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Something in Your Food is Moving

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the go-ahead-ingest-a-colony dept.

Biotech 378

Dekortage writes "The New York Times has a report on probiotic food: food that has live bacteria in it. From the article: "[for Dannon's] Activia, a line of yogurt with special live bacteria that are marketed as aiding regularity, sales in United States stores have soared well past the $100 million mark.... Probiotics in food are part of a larger trend toward 'functional foods,' which stress their ability to deliver benefits that have traditionally been the realm of medicine or dietary supplements.""

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378 comments

Patent infringement? (5, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710138)

Activia, a line of yogurt with special live bacteria that are marketed as aiding regularity

Taco Bell should sue them for patent infringement.

Re:Patent infringement? (5, Funny)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710208)

They said "aiding regularity," not "forcibly exploding your colon out through your asshole."

Re:Patent infringement? (5, Funny)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710286)

They said "aiding regularity," not "forcibly exploding your colon out through your asshole."

Well, if it bursts out on the hour, every hour...

Activia (4, Funny)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710148)

I've been eating Activia for breakfast every morning for probably 6 months, and haven't really noticed that it's doing any good in the gastro department. Maybe if I quit having vodka for dinner...

Re:Activia (2, Funny)

SNR monkey (1021747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710250)

Actually, I think it's the vodka + Activia for breakfast that is keeping me from seeing any real benefits.

Re:Activia (5, Interesting)

araemo (603185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710860)

Perhaps someone here can tell me, what is the real difference between this fancy 'Activia' brand, and normal live culture yogurt (such as the Yoplait custard style I've been eating for 20 years when I want yogurt)?

Good yogurt has always had live bacteria in it, and the health effects of eating that live bacteria are not news.

Old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710156)

How is this new? I've seen stuff like this advertised on TV for a good ten years -- yoghurt with live lactic ferments, for one. The spots even bragged about you being able to feel them on your tongue at some point.

http://www.vivailfitness.it/fermenti.htm [vivailfitness.it] for a source, I don't want to link to an actual brand.

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710158)

The street meat hotdog vendors have been selling food that has live bacteria in it for ages!

Mmmmm bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710182)

food that has live bacteria in it

I love that sensation of the probiotics crawling down my throat!

Re:Mmmmm bugs (5, Funny)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710258)

I love that sensation of the probiotics crawling down my throat!

If I only I could get my wife to say the same thing.

Re:Mmmmm bugs (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710534)

I can get your wife to say it.

Well, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710262)

It's better than the sperm you usually have going down your throat. Faggot.

Testing (1)

gravesb (967413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710196)

Is this tested at all by the FDA, or is it like a supplement, and not subject to testing? Are these common bacteria that we already consume, or are they introducing new bacteria into our system?

Re:Testing (4, Informative)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710256)

It's food, not a drug, so it doesn't require testing anymore than prunes would do if marketed as a cure for constipation (which they're rather good at!) From TFA

The Food and Drug Administration takes a neutral position, policing food packages to make sure that companies do not try to equate probiotic products with disease-curing drugs (unless they have scientific evidence to back up a claim). One scholarly group that has addressed the topic recently, the American Academy of Microbiology, said in a 2006 report that "at present, the quality of probiotics available to consumers in food products around the world is unreliable."

Re:Testing (3, Informative)

OmniChamp (874914) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710794)

Oddly enough I happened to check the ingredients on the side of a container of Activa yoghurt and in Canada, the particular strain of probiotic bacteria has a DIN (Drug Identification Number) beside it. Due to my strobe light attention span, I didn't check it out on the Drug Product Database, but I figured it should be mentioned here. I'll probably go and follow up on that at lunch. Hey, pretty lights! (*wanders away aimlessly*)

Re:Testing (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710270)

oh gnoes teh germs will get you!!

seriously though, don't you think our bodies are capable of handling most bacteria, and certainly i doubt any of these companys would sell anything with poorly cultured bacteria in this litigation happy age we live in. all these health foods and suppliments are crap anyway. we don't need them, our bodies are PERFECT at looking after themselfs. what we need is LESS not more of everything.

Re:Testing (0, Troll)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710368)

Yeah, our bodies are PERFECT at getting what they need, which is why if you eat cardboard and gravel, and stand in a poorly ventilated garage with your SUV running, you'll still be able to bench press said SUV while singing your national anthem of choice while your many cultures of natural bacteria are forming a United Organs and vito-ing your brain.

Re:Testing (2, Informative)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710370)

Yes, they are common bacteria, known to be not harmful. Also, you eat lots of bacteria in many other foods anyway.

Keep in mind that there are a huge number of bacteria living in you and on you, most of them completely uncharacterized, and many of them probably essential for your health and well being.

Re:Testing (5, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710434)

Jesus Christ, are we really that disconnected from our food these days?

Dude, bacteria is what yogurt is. It's milk, spoiled under controled conditions. Conditions that promote the growth of . . .bacteria.

For the past few decades commercial yogurt has been pastuerized, i.e, put under controlled conditions that kill bacteria. Don't do that and your yogurt remains live. That's all there is to it.

KFG

Re:Testing (5, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710620)

IIRC - the bacteria is not common for the US. In fact it is uncommon for most of EU.

It is Lactobacillum Bulgaricum and relatives which are originally from the Balkan peninsula (you can guess from the name). Even now in the remote mountain areas of Bulgaria, Macedonia, Northern Greece and South Eastern Serbia if you leave milk outside it has a very fair chance of becoming a proper yogurt naturally. This does not happen every time though and that is the reason why people add some of the old yogurt in the new milk to start the fermentation. The difference between Lactobacillum produced yogurt and other yogurts is that lactobacillum can ferment even buffalo milk to yogurt without starting to produce nasty ketones and the smelly stuff we usually associate with bad milk. In addition to that once the fermentation has taken place the product is surprisingly stable and can survive up to several weeks in the fridge without any extra preservatives. For reasons not completely understood even today outside its native region native Lactobacillum does not last long so any place using it has to refresh its stocks regularly from the Balkans.

Danone got their hands on Lactobacillum and started producing decent yogurt after buying the biggest Bulgarian dairy food producer Serdika in the 90-es. Before that their yogurt had the taste of condensed rancid piss fortified with non-sour cream (same as the yogurt still made by most other manufacturers nowdays). Now it is more or less edible. It is not anywhere close to the real stuff which you can get in the Bulgarian, Greek or Macedonian mountains (I sometimes feel like killing someone for a jug of buffalo yogurt), but it can actually be eaten.

living 'brew' has been available for 2000+ years (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710214)

that would be kombucha tea.

Live bacteria (4, Informative)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710222)

food that has live bacteria in it

What, like normal yogurt and cheese?

Although perhaps in the USA everything is sterilized? Seems a bit nuts to kill all the bateria (yogurt is essentially a culture of bateria) and then add them back in again.

Re:Live bacteria (1)

hshana (657854) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710274)

As far as I know bacteria has always had live cultures in it. Go look at the side of the cup. Mine says "set with active cultures of L. acidophilus and B. bifidum". I know the Dannon claims live cultures of acidophilus for sure.

Re:Live bacteria (3, Informative)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710304)

All yogurt contains some live cultures, and one of the consumers interviewed in the article even said so. It's just that the author of the article is too brain-damaged to comprehend what they have written, apparently.

Re:Live bacteria (2, Informative)

hjames (70941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710364)

We used to be able to buy milk with Acidopholis culture at Giant food - but they phased it out over the last year or so and Safeway doesn't sell it. Thats the "live culture" that lives in your stomac and aids in digestion, but gets killed when you take antibiotics like penicillin.

Re:Live bacteria (1)

oohshiny (998054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710398)

What, like normal yogurt and cheese?

Yogurt and cheese that aren't specifically meant for that purpose do not consistently contain large numbers of live bacteria; these drinks should.

How do you think Yogurt is made? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710616)

Yogurt and cheese that aren't specifically meant for that purpose do not consistently contain large numbers of live bacteria

Cheese, perhaps (some kinds anyway) but yogurt? Have you ever made yogurt from scratch? It's nothing BUT live bacteria and cultures!

Re:Live bacteria (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710636)

Yogurt and cheese that aren't specifically meant for that purpose do not consistently contain large numbers of live bacteria; these drinks should.

Rubbish. If they haven't been sterilized yogurt and cheese are full of bacteria. They are bacterial cultures for chrissakes. If it wasn't for the bacteria, there wouldn't be any cheese or yogurt!
 

I support probiotic foods (5, Funny)

brother_b (16716) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710254)

In fact, I consume a good quantity of it on a regular basis. This is assuming that bottle-conditioned unfiltered beer counts.

Man, live yeast really gives you gas of doom, though.

New to the US (5, Informative)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710264)

There have been probiotic yogurts for sale in Europe (or at least in the UK) for quite some time now. I lived there 2005-2006 and ate this stuff daily (yogurt tastes better there on average anyway).

If you ask me, the US has a long way to go before reaching the standards in terms of taste and healthiness (is that a word?) that grocery food has set in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.

Re:New to the US (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710410)

If you ask me, the US has a long way to go before reaching the standards in terms of taste and healthiness (is that a word?) that grocery food has set in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.

You, obviously, have never compared (say) Weetabix to (say) Oatmeal Raisin Crisp. American cereals are teh pwnz!

Re:New to the US (1)

splutty (43475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710490)

There have been probiotic yogurts for sale in Europe (or at least in the UK) for quite some time now.

Completely correct! I'll hazard a guess and say it's several centuries if not more :)

It's not the prebioticness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710520)

Well, in Germany it's called Danone, in the USA Dannon, but the difference in quality isn't about prebiotic or whatever stuff.

Buy a vanilla yoghurt in Germany and an American one. The German one tastes nice (really, German vanilla yoghurt is SOOO good) and fresh, while the American one has Gelatin in it (feels very awkwardly slimy) and the flavor is just plain awful. Don't ask me why. I wrote them an email, but you know that doesn't do anything.

I've been to other countries, like Ireland, and always wondered why they can't just make good good without crappy additives. It tastes better, keeps fresh just as long (even without preservatives, my food doesn't catch mold in the fridge), and I have no idea why they put all that stuff (Gelatin, weird flavorings, artificial colors... do colorful jelly beans taste any better??) in there in the first place...

Re:New to the US (2, Insightful)

Bill Barth (49178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710548)

Active yogurts have been available in the US for decades if not centuries. Activa is just the first product that I've seen to specifically mention its active cultures as a cure for certain ailments in its advertising. It's really just new marketing (and good marketing, IMO).

Re:New to the US (1)

Mike_ya (911105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710738)

Ya, very true. Yogurts that have a certain amount of active cultures display the Live & Active Cultures seal from the National Yogurt Association on the package. Most yogurts I have seen in the store carry the seal.

popular in South Korea (1)

gertuine (1042062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710700)

In South Korea you can find a score of various probiotic drinkable yogurt selections in any convenience store. They have ones focused on helping your colon, your stomach, on and on.. And they come in a variety of pleasing flavors (various fruits, cereal, etc). When I first got here, being an American, I thought it was quite fun and novel, but now I've gotten to thinking that Americans should be more interested in health in such a pervasive way.

for my $0.02 worth, when I went to Europe, I liked the yogurt there by far more than any other kinds of yogurt I've tried (Tibetan yak yogurt included, because though it was tastey, it didn't outdo the European varieties)

Re:New to the US (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710856)

the US has a long way to go before reaching the standards in terms of taste and healthiness (is that a word?)

Maybe in English, but not in American.

IBS (4, Interesting)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710276)


That Activia stuff seems to help with irritable bowel syndrome [aboutibs.org] (which in turn was caused by a $300/month starbucks habit). My wife is a dietitian and recommended I try it out.

Now what we need is probiotic coffee so I can go back to a caffeine-fueled frenzy and finish this project I am working on.

Re:IBS (0, Offtopic)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710482)

$300/month on coffee?!? That's more than my monthly house payment. Some people have more money than sense!

Re:IBS (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710516)

House? Less than $300 a month?

Either way I agree $10 a day or close to $15 per workday is a bit MUCH. But not unusual for someone who has the money to spend, plenty of $5+ drinks available.

Re:IBS (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710790)

I can confirm (at least on my end) that it does help with IBS. I tried it for about two weeks and got pretty good results.

However, I didn't stick to it for two reasons: 1) cost and 2) the only bulk packs I can find now are peaches and something.

Why do bulk yogurt packs always have peaches and something? I hate peaches. Feh.

Anyway, I just use Metamucil now, which has the same overall effect. So if you like peaches and have IBS, give it a whirl.

Re:IBS (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710826)

a $300/month starbucks habit
In the UK, this would average out at about 2 cups a day, so I'm guessing it's a lot cheaper in the US...

I hate to break it to you all, but... (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710290)

...if your food isn't packed in a vacuum and it's not too hot, it probably has some live bacteria in it already, though maybe not the kind you want. Safety tip: never leave warm food out in the open too long. Oh, and unless you're at a super-fancy-expensive restaurant where they make *everything* the moment you order it, don't eat the hollandaise sauce. Raw egg yolks lying around = bad stuff.

Re:I hate to break it to you all, but... (4, Interesting)

pryonic (938155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710500)

Or maybe we should just realise that we're designed to cope with a bit of bacteria and get away from this antibacterial over clean lifestyle we live before we destroy our immune systems forever.

I saw a product on TV advertised earlier today: Vicks First Defense. It's an anti bacterial hand spray you can use after you've shook hands with someone or pressed a button in a left/elevator etc. I've been doing those things for years, and the worst I've had a little cold.

I'm not saying don't wash your hands after using the toilet and don't take precautions with food, I'm just worried we're going too far. If we don't use our immune systems they'll become weak, and we'll be wiped out by some bug in the next century or so.

Come on people, we surivived for years without all this over-sanitisation, I'm sure we can survive a few colds and a bit of stomach flu!

Re:I hate to break it to you all, but... (1)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710766)

Come on people, we surivived for years without all this over-sanitisation...


y'know, I generally speaking agree with you that things have gone too far, and that mild amounts of dirt/germs is a Good Thing overall, and that we've gone a bit far in our zeal for clean...

But what was the average life expectancy 500/2000/5000 years ago again? :P Sure, our ancestors survived, but a hell of alot of people died because of diseases caused by poor sanitation too. People still are dying because of it. Like most things we need a healthy balance, and I'd probably rather we stick fairly close to our current approach rather than revert too far to the days of yore.

Re:I hate to break it to you all, but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710804)

Come on people, we survived for years without all this over-sanitisation, I'm sure we can survive a few colds and a bit of stomach flu!
That reminds me of an old joke:

"How Middle-Ages people survived without the fridge?"
"They didn't."

But anyway... we live longer than even 30 yrs. ago (on average), and that is because of sanitisation (pollution on the other end is balancing things out.) Having said that tho, I do agree with you. I remember playing in the mud with my plastic soldiers something that would horrify many of today's mums and nothing terrible ever happened to me... a part from the evil monkey hidden in the wardrobe.

Re:I hate to break it to you all, but... (4, Insightful)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710828)

In fact the over-sterilisation of our environment has been linked with the rise in immune disorders such as asthma.

I was always tought that it's good to let children get covered in mud occasionally so their immune systems get a good workout - and this was years ago. Seems that this advice is becoming accepted again.

Re:I hate to break it to you all, but... (2, Interesting)

pryonic (938155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710838)

Agreed. I think the rise of food allergies is basically due to immune systems becoming 'bored'. They have nothing hostile to attack to they start attacking things like wheat, stomach linings, the lungs etc...

Getting filthy is part of being a kid!

Re:I hate to break it to you all, but... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710840)

I agree with what you said, but no amount of rational thought can counter the heebie-jeebies I get from the handles and knobs on the doors in public restrooms.

Re:I hate to break it to you all, but... (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710862)

If we don't use our immune systems they'll become weak, and we'll be wiped out by some bug in the next century or so.

Or just as bad: a lot of people are deciding that our overly clean environment breeds autoimmune disorders. The idea is that we have an exquisitely powerful immune system. If it doesn't find something to fight, it assumes it's not looking hard enough and turns up the sensitivity. It will eventually find a target, even if its own host.

I don't know if this is accepted fact now or mainly conjecture, but I'm steering clear of the antibiotic hand soap anyway.

Re:I hate to break it to you all, but... (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710864)

What we need is to determine which microbes are good and which are bad. Then we need to eliminate the bad ones and encourage the good ones.

Any unknown source (a door knob) should be treated as potentially having bad bacteria. But your oversimplification (we should have more bacteria, harmful and helpful) is dumb. Fewer illnesses is only a good thing.

Trouble stomachs (5, Insightful)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710298)

The fastest way to consumers' hearts may be through their troubled stomachs.

Maybe if the food industry didn't fuck so much with food to maximize profits in the first place, people wouldn't have so many troubled stomachs?

Re:Trouble stomachs (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710574)

If people weren't such dumb-asses and ate obviously-labeled shit to begin with, people wouldn't have so many troubled stomachs.

As much as I despise the shit food industry, people themselves are at least 50% culpable for their poor choices.

Healthy Diet (1)

WiseMuse (1039922) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710310)

Folks, if you want to feel good and be regular, eat a well-balanced diet! Remove the refined foods and add the whole foods. Eat multi-grain pasta and multi-grain bread. Drink lots of water. If you aren't regular after a plate of multi-grain pasta and 2 slices of multi-grain bread and a half-gallon of fresh water (not cool-aid, for example), go see a doctor!

Let's not make this a "craze" for marketing's sake (2, Insightful)

Merkwurdigeliebe (1046824) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710320)

While from the article I can gather there is merit to probiotic food, let's hope it does not become another coöpted marketing fad whereby anything and everything is labelled probiotic just for the sake of riding the coattails of the success of producs where such bacteria do make health sense and is important.

I can forsee this parallelling the fat-free craze where they'd (food companies) label things which always were naturally fat free labelled as being-100% fat free (implying that competing products not labelled so did have fat.) I'm surprised no-one ever went so far as labelling water as fat-free.

Fat free ! (2, Interesting)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710454)

I'm surprised no-one ever went so far as labelling water as fat-free.

Haven't you seen fet-free cooking oil spray ? It's main ingredient is canola oil, but it's fat free because each 0.5 gram serving contains zero grams of fat (rounded down).

Re:Let's not make this a "craze" for marketing's s (2, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710524)

Too late, there has been an explosion in probiotic products in the UK. My favourite advert is for Danone Activia.

They say in the advert that they have it to a group of women and asked them how they felt afterwards. Of course most of them described some kind of improvement in their wellbeing. I'd bet money that they'd say the same thing if you gave them custard and described it as a breakthrough in healthcare.

Re:Let's not make this a "craze" for marketing's s (1)

oojah (113006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710696)

I'm not sure that it's the same advert I'm thinking of, but it's certainly something similar. Either way, it narks me off. One of the testimonials is "it's like a dessert". Well great, that tells me a lot.

Re:Let's not make this a "craze" for marketing's s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710558)

New craze in tatoos. Huge numbers of men getting "probiotic" tatoos. Women being astute bargain shoppers are swallowing this excellent source of free protein say the ads for the tattoos.

Re:Let's not make this a "craze" for marketing's s (2, Informative)

pryonic (938155) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710594)

Do you know what food marketing fad I hate at the moment? All this organic nonsense that is being sold in the UK.

Organic potatoes, apples, milk... I thought these were organic products by definition, along with beef, chicken and orange juice. Maybe I'm wrong and they're made in a lab from nylon and plastic... I'm sure it is better for us that they're not covered in quite as many pesticides but quite a few dangerous chemicals are allowed to be used and the product called organic so it's all marketing ****shit. And the stuff is about twice the price...

Organic in the US is definitely worth it (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710722)

I'd forgotten how fruit and vegetables were supposed to taste. The majority of the conventionally farmed stuff at the supermarkets here is decidedly mediocre, but organic food is worth it on taste alone - i eat so much more fruit now that it tastes like it's supposed to!

WTF is this stuff doing on SlashDot? (2, Informative)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710420)

WTF is this stuff doing on SlashDot?

Yogurt contains live cultures? No shit. Thanks for the fourth-grade science lesson.

Let's get a couple stories for the IQ > 60 set out here today, please.

Re:WTF is this stuff doing on SlashDot? (2, Interesting)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710606)

Have you browsed the yogurt aisle at your local grocery store lately? You need to actually read labels to make sure you're getting the stuff w/ live, active cultures. Ditto sour cream. If you're lucky, maybe 3 brands out of 20 will have the stuff. These days, it's not the no-brainer you make it out to be.

Re:WTF is this stuff doing on SlashDot? (1)

AtomicJake (795218) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710870)

Just showing that the NYT author and the slashdot submitter would better engaged the brain before writing ...

If something in your food is moving (1)

Taagehornet (984739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710426)

Then don't eat it!

Reminded me of a poll jwz [livejournal.com] put up, pointing to the story: The Worm Within [fray.com]

I'm definitely with jwz on this one: Save that fucker, wash it off, and put it in a jar on your mantle labeled with your name, the date, and "Sample #0001"

Success with probiotics (4, Interesting)

xtermz (234073) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710452)

TMI WARNING! If talk of bodily functions disturbs you, go to the next post... ...With that in mind, I've had measurable success with taking probiotics ( in pill form ). I suffer from IBS, and suppose I can be called "overly regular". Since taking probiotic pills, I've notice more "normal" feeling, um, functions. Even if I stuck to a good diet, things were different until I did the probiotics.

Theres been some research, and lots of controversy, suggesting that the overabundance of antibiotics in our food, as well as the overuse of them by doctors and such, is just ruining our GI tract. There's lots of people walking around these days who probably cant' even remember what a normal bm is anymore. But ya, probiotics do appear to help.

Re:Success with probiotics (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710678)

I had the same erm.. sucess..

I can't touch dairy normally, yet when I took these drinks I could eat or drink anything and be perfectly fine. It was really strange but it did seem to work.

Not all bacteria are motile, (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710462)

and thus not all are necessarily what we might consider "moving." The non-motile ones might move a little bit from pushing each other away as they reproduce, but it's silly to assume all bacteria move under their own power.

Slashvertisement (this is 1930 technology) (3, Informative)

knightmad (931578) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710514)

Brazilian people (and people from other countries) have been drinking Yakult [wikipedia.org] since ever, and this kind of yogurt was (and I quote) "invented by Kyoto University pediatrics doctor Minoru Shirota in 1930". Here in Europe there is the Danone's Actimel [actimel.com], that is basically the same (I tasted both, I know) but with a new brand and a massive advertisement.

I'm mentioning that because IMHO this article is nothing but advertisement, passing something as a technological evolution but in fact, unless 30s technology counts as one, its nothing but another way slashdot got to sell your eyeballs.

Re:Slashvertisement (this is 1930 technology) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710642)

Thank you, I was just visiting the comments to point the same thing out. (I grew up drinking Yakult in Hong Kong, myself...)

Bribe your body (1, Flamebait)

pzs (857406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710544)

This is a general trend where you can get the consumer to cough up cash to make themselves feel better about how generally unhealthy they are.

- Eaten one too many big-macs this week? Why not take our an annual subscription to the gym! We don't actually care if you don't come, as long as you pay.

- Had another night on the bevies? Why not drink some of this foul muck? It will pacify your conscience!

- Hopelessly overweight? It's not your fault! You must be one of the minute percentage of people who have a genuine obesity disorder, rather than because you're a lazy slob. Why not have your stomach stapled/pay for some other expensive surgery?

Being healthy is not complicated and hardly ever involves eating gimmicky probiotics. Just eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and exercise regularly. Unfortunately, you can't sell any book/diet/fad food item with this advice, because for some people it involves genuine effort, rather than just effort-free financial outlay.

Peter

Re:Bribe your body (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710714)

And what about problems which arn't caused by bad health? Things like IBS can be helped (even cured) by these things.

But hey, if you'd rather blame people for everything that happens to them go ahead and do so.

Hmmmm... (1)

rspress (623984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710572)

I just got a Hormel Boneless chicken patty with Mashed potatoes and gravy meal with a chicken bone in it........is that close enough?

Lactobacillus bulgaricus (5, Insightful)

Maimun (631984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710600)

Bulgarians consider their country as the original inventor and genuine producer of sour milk, which is called "yogurt" in English. I dunno if that is true or not but in my humble experience, Bulgarian genuine yogurt is much tastier than any alternative I have tasted; those include several North American brands of yogurt that I tried in Canada and a brand of Greek yogurt sold in Canadian Oriental food stores.

Saying that yogurt has live bacteria in it is like saying water has H_2 O molecules: of course it does! Here is a wiki link [wikipedia.org] that describes pretty accurately, to the best of my knowledge, the bacteria species that makes yogurt out of fresh milk.

Dannon's products should be avoided. The worst brand-name yogurt in Bulgaria is theirs. It has the most artificial taste of all the surrogates that are sold as yogurt. If you have tasted the real thing, you will recognise their product as junk food (as long as you are not a junk-food addict :-) ).

Want bacteria with that? (2, Informative)

TheMohel (143568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17710610)

Probiotics in food are part of a larger trend toward 'functional foods,' which stress their ability to deliver benefits that have traditionally been the realm of medicine or dietary supplements.
And so slouches the Baby Boom generation toward their inevitable mortality, scrambling and clutching madly at every huckster's promise to improve "health" and "longevity." This is a minor example of the sort, of course, but it is just as well documented and proven as the others. Which is to say, not.
 
The primary "benefit" delivered by Activa is indeed that of the dietary supplements (and not a few medicines), which is to separate the victim from their available cash and deliver fuzzy science and placebo effect in return.
 
There is limited data that active culture supplementation can reduce diarrhea duration in acute gastroenteritis, although the studies are small. The effect in irritable bowel syndrome is contentious, but then virtually everything in irritable bowel syndrome is contentious, including the existence of the syndrome as such. In already-healthy people, Activa has no well-supported benefit of which I am aware.
 
For myself (and as a practicing physician), I don't have a problem with it - if you like your flavored spoiled milk with extra bacteria, by all means, partake. Nearly all food is nonsterile. Much of it has quite a lot of bacteria, and most of them (Taco Bell notwithstanding) are relatively harmless. Personally, I rather prefer Pop-Tarts.

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17710670)

I haven't seen a jogurt in the supermarket in recent memory that hasn't either got some preservative in it, or else is UHT'd beyond all recognition. Now, how on earth do they get a process to work on the "bad" bugs but not on the "good" ones???
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