Nutritional Information

Yogurt and the Immune System
A report from Tufts University indicates that the potential health attributes associated with eating yogurt stretch beyond protein and calcium. According to an article by Simin Nikbin Meydani, Ph.D. in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2000; 71:861-72), yogurt may help make the immune system more resilient. Given the right circumstances, eating yogurt may help protect the intestinal tract. As a result, yogurt has great potential as a protective, anti-infection agent. Preliminary research indicates that increased yogurt consumption might help increase one's resistance to immune-related diseases such as cancer and infection, particularly gastrointestinal infection. This is believed to be in part due to the live and active cultures (LAC) found in yogurt.

Yogurt and Lactose Absorption in Lactose-Deficient Patients
Beta-galactosidase, an enzyme that is contained in some yogurts, helps improve lactose absorption in lactase-deficient patients. C.M. Kotz et. al. (J. Dairy Sci. 1994 Dec: 77 [12]; 3538-44) illustrated this point in a study that administered equivalent amounts of milk and yogurt to subjects. Those subjects who consumed yogurt showed considerably better lactose absorption than those who consumed milk alone.

Yogurt and Vulvovaginal Candidal (Yeast) Infections
This study assessed whether daily ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus prevents Vulvovaginal Candidal infections, commonly known as yeast infections. The study, conducted by E. Hilton et. al. (Ann. Intern. Med. 1992 March 1: 116 [5] 353-7), found that such yogurt consumption decreased infections three-fold. The study concluded that eating eight ounces of yogurt containing L. acidophilus on a daily basis decreases candidal colonization and infection.

Colon Cancer and Yogurt
More than 1,400 subjects with colon cancer from the Los Angeles area were examined in a study that sought to determine which foods were associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. Results (R.K. Peters; Cancer Causes Control 1992 Sept; 3[5] 457-73) indicated that yogurt intake is associated with a significantly decreased risk of colon cancer.

Cancer Chemotherapy Patients and Yogurt
Lactose malabsorption, a common side-effect among cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy, may be lessened by a diet high in yogurt, according to a study by the University of Naples Department of Pediatrics (M. Pettoello-Mantovani. et. al.; J. Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1995 Feb: 189-95). The study, which tested 20 children during cancer chemotherapy, concluded that there is a decrease in lactose malabsorption when yogurt is given to subjects as part of their treatment.