!
A positive result for a lady with lupus, hypertension, rosacia, and rhuematoid arthritis and also for alleviating constipation.
Most recent review first.
'I eat all kinds of yogurt products and drink milk often. I tried Activia by Dannon and was not pleased. The first day I had diarrhea. The next 3 days, I had constipation. The next 4 days I had to push really hard for very little #2 outcome. I'm back to my usual yogurt and things are getting back to normal. Activia is not for me.'
'I just wanted to say how glad I am to have found this web site. I started eating Activia yogurt three weeks ago and have been experiencing extremely painful abdominal pains every night, have spent two days in bed vomiting and also had diarrhea, was getting ready to see an upper GI specialist because I thought I had developed an ulcer. then I realized the only different I started three weeks ago was the Activia. I'm disappointed to know that there are no warnings on the tv ads nor on the box of yogurt. I even lost my appetite during this time because my stomach has been so upset most of the day. I'm throwing the rest out.'
'I am 60 years old as of today. I have had a problem with constipation all of my growing up years. When I got into my 40's it was either constipation or diarrhea. The diarrhea I referred to as my once a month, or every few months clean out. It would be so bad that I would bleed right before the diarrhea ended. It was always accompanied by horrible rectal burning like passing straight acid and bad cramping, and the burning was always there constipated or diarrhea. When constipated, I would only eliminate once or twice a week.
I have been on Activia now for a week, and so far the only difference that I have noticed is a burning sensation in my upper digestive tract and a lot of gas and belching which has kind of subsided now and just soreness in my upper stomach. I have been going to the bathroom every morning which appears to be more normal then usual and no burning, but not going more then once a day. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is going to stop the "clean outs" which I dread with each passing month.
I also have always had a problem with yeast infections, and had one when I started taking Activia. This miraculously has cleared up. So far with the few symptoms that I have had, I give Activia a thumbs up.'
But after two weeks Karla wrote in again:
'I had to stop the Activia right at two weeks of eating it. Things were going well, and then I started having the most horrendous burning in my upper stomach and constant cramping gas pains. I switched to Yoplait, and now I am doing great with no burning or gassiness. I am now more regular having a BM then I have ever been in my life!! Activia needs to be studied by the FDA, and Jamie Lee Curtis needs to find a new line of work instead of trying to sell and intestine attacker!!!'
'I have been eating Activia for 1 1/2 weeks. Ever since I started it I have been bloated and constipated! I was fairly reglar prior to eating it. I thought it would make me more regular! Now I can't go at all!! Don't do it!!!'
'I had Activia yogurt and I am suffering from terrible cramps, bloating and gas. This is my first time having Activia yogurt. I had six one each day, after which I experieced terrible cramps below my navel. I skipped yesterday, after thinking it must be Activia, since it is the only addition to my diet. I usually buy regular yogurt and had no problems, but I decided to try Activia.
I think I will have to go to the doctor. Hope something can be done to help the pain to go away. There should have been a consumer beware on the package. I will never have this yogurt again.'
If you're having similar problems to the folk above, check out Dominic's review and the great result she is having with Dannon regular-fat PLAIN yogurt.
'Started Activia yogurt about a week ago and woke up this morning with a major urgency to use the bathroom. Its been 1 hour and I have been in there 4 times. My stomach is cramping badly and it feels like I am gonna vomit. Needless to say, I am gonna stop drinking this stuff.'
'I have had regularity problems for about 10 years and I know what it feels like to only go once a week. I took 2 senocot a day for years to be able to go at least 2 or 3 times a week until I realized that it makes your bowel lazy and then you can't go without it. I started with 1 week of a low dose of Super Cleanse which didn't cause too many problems. I wanted to get rid of any bad bugs before I tried any probiotics. Now I eat Activia yogurt almost every day. The blueberry is really good. I haven't tried the light or the new fiber one. Then every day after dinner I take a generic acidophilus. It has lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium longum, 1 billion CFU's. It's the same stuff as in the new Philips Colon care which is $20. Don't fall for it; the generic costs $9. Make sure you get the triple coated pills in the box, which require no refridgeration, not the bottle. The coating makes sure it dissolves where it's supposed to and not in your stomach which will prevent some upset. There were some bumps in the road but after about 3 or 4 weeks I leveled off with a bowel movement or 2 every day and much less bloating and never any stomach cramps.'
'I started Activia yogurt on 5/18 after two weeks of eating 1 yogurt per day, I started having really bad smelly gas. The Activia is the only thing I changed in my diet, so I know the gas came from it. I have not stopped eating it for four days and I am feeling better regarding the gassy stomach.'
'I suffer from constipation even though I eat lots of fruit. I thought I would try Activia to see if it would help. I started Sunday and by Tuesday I'm having abdominal cramping and almost flu like systems. I know it's not the flu but I feel sick at my stomach, feverish and achy. Hope it goes away. Think I'll quit eating the stuff and go back to being constipated.
'I love how Danon Activia gives me a bowel movement daily. I am even slimming in my tummy. On average, I eat healthy. It's also good, and a quick breakfast, but I mix it with cereal. I was eating Yoplait, which I enjoyed the taste, but can't recall any benefits.'
'I ate Activia yogurt on Friday and now it's Monday..........I'm still going to the bathroom way too often........diarrhea......stomach pains. The rest of this stuff goes in the trash!!!'
'I had Activia yogurt for breakfast and now, 6 and a half hours later, I think I'm dying. I've been doubled over and gasey for the past two hours and now I'm vomiting and have diarrhea. I'd sooner walk into traffic than eat this stuff again.'
'Have been taking 1 Activia yogurt per day, man I don't know how this is, but I am going to the washroom more than normal, watery stool. I am a healthy adult and usually go 1 time regular, but now I am afraid to go out when I take an Activia. I will not buy this product again.'
'I just love it. I have been eating Activia yogurt for 12 days now and have a bowel movement every morning. Before I could only go every 3 days. I suffer from diverticulis which is very painful but since eating Activia the pain is gone!'
'I ate Activia yogurt one day and the following day I had to make several cramp filled, cold sweat accompanied trips to the bathroom with mild diarrhea. I also had a severe lack of appetite. When I did eat -- you guessed it! -- I was back to the bathroom. The same was true if I drank anything with even a hint of sugar in it.
Thinking I had the flu (or the beginnings of it) I waited a couple of days, the symptoms cleared and after 4 days, I ate another Activia. My sickness returned with a vengeance. I haven't had any for 2 days now and I still feel icky. Not as bad as yesterday, thankfully! I thought the stuff was supposed to be good for you and keep you regular!
'I eat Activia Yogurt every day since 2 months and I like it. Until today, I never faced any problems.'
'I bought an 8-pack of Activia yogurt, and I ate it for breakfast faithfully for eight days. There was a marked difference in my regularity. I would, at times, go 3 to 4 days between bowel movements. This was uncomfortable and frustrating. Within 2 days of eating the Activia yogurt, I was having a small BM every day. I skipped two days after the eighth because I ran out and couldn't get to the store. The regularity all but stopped. I didn't have another BM for 3 days. I bought another 8-pack, and within a day, I was back to daily BMs. So, my experience has been very close to the marketing promises.'
'I am now on my 3rd week of Activia yogurt ... my stomach and digestive issues have gone away. I feel great in that area but I've developed Rosacia. I've never had that before...there's something not right going on.'
"I have been eating Activia yogurt for about a week now. I was eating LaYogurt Pro Biotic for a couple weeks (and was very pleased with the results), but found Activia on sale, so decided to try it. I have had none of the side effects the other people are speaking of. I think they are just health freaks who want you to try their product of choice. Propoganda! I mean come on now - if you are doubled over in pain after eating yogurt, you have serious problems, and it aint the yogurt. I have been irregular most of my adult life and not until the last 3 weeks (when I started to eat probiotic yogurt) have I gone AT LEAST ONE TIME EVERY DAY!!! It's a magical feeling (believe me...coming from a person that went once, twice a week max).... I love the stuff and wouldn't trade it."
'I agree with Cindi in saying that Activia yogurt should be labelled as a "laxative". I've always had a healthy and regular digestive system and after a couple days eating Activia once a day I had to stop due to the frequent diarrhea I experienced. Don't buy it unless you have major constipation!
'I had been eating Activia yogurt for a couple weeks off and on, not daily but kept getting loose stools and stomach cramps. Well last night I ate it before going to bed, and then around 2am I was having lower abdominal cramps followed by diarhea....that's it...that was my last cup ever. That crap was making me sick as a dog...I'll never touch the stuff again....DONE!'
'It works for me!! I've been eating Activia yogurt for the last 6 months every day and it has made such a difference. In the past I would skip up to 3 days not going to the loo. Now I go every day. When I travel to a country that does not produce Danone I start to panic. I travel a lot but fortunately when I'm back home just 2 days of Activia gets me going again. I just wish it could be produced in larger containers.'
'It is so scary to find so many others with the same negative side effects that I had from Activia yogurt! I am so curious as to why it works for some and why it makes others so sick... is there any common thread? I have gallstones that have not bothered me for over 6 years, and just 5 days of Activia sent me into a gallbladder attack, with a trip to Urgent Care, numerous tests and 2 sick days from work so far! And its been a week since the last dose of this poison! I've noticed my glucose reads to be higher as well. There should definately be a warning label for people with other medical conditions. How long does it take for this stuff to get out of your system!! Gosh!'
Mary Jane said:
'I had suffered chronic constipation for over 30 years sometimes with 2 to 3 days between bowel movements. After starting eating one serving of Activia yogurt daily in the mid-moring, I no longer suffer from constipation and have a daily normal bowel movement. It certainly works for my internal system.'
'I take Imuran for treatment of lupus and as soon as I started the drug the stomach problems started and got worse over time. I didn't want to take yet another medication to fix this side effect so I tried Activia. After about a week my stomach problems stopped. Eventually I stopped the Activia because I thought it "cured" the underlying problem but soon the nausea was back. I know now that as long as I'm on Imuran, I have to eat Activia every day. Thank goodness I like it anyway. I'm really grateful for this natural way to take care of one of my medical problems.'
'I have eaten Activa yogurt for 6 days (1 yogurt a day) and this product has been amazing for me. This may border on TMI,but I've suffered from excessive vaginal discharge for 6+ years. It smells, my underwear is continually stained and ruined, and I'm constantly washing my clothes and bathing. I've been to see countless gynocologists and doctors who have analyzed sample after sample after sample and come back with nothing. The diagnosis is always that I have slightly high bacteria levels, but that it shouldn't be causing me these kind of problems. They give me pills, the problem goes away for about a week (while I'm on the pills), and then the symptoms come right back.
To make a long, boring story short, I've tried Activa and it's reduced my problems 1,000%. The smell is gone, the discharge is normal and not smelly- this yogurt is like a miracle. I usually eat Yoplait yogurt on a daily basis, so I wasn't expecting any change with Activa, but I'm happily surprised. I have my fingers crossed that this isn't just a fluke and that I don't start to experience the bad side effects that others seem to experience. As for the cons, I have been going to the bathroom more often, my stool is softer, and I've been slightly gassy, but I'll take that over my previous problems anyday!!!' Heather's update immediately below
'Hi all. I wanted to give an update about my symptoms for anyone else who has similiar problems.
I have had problems with vaginal discharge that a significant number of visits to gynos and clinics has not been able to fix. Activia yogurt severely made my vaginal discharge problems practically nonexistant, while giving me some gassiness and a moderately soft stool. After two weeks of eating yogurt daily, I ran out and didn't have time to go to the store. All the symptoms I had previously (excessive smelly discharge) came back within 48 hours. It took another two days back on the yogurt before the symptoms disappeared. I've "gone off" the yogurt a second time to see if I had the same results, and I did. I don't know what Activia does to make my problems go away, but I hope they never stop selling it. Right now, I eat Activia for four days, take a day off, and then repeat. This helps to combat the laxative effects.'
Thanks for updating us, Heather. It is just so helpful to hear about what works for others.
'I should be at work today, but instead I am on my computer looking for sites such as this one to determine if my new digestive symptoms might be attributed to ingesting Activia yogurt. Okay, so far I feel lucky. Since starting Activia 5 days ago I have been experiencing gas, cramping, and loose stools. I have also been feeling a sense of urgency, but do not always "go" when that happens. I decided to try Activia as I was having a little constipation, which at this point I realize I prefer to these new symptoms.
As I said, I feel lucky because my symptoms are not as bad as some here have described, but nevertheless, they are real and began after starting on Activia. Unlucky me, I bought a carton of 24 servings at Sam's club and am stuck with 19 servings. I wonder if Dannon will reimburse me if I don't finish the 2-week challenge, because I am certainly not going to consume any more of their laxative. Yes, it should be in the medication aisle, because it acts just like a laxative. So now I'm off to the Dannon site to see if I can get reimbursed, and Monday I call my Doc to arrange for a stool sample check. This stuff should be sold by prescription only. I can't wait until it gets out of my system. Obviously it works for some, and I am happy for you, but Dannon most likely has received numerous complaints and should at least add a warning for possible side effects to their ad. I had no idea this would be anything but beneficial to me.'
'I have eaten Activia yogurt for 6 days and I have stomach cramps that almost sent me to the emergency room. Won't be doing this again. Totally agree they should have some kind of warning about the side affects on the package.'
"Thank you so much for the valuable information everyone has provided! I have been using Activia yogurt for approximately 7 months. I have had what I thought was a stomach virus, 2 times in the last three months. Each time I stopped eating Activia just because I thought with a stomach virus I should not have yogurt. Each time my symptoms were severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, headache, body ache, etc. and these symptoms persisted for approximately two weeks.
When feeling better, I would gradually start eating the Activia again because it helped with the constipation and yeast infections I was having. The third time I had what I thought was a stomach virus, I went to my colon doctor. By the time I went to the Dr., my symptoms were gone, because I wasn't eating the Activia, but it just didn't click in!! The Dr. and I discussed the medications I was taking and the Activia, but the doctor thought that I was possibly irritating the colon by continuing to take the antibiotics I was on and he prescribed something to take for cramping. After another week or so, I again started back with Activia, but this time within hours I was violently ill.
So, finally, duh, I made the connection. I started researching Activia and found your site. I was absolutely blown away by all the problems people are having; most of which were identical to mine. The reason I did not make the connection earlier was that I had eaten Activia yogurt for so long before having these symptoms. Also I had been eating plain yogurt for years because of yeast infections and had never had a problem. I can't believe what this product has done to my system and the wasted weeks being so sick! I am feeling better now after two days and will NEVER use Activia again. Because it took so long for my symptoms to show up, I thought it was important to comment myself. When I called the doctor's office today and talked with the nurse, she commented that she had eaten Activia herself, but didn't experience these problems. But, she immediately got on your website and read the reviews. I have an appointment tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your stories! Just wanted to warn everyone that it may take longer for your symptoms to show up. As God is my witness, I WILL NEVER EAT ACTIVIA AGAIN!!! "
"I had to write and mention to you my experience with Activia yogurt. I have suffered from chronic constipation for over 3 years now because of the medication I take for chronic pain, going only once every 2-3 weeks. Yes, this is the truth and I suffered for it. I didn't believe in taking laxitives, but I had to start keeping them in my home, along with stool softeners, fibre foods, every thing and anything I could think of and I even bought that stuff you have to drink that they give you the day before having a barium enema. It did not work either. I just had to wait until my bowel was ready to move and it wasn't very often. I have always been a big water drinker as well, but it didn't help this at all either.
I decided to try Activia yogurt just over a week ago as I had got some coupons in the mail, 2 for the price of 1. I have had a BM almost every day now, and I know some of it has been there for a very long time too. I am feeling so much better and lighter to say nothing of getting some energy back that I did not know being constipated would affect a person this way. I am very pleased with my experience thus far and hope it continues. "
First of all if you want to rebuild you intestinal flora please don't do it with a yogurt that contains sugar. If you are having severe pains from it try a goat milk yogurt from your health food store or get a probiotic that is dairy free. Dairy probiotics can be tough and give gas and pain for some people who are probably loaded with candida but they don't seem to have the pain with probiotics made from carrots or rice. If you have been diagnosed with candida, fibromyagia or anything like that never eat a yogurt unless it's plain or you add stevia to it because those fake sweetners are also torture on your body.
VSL#3 makes the best probiotic for people with severe digestive problems. It contains 450 billion live cultures in each dose instead of a million or a few billion like a lot of other brands.
I shouldn't have eaten Activa yogurt because of the sugar but I tried tons of it for weeks and the stuff made me cramp and did nothing for me either. I meant to tell the lady you are probably allergic to yogurt like I was. Until I cleared my allergy to yogurt I couldn't tolerate it.
Do kiniesiology muscle testing to see if you are allergic to it. Hold it in one hand and have someone push the other down. If it goes weak then you are reactive to it. If you are, hold it in your hand for 20 minutes and push down the pressure points of your spine, then avoid it for 25 hours. A lot of times people will clear allergies for life this way. Look up Naet if you don't know what it is. It works miracles.
I have been on Activia yogurt now for about two months. Once in the morning for breakfast with a piece of fruit, and I love it. I am by no means super healthy, I suffer from lupus, hypertension, rosacia, and rhuematoid arthritis. I have not suffered any negative side effects, in fact I no longer am so gassey and bloated during my time of the month, (and during the intimate times).
I am going to start my 15 year old son on it because he has stomach aches regularly, and see how it goes with him.
Mary Kay said:
At first Activia seemed to work for me, but after stopping for 4 days, I started taking it again. After eating the first one I have had severe abdominal pain for over a week. Everytime I tried to eat something within minutes after I ate I was doubled over in pain. I haven't eaten for 8 days now and I still can't. DO NOT EAT THIS STUFF! I'd have 10 more babies the old fashion way before I'd ever eat Activia yogurt again - that is how bad the pain is. I've had a endoscopy and colonoscopy, it hurts so bad I'm on pain meds until I get a second opinion on Wed. It hurts so bad there should be a warning label on it.
'Just wanted to let you know that I have been using Activia yogurt as my probiotic for about 4 weeks now. When I started eating the yogurt (prune is my favorite) I experienced an increase in bowel movement and urgency along with some loose stools. After speaking to a friend who practices a holistic lifestyle, I was informed that when beginning any probiotic regimen you can expect to suffer "die off" of bad bacteria. With that comes stomach pains, nausea, diarrhea and just a feeling of being ill. This will pass once the good bacteria reinhabit your body. If you want to feel healthier in the end you need to detox your body....it's not always pleasant, but doesn't last long and is well worth it.'
'I love Activia yogurt. I have never experienced any of the symptoms that the others are saying. I do eat a healthy balanced diet though. I really like the way the yogurt tastes since I do not like the way those nasty artificial sweetners taste. I have irritable bowel syndrome and I have a very sensitive stomach and this yogurt has done nothing but good things for me. I eat 2 a day, 1 with breakfast, and 1 with lunch, and I never have any problems.'
'I bought a four pack of Activia yogurt earlier this week, and after the first day, my stomach hurt, but heck I thought it was the Tylenol I took for a headache.
Day 2 - bad stomach pains and bloated feeling and a few more trips to the bathroom for a #2.
Day 3 - gave it the benefit of the doubt and regret it. I've had stomach pain for like 2 days and too many visits to the bathroom for #2 visits. The pain I had was similar to the pain I got when I was on Bactrim (antibotic) a few months ago for an ear infection.
Other than the Activia yogurt, there were no changes to my diet. Each day I eat a bowl of Kashi cereal for breakfast with milk, I drink water or selzter water during the morning, lunch consists of a yogurt, granola, apple, and some other fruit. I replaced my normal yogurt with the Activia this week to try something new. And literally, within a half hour of eating it, all went down hill. I guess this stuff is supposed to be for women (which I am) but be warned, if eating a 4 ounce will do this do me, just think what it can do you too (or if you ate two to equal a normal yogurt serving). This stuff also only has 1 gram of fiber and I consume between 25 and 30 gram of fiber a day.
Trust me, when I decided to eat two servings of fiber once before (this would be about 32 grams of fiber in one sitting) I didn't get as bloated, gassy, miserable, or have the horrible bowel movement that went along with eating this stuff.
Consume in small doses until you know what it does to you. If you get weird body signals, stop, don't suffer what the rest of have. It's not pretty, especially if you're at work and are bathroom shy in regards to going a #2.'
'I think Activia yogurt is great. It tastes really nice and fills you up. I think a lot of people experience bathroom troubles because they are unhealthy anyway. Just eating this yoghurt will not then enable you to eat all the junk you want. This stuff is a nice yoghurt and I think it helps other areas too.'
'I just want to say that my eldest sister was having very serious problems with her stomach, she went to test after test and could not help her. On her own she tried Activia yogurt I do believe it was and the pains and bloating went away. She eats it regularly now and has felt a lot better, No complaints of pain in her stomach.'
'I find Activia to have been very helpful in having regular and daily bowel movements. It may be you have had a parasitic infection or something else that required anti-biotics.I would not put the blame on Activia so fast.'
'I am waiting for the results of lab work on stool samples. I ate one Activia yogurt nine days ago and have had explosive, watery diarrhea several times a day since then. Coincidence? Hope I can find out!'
Update: Nancy confirms that lab results indicate she was suffering from an infectious protozoa.
'Dannon Activia yogurt should be labeled as a "laxative", as well as placed by medications in stores. Dannon's ad's for Activia are deceiving to the public. When they advertise that it will make your "digestive system" regular, I did not take that statement as meaning, "Bowel Movements." I ate one Activia and 24 hours later...bad stomach cramps, watery diarrhea that has left me "weak." Thank God my kids did not get ahold of that product.'
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