Yogurt's got power-boosting protein and bone-building calcium. It can also help you lose weight and fend off a cold. Here's the scoop on the benefits of yogurt
Healthy Features of Yoghurt
Yoghurt consumption delays organism’s ageing.
Yoghurt contained microorganisms interact with stomach flora, attacking and neutralising harmful bacteria which cause ageing. This discovery was made still in 1908 by the Russian scientist – the Nobel Prize winner, Ilya Mechnikov. He compared data about life duration in 36 countries and discovered that Bulgarians live the longest. Mechnikov connected this fact with the regular yoghurt consumption. The Russian academician theory, which till nowadays is primarily supported by scientist states that ageing is due to accumulation of poisonous substances in the organisms and the action of the putrefaction bacteria in the large intestines. With the ages, they cause a slow poisoning and disorder of the nervous system.
Yoghurt and dairy products are the best sources of natural to assimilate Calcium which is vitally essential for bones and teeth building
When there is a shortage of Calcium in the human organism, the bone substance is rarefied, and the risk for fractures increases even from insignificant traumas. This disease is called osteoporosis and is more commonly met with women. It is important to control the quantity of Calcium intake during the whole life and especially in childhood.
Lactic acid bacteria prevent cancerogenic substances synthesis, limit mutations and formation of cancer cells.
The protective action of yoghurt for prevention of some types of tumours is proven in various researches. It is proved experimentally that lactic acid bacteria decrease cancerogenic substances and enzymes in the rectum which shows that they have the potential to prevent the organism from cancer formation.
Yoghurt has a probiotic effect – it influences exceptionally beneficially stomach and intestines.
Its curative effect on gastric problems was discovered still in the 16th century, when according to historians, this product known on our lands only, was transferred to Western Europe. In the book of prof. Christo Chomakov “Bulgarian yoghurt – health and longevity” it is told how a healer managed to heal the constant stomach complaints of the French king Francois the First by including yoghurt in his diet. Probiotics are useful bacteria that inhabit intestines and help digestion, at the same time inhibiting the development of pathogenic microorganisms. Yoghurt has a purifying effect; it helps with gastrointestinal disorders, decreases the risk of intestinal infections. Supports maintenance of intestinal balance when it is destroyed as a result of prolonged intake of antibiotics or irradiation. Yoghurt delivers a positive effect with constipation and several types of diarrhoea, especially with small children. Lactic acid bacteria improve digestion as a whole, stimulate intestinal peristaltics and decrease constipation.
Lactic acid bacteria in yoghurt help improving the immunity and for a successful struggle against infections.
Viable lactic bacteria which are contained in yoghurt are powerful arms to support the immune defensive barrier of intestines. Some products which are formed from lactic acid bacteria (bacteriocins and lactic acid) also suppress the growth of harmful diseases causing microorganisms. Yoghurt helps lowering of high temperature. It also decreases allergic reactions in cases of over sensitivity towards milk and influences beneficially allergic diseases.
Yoghurt helps prevention of cardiac diseases.
Lactic acid bacteria have an anti sclerosis effect since they possess the property of lowering the serum cholesterol. In the processes of fermentation caused by lactic acid bacteria, from the fresh milk proteins are formed bioactive peptides, about which it is established, that they lower blood pressure and decrease the risk from blood clots. Calcium, in which milk and dairy products are exclusively rich, also decreases blood pressure. For people who have already developed cardiac diseases, it is recommended to consume low-fat milk and white brined cheese which contain substantially fewer fats (19 g per 100 g product) than yellow cheese which is of 30 to 60% fat content.
Milk and dairy products lower the risk of caries development in teeth.
Fresh milk is of alkaline reaction and neutralises the acids obtained from fermentation of sugar in the teeth which destroy teeth enamel. Lactic acid bacteria in yoghurt on their part suppress the development of the microorganisms in the mouth cavity. Cheeses act protectively due to the high content of Calcium, protein and Phosphorus.
Yoghurt has an antitoxic action.
It neutralises toxic substances obtained from the processes of kidneys and liver detoxication.
Fresh milk and dairy products are one of the most full values and balanced foods that are ever known to humanity.
They are an indispensable source of high-quality protein – containing important amino acids as Calcium and a fundamental source of Vitamins B2 and A. When to the human organism not enough quantity of proteins is supplied, the so-called protein malnutrition is obtained. It leads to a decrease of the organisms’ immune protective force, increases the risk of infections and leads to a loss of muscle and bone mass. Fresh milk and yoghurt, as well as white brined cheese, are undeservedly avoided by people aiming at weight loss. In 100 g of cow’s milk are contained about 66 kcal. Furthermore, the advantage of dairy products is that they are offered both in whole and skimmed form.
And not in the last place – dairy products are delicious and are an indispensable part of the national cuisine since centuries.
They are consumed in a natural state or as part or addition to various dishes, salads, desserts and dough products. Yoghurt is a special reason for national pride since it is considered that its motherland is in our lands still from the time of the Thracians. Bulgaria has given to the world the lactic acid bacterium – Lactobacillus Bulgaricus –its discovery for science and the industrial technology for yoghurt production.
Milk Allergy vs. Lactose Intolerance
People sometimes confuse lactose intolerance with a milk allergy.
Milk allergy is a food allergy, which is an overreaction of the immune system to a specific milk protein like Casein. When the milk protein is ingested, it can trigger an allergic reaction that may include a range of symptoms from mild symptoms (rashes, hives, itching, swelling, etc.) to severe symptoms (trouble breathing, wheezing, etc.)
Lactose is a sugar found in milk and milk products. The small intestine—the organ where most food digestion and nutrient absorption take place—produces an enzyme called lactase. Lactase breaks down lactose into two simpler forms of sugar: glucose and galactose. The body then absorbs these simpler sugars into the bloodstream.
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which people have digestive symptoms—such as bloating, diarrhoea, and gas—after eating or drinking milk or milk products.
Dairy milk is made up of lots of different components, for example, proteins (such as casein and whey), milk sugar (called lactose) and fat.
More frequently the reasons for lactose intolerance are Lactase Deficiency and Lactose Malabsorption
In people who have a lactase deficiency, the small intestine produces low levels of lactase and cannot digest much lactose.
Lactase deficiency may cause lactose malabsorption. Undigested lactose passes to the colon. The colon, part of the large intestine, absorbs water from stool and changes it from a liquid to a solid form. In the colon, bacteria break down undigested lactose and create fluid and gas. Not all people with lactase deficiency and lactose malabsorption have digestive symptoms.
People have lactose intolerance when lactase deficiency and lactose malabsorption cause digestive symptoms. Most people with lactose intolerance can eat or drink some amount of lactose without having digestive symptoms. Individuals vary in the amount of lactose they can tolerate.
How much lactose can a person with lactose intolerance have?
Most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate some amount of lactose in their diet and do not need to avoid milk or milk products completely. Avoiding milk and milk products altogether may cause people to take in less calcium and vitamin D than they need. Individuals vary in the amount of lactose they can tolerate. A variety of factors—including how much lactase the small intestine produces—can affect how much lactose an individual can tolerate. For example, one person may have severe symptoms after drinking a small amount of milk, while another person can drink a large amount without having symptoms. Other people can easily eat yogurt and hard cheeses such as cheddar and Swiss, while they are not able to eat or drink other milk products without having digestive symptoms.
Research suggests that adults and adolescents with lactose malabsorption could eat or drink at least 12 grams of lactose in one sitting without symptoms or with only minor symptoms.
This amount is the amount of lactose in 1 cup of milk. People with lactose malabsorption may be able to eat or drink more lactose if they eat it or drink it with meals or in small amounts throughout the day.
Yogurt starters 1 gram = 0.3 - 0.8 grams lactose
Probiotic Capsules 1 gram = 0.3 - 0.9 grams lactose
Nonfat dry milk powder, 1 cup = 62 grams lactose
Sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup = 40 grams lactose
Ice milk, 1/2 cup = 9 grams lactose
Ice cream, 1/2 cup = 3 - 6 grams lactose
Yogurt, 1 cup = 5 grams lactose
Blue cheese, 1 oz.= 2 grams lactose
Sherbet, orange, 1/2 cup = 2 grams lactose
American, Swiss, or Parmesan cheese, 1 oz. = 1 gram lactose
How does lactose intolerance affect health?
In addition to causing unpleasant symptoms, lactose intolerance may affect people’s health if it keeps them from consuming enough essential nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D. People with lactose intolerance may not get enough calcium if they do not eat calcium-rich foods or do not take a dietary supplement that contains calcium. Milk and milk products are major sources of calcium and other nutrients in the diet. Calcium is essential at all ages for the growth and maintenance of bones. A shortage of calcium intake in children and adults may lead to bones that are less dense and can easily fracture later in life, a condition called osteoporosis.
Eating, Diet, and Nutrition
People may find it helpful to talk with a health care provider or a registered dietitian about a dietary plan. A dietary plan can help people manage the symptoms of lactose intolerance and make sure they get enough nutrients. Parents, caretakers, childcare providers, and others who serve food to children with lactose intolerance should follow the dietary plan recommended by the child’s health care provider or registered dietitian.
Milk and milk products. Gradually introducing small amounts of milk or milk products may help some people adapt to them with fewer symptoms. Often, people can better tolerate milk or milk products by having them with meals, such as having milk with cereal or having cheese with crackers. People with lactose intolerance are generally more likely to tolerate hard cheeses, such as cheddar or Swiss, than a glass of milk. A 1.5‑ounce serving of low-fat hard cheese has less than 1 gram of lactose, while a 1-cup serving of low-fat milk has about 11 to 13 grams of lactose.
However, people with lactose intolerance are also more likely to tolerate yogurt than milk, even though yogurt and milk have similar amounts of lactose.
Points to Remember
Lactose is a sugar found in milk and milk products.
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which people have digestive symptoms—such as bloating, diarrhoea, and gas—after eating or drinking milk or milk products.
A health care provider makes a diagnosis of lactose intolerance based on medical, family, and diet history, including a review of symptoms; a physical exam; and medical tests.
Basing a diagnosis on symptoms alone may be misleading because digestive symptoms can occur for many reasons other than lactose intolerance.
Most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate some amount of lactose in their diet and do not need to avoid milk or milk products completely. However, individuals vary in the amount of lactose they can tolerate.
Research suggests that adults and adolescents with lactose malabsorption could eat or drink at least 12 grams of lactose in one sitting without symptoms or with only minor symptoms. This amount is the amount of lactose in 1 cup of milk.
Be Aware of Calcium Needs. People who are lactose intolerant tend to cut out dairy foods. If you do that, you can shortchange yourself on calcium. You need calcium for healthy teeth and bones, and vitamin D to help your body use calcium.
Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus
Lactic Acid Fermentation
The lactic acid fermentation of Bulgarian yoghurt is a unique biological process in which symbiotic cultures of Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are involved. Both microorganisms cooperate with each other during fermentation and their associative growth results in accelerated acidification, but the exact mechanisms are only partially understood. Present day molecular biology and genomic studies indicate that Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus is in process of ongoing human-driven reductive evolution. Ages of human selection of strains adapted to the protein-rich milk medium led to the establishment of stable natural symbiotic cultures in which Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus stimulate each other’s growth, cooperate and compensate one another metabolically. Nowadays several genetic and biochemical features are known to be responsible for the complex positive interaction between those two bacterial species:
S. thermophilus degrades milk urea and consequently excretes CO2 and in this way stimulates the growth of lactobacilli, which is hampered by the low CO2 concentration in milk after heat treatment.
S. thermophilus S. thermophilus stimulates the growth of L. bulgaricus through the formic acid formation, which is limiting step in the purine biosynthesis.
Mixed yoghurt cultures may stimulate the production of some metabolites such as acetaldehyde.
L. bulgaricus, unlike S. thermophilus, possesses extracellular cell-wall bound protease and therefore can supply S. thermophilus with peptides and amino acids.
S. thermophilus genome contains the genes responsible for p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) biosynthesis and might supply L. bulgaricus with PABA which is necessary for the production of folate.
Genomic analysis data indicate that S. thermophilus might provide L. bulgaricus with ornithine during the fermentation, which is decarboxylated to putrescine from L. bulgaricus, who, on its turn, provides with it S. thermophilus. In this way, both bacteria benefit mutually to provide each other with polyamines, which are important for many cell functions and oxidative stress resistance.
The probiotics are defined as live microbial additives, particularly beneficial for the human health.
The inclusion of probiotics in the human diet is considered the most promising concept for overcoming the influence of the adverse health factors caused by the lifestyle of the modern man. The increase in the consumption of the probiotic product leads to qualitative improvement of the human health status and decreased use of pharmaceuticals.
Nowadays there are plenty of probiotic preparations available on the market in USA, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, France, etc., based on different microbiological compositions (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria, etc.).
Definitions of the term “probiotics” in recent years are listed below:
“Oral probiotics are living micro-organisms, which upon ingestion in certain numbers, exert health benefits beyond inherent basic nutrition”. LABIP consensus definition (Guarner & Schaafsma, 1998).
“A live microbial food ingredient that is beneficial to health”. Proposed by Salminen et al. (1998) and adopted as consensus definition by the FUFOSE Concerted Action sponsored by the European Commission (Diplock et al. 1999).
“Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”. Definition by the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Working Group (2002). The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics recently adopted this definition (Reid et al. 2003).
“Probiotic bacteria are live food supplements which benefit the health of the consumer”, as defined in the legal proposal by the European Commission.
Probiotic preparations include mainly lactic acid bacteria of the genera Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, but also yeasts (Saccharomyces boulardii) or other bacterial species (Bacillus coagulans, Escherichia coli Nissle 1917, etc.).
Prebiotics are a category of functional food, defined as non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth and activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improve host health. Appropriate combinations of pre- and probiotics are called synbiotics.
Consumption of yoghurt has been shown to induce measurable health benefits linked to the presence of live bacteria, as compared with products with heat-killed bacteria. Thus, yoghurt starter cultures clearly fulfil the current concept of probiotics at least for its beneficial effect on lactose digestion in vivo. Some yoghurt cultures were shown to induce other health benefits such as reduction in severity and duration of acute diarrhoea, prevention of allergic disorders, immunomodulation, protective effect against colon cancer, improvement of lactose digestion and elimination of the symptoms of lactose intolerance, etc.
Lactobacillus Delbrueckii ssp. Bulgaricus and Streptococcus Termophilus
A proposal by the European Commission for a Council regulation laying down additional rules on the common organization of the market in milk and milk products for yoghurt and yoghurt-like products was presented recently (AGRI/38 743/2003rev3). Article 2 and Annex of the proposal establish that ‘yoghurt’ is a product obtained by the fermentation of milk with cultures of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus.