Medically reviewed on August 15, 2017
Uses of Yogurt
Yogurt provides a dietary source of calcium and protein, as well as folic acid, magnesium, and zinc. There is limited clinical information regarding its benefits in lipid regulation and cardiovascular disease. Despite debate regarding the role of exogenous calcium in the prevention of osteoporosis, yogurt remains a recommended source of calcium. It is commonly used as a source of probiotics.
In addition to its widespread use as a food, yogurt has been studied in clinical trials in amounts of 100 to 200 g/day.
The use of yogurt containing live cultures (probiotic) is not advised in patients at risk for opportunistic infections or in those with badly damaged GI tracts.
Generally recognized as safe when used as a food.
None well documented.
Yogurt Adverse Reactions
Yogurt is not associated with any clinically important adverse events.
Yogurt is the general term for a fermented, slightly acidic milk product that contains essentially no alcohol. Most commonly, it is fermented by the addition of live cultures of Streptococcus thermophilus or Lactobacillus bulgaricus to heated whole or skimmed cow's milk. 1
Yogurt to which cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus are added is termed acidophilus milk.
Yogurt Uses and Pharmacology
Yogurt provides a dietary source of protein, calcium, folic acid, 2 magnesium, potassium, and zinc ions. 3 , 4 Most authorities consider yogurt, either pasteurized or live culture, to be a viable option as a source of dietary calcium and protein in lactose-intolerant people; however, controversy still exists. 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10 Yogurt increases zinc bioavailability with no effect on iron bioavailability. 7 , 11Osteoporosis
In a randomized, open-label trial with 29 menopausal women, the addition of yogurt to the diet significantly reduced N-telopeptide excretion, a marker of bone resorption. 12 Despite the debate that exists regarding the role of exogenous calcium in the prevention of osteoporosis, yogurt remains a recommended source of calcium. 7 , 13Cancer
Yogurt enhanced the effects of a moderate, energy-restricted diet in 38 obese people. Fat loss was augmented and central adiposity reduced in a randomized, open-label trial. Enhanced calcium intake was proposed as the mechanism for this effect. 18 Older metabolic studies have demonstrated a cholesterol-lowering effect. 19 , 20
Yogurt to which live cultures have been added, commonly called probiotic, is widely available. Uses of yogurt as a probiotic include treatment of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, acute/infectious diarrhea, vaginosis, immunity/allergy, and respiratory and urinary tract infections. For a discussion specifically on such cultured yogurts, see the Probiotics monograph.
Generally recognized as safe when used as a food.
The use of yogurt as a probiotic is considered relatively safe, but caution is advised in patients at risk for opportunistic infections and in those with badly damaged GI tracts. 22
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