Probiotics are “good” bacterial strains that benefit a person’s health, according to the American Gastroenterological Association. Eating probiotics regularly can help with digestion and offer a level of protection against detrimental bacteria. The most accessible way to consume this bacterium is through yogurt that contains living organisms. Most yogurt brands in the United States contain probiotics, but the organisms must be added after heat processing, so check the label to be sure. If it states "live and active cultures" the yogurt has probiotics.
Activia is available in a variety of flavors, including strawberry, mixed berry, vanilla, cherry and prune, according to the manufacturer Dannon. It also contains a healthy variety of probiotics including Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis -- a specialized probiotic culture specific to digestion and regularity. According to a study published in the July 2006 issue of “Applied and Environmental Microbiology” conducted by Marina Eli, both L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus survived through the digestive pathways attributing to increased regularity and digestion. Dannon notes that in each 4-oz. serving of yogurt, the consumer will obtain billions of live cultures.
Yoplait Original contains clinically proven probiotic cultures as well as calcium and vitamins A and D, according to the manufacturer. Yoplait Original has several cultures but lists Lactobacillus acidophilus as its primary organism. This is the most commonly used probiotic, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It helps form substances that make your intestines "unfriendly" toward bad bacteria that might make you sick. Lactobacillus acidophilus may prevent diarrhea, improve lactose tolerance and treat inflammatory bowel disease. Each serving of Yoplait Original has about 170 calories. It is available in more than 20 different flavors.
Stonyfield yogurt is certified organic, which means the manufacturer does not use any antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides or chemical means to procure their product in accordance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards of organic labeling. Stonyfield has an exclusive six live active culture blend of probiotics, which include Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus. As part of the Lactobacillus family, L. acidophilus, L. casei and L. rhamnosus help in regulating the digestive tract. Stonyfield yogurt is available in a variety of flavors including French vanilla, strawberry pomegranate, raspberry, key lime and peach, among others.
- American Gastroenterological Association: Probiotics: What They Are and What They Can do For You
- Activia: How Activia Can Help Me
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology: Survival of Yogurt Bacteria in the Human Gut
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Yoplait Original: Find Your Flavor
- Iowa State University: Yogurt