Yogurt is taking up more and more place in the dairy aisle at the supermarket, and the advertising budget of the dairy industry for yogurt is gigantic. For these reasons, various yogurt products are growing in popularity among the general public, and almost everyone thinks that these dairy products promote healthy digestive function. Here's the question: Is that really true?
Dr. Hiromi Shinya is an internationally recognized digestive system specialist who addresses this question in his book entitled Living without Disease, and today we would like to share his experiences in relation to this topic. Over the course of his career as a doctor, he has examined the stomachs and intestines of more than 370,000 people, and relatedly he compared the dietary habits and the characteristics of the digestive tracts of the people he examined.
In general it’s been suggested that people who regularly eat yogurt have healthier digestive systems, as constipation is eliminated and bowel movements become more regular. This happens thanks to the Lactobacillus bacteria present in yogurt.
Are Lactobacillus bacteria really helpful?
The belief in the usefulness of these bacteria is indeed very much in doubt. Lactobacillus are among the original natural gut bacteria in humans. People's bodies have defensive mechanisms in place to counter invasive bacteria and viruses, which means that even the "good" microbes like Lactobacillus are attacked by the body's natural immune system and destroyed if they do not belong to one's own intestinal flora.
The first line of defense is the acid in the stomach. Whenever the Lactobacillus bacteria that yogurt contains reaches the stomach, the majority is killed off by stomach acid. For this reason, the dairy industry has developed "improved" types of yogurt that are supposed to be resistant to the environment in the stomach. Nonetheless, when and if the Lactobacillus reach the intestinal tract, things become even more questionable as these "foreign" bacteria supposedly work together with the bacteria naturally present in the intestines.
Why do people have the feeling that yogurt is good for digestion?
Dr. Hiromi Shinya doubted the usefulness of the bacteria found in yogurt, and he even went one step further: According to his own research, it was found that the intestinal characteristics of people who eat yogurt every day are never good. Even if the bacteria does end up in the intestinal tract, it does not improve the function of the intestines – in fact, this foreign bacteria tends to throw off the balance in the intestinal environment and this in turn leads to digestive problems. Many people who eat yogurt have the perception that it is improving digestion, but it is more likely that the body reacts to the yogurt consumed with mild diarrhoea. Even if constipation is reduced, the fact remains that this is due to the fact that the body can only poorly digest yogurt, thus impairing normal function.
"The intestinal environment becomes worse if one eats yogurt every day. I can make this claim with complete conviction, because it comes from my clinical observations and more than 370,000 endoscopic examinations. If one consumes yogurt on a daily basis, the smell of the faeces or flatulence becomes more intense. This is a sign that the intestinal environment is getting worse." (quote from Living without Disease by Dr. Hiromi Shinya)
Our tip for everyone who regularly eats yogurt:
Give this a try: Avoid eating yogurt for 21 days and make note of whether your digestion improves. In addition, it would also be sensible to give up all dairy products during this time. Your own feelings and observations with respect to your body will make it easy for you to decide if yogurt is good for you, or if it is not really doing more harm to your digestive system than good.
Source: Dr. Hiromi Shinya, Living without Disease
Dr. Hiromi Shinya is an internationally renowned digestive system specialist. He is a pioneer in the fields of gastroscopy and colonoscopy. He was a Professor of Clinical Surgery at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Medical Director of the Endoscopy Department at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, and advisor to a number of clinics in Japan specialising in the stomach and intestines. During his career he has worked with over 370,000 patients, including stomach and intestinal examinations, documentation of their dietary habits and the development of nutritional recommendations based on his findings. He is now 84 years old.
Our product recommendation of the week:
To go along with our topic of the day, we recommend using Bentovital while you are giving up yogurt for 21 days – you can take it once or twice per day. In this way, the cleansing of your digestive system will be supported and the advantages of cutting yogurt and other dairy products out of your diet will be all the more apparent.
Order Bentovital here
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