15 Health Benefits of Yogurt

It's hard to imagine that anyone hasn't heard of the health benefits of yogurt.

It is full of lactic acid bacteria - which is a very good thing - and in a variety of studies the consumption of yogurt has shown that it:

  1. Gives better intake of potassium, B2, B12, calcium, magnesium, and zinc1.

  2. Is associated with lower levels of circulating triglycerides, glucose, and lower systolic blood pressure and insulin resistance1

  3. Supports the immune system (strong animal based evidence)12.

  4. Lessens stomach acid3

  5. The intake of low-fat dairy products helped with high blood pressure in older people at high cardiovascular risk, suggesting a possible protective effect against hypertension2.

  6. Support stronger bones. The acidic pH of yogurt ionizes calcium and help with its uptake5

  7. Helps with inflammatory bowel disease6

  8. Helps with h plori infection - two probioitcs inproved the success of treatment against h pylori infection in a medical study13. Animal studies show that probiotics in yougurt have an inhibitory effect on H. pylori14.

  9. Helps with lactose intolerance3

  10. Helps with constipation7

  11. Helps with Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD)4

  12. Studies in animals show that yogurt has tumour supressing qualities so could help prevent colon cancer8.

  13. Could help with dieting as a study showed that compared against snacks such as a peach flavoured dairy drink or peach juice, peach yogurt lead to a greater feeling of fullness. However in the study this did not lead to the subjects eating less at the next meal10.

  14. Could help with Western diet associated obesity11.

  15. Is an excellent source of protein, calcium and phosphorus9.

Yogurt can help your health in so many different ways. It can make a real difference to your calcium intake. It is also a valuable source of protein for vegetarians with approximately 6 grams of protein in a 6oz tub of yogurt. If you're interested in facts about yogurt, here is a link for yogurt nutrition values. benefits of yogurt

A common probiotic in yogurt is acidophilus and this bacteria has so many proven benefits.

Yogurt has helped some women who have yeast infection. I'll be up front - it doesn't help everybody, but it is PROVEN to help SOME women. Give it a go. Check this out for help on how to get the yogurt in there.

The benefits of yogurt extend to taking it during and after treatment with antibiotics. Research shows that yogurt can help with antibiotic diarrhea and even the Mayo Clinic suggests eating yogurt during treatment. It must be a brand of yogurt that contains viable bacteria to be of assistance.


How to make yogurt

how yogurt can help your health

Homemade yogurt is so good for you and you control the production every step of the way. This is where you really can introduce all the health benefits of yogurt. You can make it from any type of milk that you choose - cow, sheep, soy, camel! - and add as much or as little sweetening as you like. The health benefits of yogurt increase even further when you eat it freshly made while it is still bursting with lactic acid bacteria. And it doesn't need to be complicated. Take a look at how simple it can be to learn how to make yogurt.

How to flavor yogurt need not be a problem - I simply add my choice of jam to it. My favorite is flavored with my homemade wild blackberry jam! Try ice cream toppings, maple syrup or honey if you want a sweet yogurt. Try chives and fresh herbs for a savory yogurt flavor.

Read my reviews on four popular brands of yogurt maker. Salton Yogurt Maker, Cuisipro Donvier (of French Women Don't Get Fat fame), EasiYo and the Tribest Yogurt Maker.

And you need to read this if you want to know how to make probiotic yogurt. I advise against it - see why?


How to buy yogurt

yogurt live and active culture seal

No need to hang your head in shame if you prefer to buy your yogurt. With a little care, commercial yogurt can be just as good for you as your homemade brew. The important points to remember are;

  • Check that it carries the Live and Active seal (in the US) or that it states somewhere on the packaging how many viable probiotic bacteria are in it.

  • Check which probiotic bacteria are in the yogurt. Maybe you want a particular type for a particular health problem.

  • Check that it doesn't say "heat treated."

  • Check the use-by-date. Research has shown how yogurt bacteria levels reduce over time. Fresh is best.

And if you're concerned about the Activia lawsuit then I hope this article will set your mind at rest.

As an update, the Activia Settlement (of the above lawsuit) means that some consumers may be able to receive up to $100. Check out that link if you believe you qualify.

Lactobacillus casei is found in DanActive a popular fermented drink. Expensive, but some people find it helpful with gastrointestinal troubles although it has also GIVEN a few folk upset tummies! Too many good bacteria introduced too quickly can do that.

Don't forget that you can buy soy yogurt if you are a vegan. It will have most of the same lactic acid bacteria in it.

Not sure whether good bacteria survive the trip through your digestive tract so that you really do enjoy the health benefits of yogurt? Follow that link and you'll see that they do.


Want to make yogurt cheese?

Yogurt cheese is another of those things that can be so dang good for you and tastes good too. And easy! Did I say it was easy to make! You'll find a yogurt cheese recipe right here. The benefits of yogurt cheese include its health giving properties, but as well, it's a very versatile food - you can eat it a hundred different ways and that applies to Bulgarian yogurt. I've even thrown in a bit of history. What more could you want!


1. Wang H, Livingston KA, Fox CS, Meigs JB, Jacques PF. Yogurt consumption is associated with better diet quality and metabolic profile in American men and women. Nutr Res. 2013 Jan;33(1):18-26. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.11.009. Epub 2012 Dec 27.

2. Toledo E, Delgado-Rodriguez M, Estruch R, Salas-Salvado J, Corella D, Gomez-Gracia E, Fiol M, Lamuela-Raventos RM, Schröder H, Aros F, Ros E, Ruiz-Gutierrez V, Lapetra J, Conde-Herrera M, Saez G, Vinyoles E, Martinez-Gonzalez MA. Low-fat dairy products and blood pressure: follow-up of 2290 older persons at high cardiovascular risk participating in the PREDIMED study. Br J Nutr. 2009 Jan;101(1):59-67. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508981496. Epub 2008 May 20.

3. de Vrese M, Laue C, Offick B, Soeth E, Repenning F, Thoß A, Schrezenmeir J. A combination of acid lactase from Aspergillus oryzae and yogurt bacteria improves lactose digestion in lactose maldigesters synergistically: A randomized, controlled, double-blind cross-over trial. Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul 8. pii: S0261-5614(14)00179-4. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2014.06.012. [Epub ahead of print]

4. Beniwal RS, Arena VC, Thomas L, Narla S, Imperiale TF, Chaudhry RA, Ahmad UA.A randomized trial of yogurt for prevention of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Dig Dis Sci. 2003 Oct;48(10):2077-82.

5. Rizzoli R. Dairy products, yogurts, and bone health. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 May;99(5 Suppl):1256S-62S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.073056. Epub 2014 Apr 2.

6. Shadnoush M, Shaker Hosseini R, Mehrabi Y, Delpisheh A, Alipoor E, Faghfoori Z, Mohammadpour N, Zaringhalam Moghadam J. Probiotic yogurt Affects Pro- and Anti-inflammatory Factors in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Iran J Pharm Res. 2013 Fall;12(4):929-36.

7. Magro DO, de Oliveira LM, Bernasconi I, Ruela MD, Credidio L, Barcelos IK, Leal RF, Ayrizono MD, Fagundes JJ, Teixeira LD, Ouwehand AC, Coy CS.Effect of yogurt containing polydextrose, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study in chronic constipation. Nutr J. 2014 Jul 24;13(1):75. [Epub ahead of print]

8. Narushima S1, Sakata T, Hioki K, Itoh T, Nomura T, Itoh K. Inhibitory effect of yogurt on aberrant crypt foci formation in the rat colon and colorectal tumorigenesis in RasH2 mice. Exp Anim. 2010;59(4):487-94.

9. Adolfsson O, Meydani SN, Russell RM. Yogurt and gut function. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Aug;80(2):245-56.

10. Tsuchiya A1, Almiron-Roig E, Lluch A, Guyonnet D, Drewnowski A. Higher satiety ratings following yogurt consumption relative to fruit drink or dairy fruit drink. J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Apr;106(4):550-7.

11. Poutahidis T, Kleinewietfeld M, Smillie C, Levkovich T, Perrotta A, Bhela S, Varian BJ, Ibrahim YM, Lakritz JR, Kearney SM, Chatzigiagkos A, Hafler DA, Alm EJ, Erdman SE. Microbial reprogramming inhibits Western diet-associated obesity. PLoS One. 2013 Jul 10;8(7):e68596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068596. Print 2013.

12. Lakritz JR, Poutahidis T, Levkovich T, Varian BJ, Ibrahim YM, Chatzigiagkos A, Mirabal S, Alm EJ, Erdman SE. Beneficial bacteria stimulate host immune cells to counteract dietary and genetic predisposition to mammary cancer in mice. Int J Cancer. 2014 Aug 1;135(3):529-40. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28702. Epub 2014 Jan 10.

13. Kim MN, Kim N, Lee SH, Park YS, Hwang JH, Kim JW, Jeong SH, Lee DH, Kim JS, Jung HC, Song IS. The effects of probiotics on PPI-triple therapy for Helicobacter pylori eradication. Helicobacter. 2008 Aug;13(4):261-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-5378.2008.00601.x.

14. Kuo CH, Wang SS, Lu CY, Hu HM, Kuo FC, Weng BC, Wu CC, Liu CJ, Tsai PY, Lee TC, Chen LW, Cheng KH, Chang LL, Wu DC. Long-Term Use of Probiotic-Containing Yogurts Is a Safe Way to Prevent Helicobacter pylori: Based on a Mongolian Gerbil's Model. Biochem Res Int. 2013;2013:594561. doi: 10.1155/2013/594561. Epub 2013 Nov 21.