I eat yogurt with acidophilus every day simply because it tastes great but of course this is a wonderful health promoting food as well. From lowering high density/low density cholestrol levels in patients with type 2 diabetes1 to enhancing intestinal flora2 probiotic acidophilus yogurt can help.
Regular yogurt is made with two special bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus and these are both healthful bacteria but yogurt with acidophilus brings even more health benefits. You need to ensure that the yogurt you choose ALSO contains Lactobacillus acidophilus if you want this extra boost to your health.
If you like to make your own yogurt with acidophilus then my favorite is the EasiYo range of yogurt which contains L acidophilus NCFM - the NCFM strain is one of the best probiotics about. You can buy EasiYo here. Easiyo Greek Style Yogurt. It is a bit pricey (much cheaper in New Zealand where it is made and where I use to live) but is a great product.
Yogourmet Freeze Dried Yogurt Starter can be used with either cow, soy or goat's milk and contains acidophilus as well as the 2 standard starters. Great reviews on Amazon.
If you prefer to buy ready made yogurt with acidophilus then the brands listed below are all suitable and you'll find most of them at places like Walmart.
Milk products are often pasteurized BEFORE the starter cultures are added to kill any harmful bacteria and this is alright. However, it goes without saying that yoghurt must not be pasteurized AFTER the starters have been added as this would kill them. Check that it carries a Live and Active seal or some verification that the bacteria are alive.
Studies have shown that Lactobacillus acidophilus does not always get along very well with other beneficial bacteria in yogurt. Both L casei and Bifidobacterium inhibit its growth in the yogurt whilst the acidophilus can inhibit the starter cultures. This is one reason why yoghurt does not usually contain high numbers of L acidophilus.
Commercial manufacturers get round this by adding different cultures at different stages of the yogurt making process.
It is vital to keep your yogurt cold. After 6 hours at room temperature almost half of the acidophilus will have died. Now most of us don't enjoy warm yogurt and are unlikely to leave it at room temperature for long but do ensure that when buy yogurt that you have it unchilled for as short as time as possible to retain the most of the health enhancing properties.
1. Ejtahed HS, Mohtadi-Nia J, Homayouni-Rad A, Niafar M, Asghari-Jafarabadi M, Mofid V, Akbarian-Moghari A. Effect of probiotic yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis on lipid profile in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Dairy Sci. 2011 Jul;94(7):3288-94.
2. Liu JE, Zhang Y, Zhang J, Dong PL, Chen M, Duan ZP. Probiotic yogurt effects on intestinal flora of patients with chronic liver disease. Nurs Res. 2010 Nov-Dec;59(6):426-32.
Measures pH in the correct range for women's health