Yogurt

18/Description

About

Yogurt is a dairy product made by fermenting milk using one or more of a variety of particular bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Enterococcus faecium, Streptococcus thermophilus, and others.

Yogurt is used for restoring normal bacteria in the intestine after antibiotic therapy and for treating antibiotic-associated diarrhea and acute diarrhea in children. Yogurt is also used for treating and preventing vaginal yeast and bacteria infections, and preventing urinary tract infections. Some people use yogurt for lactose intolerance and for treating high cholesterol and Helicobacter pylori infections that cause stomach ulcers. Yogurt is also used for preventing colorectal cancer and sunburns.

Some women use yogurt inside the vagina for treating vaginal yeast infections and vaginal bacterial infections in pregnancy.

Yogurt is also eaten as a food and used as an alternative to milk in lactose-intolerant individuals.

How it works

Yogurt contains bacteria which may help restore the normal bacteria in the digestive tract and vagina. This might help treat diarrhea and vaginal infections.

Effectiveness

Possibly Effective
Diarrhea in children

Yogurt formula given as a replacement for milk formula in infants and young children seems to relieve persistent diarrhea.

Diarrhea associated with antibiotics
Preventing vaginal yeast infections
Lactose intolerance, as an alternative to milk

Eating yogurt with live bacterial cultures seems to improve lactose tolerance in children and adults who cannot absorb lactose.

Treating a bacterial infection that can cause stomach ulcers (Helicobacter pylori), when used in combination with other medicines

The standard “triple-drug therapy” for stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection involves treatment with lansoprazole (Prevacid), amoxicillin (Amoxil, others), and clarithromycin (Biaxin). Adding yogurt that contains lactobacillus or bifidobacterium to standard triple drug treatment seems to help patients stick to their treatment plan. This makes the treatment more effective in killing the H. pylori bacteria. However, consuming yogurt alone without standard triple-drug therapy does not appear to kill H. pylori.

High cholesterol levels

Taking yogurt that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and a combination of Enterococcus faecium and Streptococcus thermophilus seems to decrease cholesterol in patients with borderline to moderate high cholesterol levels. This type of yogurt seems to lower total and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol but does not raise “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Concerns

Likely safe

Yogurt is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth

Possibly safe

Yogurt is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in the vagina. There aren't many reported side effects, but there have been cases of people getting sick from yogurt contaminated with disease-causing bacteria. Be careful to choose yogurt that has been prepared and stored properly.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Yogurt seems to be safe in food amounts and might be safe when applied intravaginally during pregnancy. Pregnant women involved in a small study reported no side effects.

Yogurt seems to be safe in breast-feeding women when used in normal food amounts, but researchers haven't adequately studied the safety of intravaginal use of yogurt during breast-feeding. It's best to avoid intravaginal use if you are nursing.

Weakened immune system: There is some concern live bacteria in yogurt might reproduce unchecked, causing illness in people with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV/AIDS or organ transplant recipients. Lactobacillus in yogurt has caused disease, but rarely, in people with weakened immune systems. To be on the safe side, if you have a weakened immune system, avoid eating large amounts of yogurt that contain live bacteria for prolonged periods of time without advice from your healthcare professional.

Interactions

Always consult with your doctor.
Moderate
Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)

Yogurt contains calcium. The calcium in yogurt can attach to tetracyclines in the stomach. This decreases the amount of tetracyclines that can be absorbed. Taking calcium with tetracyclines might decrease the effectiveness of tetracyclines. To avoid this interaction, take yogurt two hours before or four hours after taking tetracyclines.Some tetracyclines include demeclocycline (Declomycin), minocycline (Minocin), and tetracycline (Achromycin).Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) is an antibiotic. Yogurt might decrease how much ciprofloxacin (Cipro) the body absorbs. Taking yogurt along with ciprofloxacin (Cipro) might decrease the effectiveness of ciprofloxacin (Cipro). To avoid this interaction, take yogurt at least one hour after ciprofloxacin (Cipro).

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)

Yogurt contains live bacteria and yeast. The immune system usually controls bacteria and yeast in the body to prevent infections. Medications that decrease the immune system can increase your chances of getting sick from bacteria and yeast. Taking yogurt along with medications that decrease the immune system might increase the chances of getting sick.Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional.