Does Probiotic Yogurt Cure Yeast Infections?

Ok, first of all, I have a problem with the marketing ploys of a number of companies, the latest round just happens to be the Probiotic craze. The Excedrin Migraine plug was the last dose of marketing B.S. that got under my skin (in case you don’t already know, it is no different than regular Excedrin).

Plain old “regular” yogurt has long been touted as a cure for yeast infections. Some swear by the tampon method - plain active-culture yogurt inserted with a tampon overnight. Others say all you need to do is eat one 8 oz. cup of yogurt (containing l. acidophilus, an ingredient in “regular” yogurt) a day to prevent yeast infections. While it may work for some people on occasion, neither way is a sure-fire cure, nor prevention.

So what is the difference between “regular” yogurt and “Probiotic” yogurt? It is basically just a matter of the types of bacteria contained in each. Lactobacillus is one of the primary bacteria used to make regular yogurt. Probiotic yogurt will contain several different strains of bacteria in addition to the regular bacteria.

Being a regular consumer of “light” (reduced calorie) yogurt, I recently purchased one “regular” and one “Probiotic” light yogurt (each vanilla flavored). Reading the ingredients of the “regular” container, it listed, “with live active cultures including L. Acidophilus” – guess we are left to wonder what the other “live active cultures” were. The ingredients of the “Probiotic” container listed, “Live active yogurt cultures: L. Bulgaricus, S. Thermophilus, Bifidobacterium, L. Acidophilus and L. Casei cultures.”

A little reading on the subject revealed that there are so many strains of bacteria, each with different probiotic functions, that it would be impossible for the average person to know what effects they would have based on their individual factors.

The latest claim behind probiotic yogurt is that it helps to regulate the digestive system – helps you to become more regular. Dannon’s Activia, Activia Light and Dan Active Probiotic yogurts are some of the more well-known examples of this latest advertising trend. Interestingly enough, they have recently become the subject of a class-action suit because they supposedly claimed that their Probiotic yogurts were healthier than regular yogurt and charged more for them.

All of this does not mean that yogurt is not good for your health. Active-culture yogurt has many health benefits, however (to date) there has been no definitive proof that it does anything to successfully combat vaginal yeast infections whether it is “Probiotic” or “Regular” yogurt.