Gut Health And Fermented Dairy: Does It Really Benefit You?

Plant-Based Diet
Plant-Based Diet
Plant-Based Foods
Plant-Based Foods

The dairy sales have begun its fall, as in the year 2018 alone, the reported total national sales dropped by $1.1 billion. There has been a steady rise in the popularity of plant-based foods and milks—around 9% in the same year. It is true when you say that plant-based diets have rattled the animal based food industry.

Relying on its far stretching marketing arm, dairy companies have begun to create an outlet for milk in the form of probiotic/ gut health trend. Many amongst us have started to buy into the cultured yogurt phenomenon, and many are convinced over the supposed benefits that the dairy industry is spewing out.

But is there truth to what is being said, or is it all hot air? Are the benefits of cultured yogurt contested or does it meek under the side effects of consuming dairy?

What Happens In The Gut When You Consume Cultured Yogurt?

The gut is the entire digestive system that lies between the mouth and the anus. It is home to around 100 trillion organisms which include the likes of viruses, fungi, bacteria and archaea. When these various organisms are fed, they produce necessary bioactive molecules such as enzymes, substrate, amino acids, hormones and neurotransmitters. It is usually said that every time you eat food, the biomes are the first to taste the food.

These biomes play the role in helping you to digest and process foods and are more active in the process of breaking down the foods and enabling digestion, more than your own pancreatic enzymes.

What Differentiates The Good And The Bad Gut Bacteria?

The gut health craze that is sweeping supermarket shelves and social media has gotten many of us absorbed in the concept of “good” and “bad” gut bacteria. The truth is it comes down to two types of microorganisms that are residing in your gut: The parasitic and symbiotic.

The symbiotic variety includes those that are considered as “good” bacteria. when they are fed they create bioactive molecules. In stark contrast will be parasitic organisms: these take certain foods and cause inflammatory molecules that can disrupt the health of the gut and cause a range of symptoms ranging from stomach pain, cramps, gas and bloating.

So simply put, the more symbiotic the microbes are, the healthier is the gut. If the parasitic microbes outweigh the symbiotic ones, then rest assured you will have an uncomfortable gut that pains and sicken you often. The good thing is that the system is receptive and you very much have the power to correct the population of gut micro biome based on what you eat.

How Does The Food We Eat Affect The Biome?

The parasitic and symbiotic organisms residing in your gut react based on what you eat. If you eat foods that support the growth and nourishment of symbiotic microbes—such as fibre-rich fruits, seeds, legumes, vegetables and nuts—then you will feel less of the adverse side effects mentioned above. The more of these foods you eat, the “friendlier” your gut feels.

On the other end, if you were to chomp down on high-fat foods—especially those that are rich in trans and saturated fats—then rest assured your population of parasitic microbes is going to skyrocket. These include foods like eggs, sugar, meat and dairy.

Occasionally eating a piece of cake, will not override an otherwise healthy gut. If you have a habit of consuming such foods on a regular, then don’t be surprised when the side effects of a bad gut start to surface.

Answering To The Question

Yes, eating cultured yogurt does indeed help in the growth of healthy gut bacteria. There is anecdotal evidence that pointed to people feeling lighter and better. But not the dairy company made sort.

There has been a surge of fermented and gut bacteria boosting products like Kombucha and sauerkraut, but the truth is that there is no scientific evidence that supports these made claims. To be honest, we don’t even know if these are harmful or not. Fibre-rich plant-based diet is usually enough to maintain and boost the gut microbiome.

Should You Consume Dairy Based Yogurt?

The inflammatory effects of dairy have been determined to be true. Dairy manufacturers asking us to drink their probiotic drinks and dairy based yogurts is very much like how Coca Cola Company promoted Coke as a health drink citing that is helps fortify potassium.

It is true, that the human body needs potassium; but what it doesn’t need is the processed sugar, the 40g of sugar in 354 ml of Coke, or the empty calories!

So even if fermented and manufactured probiotic foods are supposed to increase gut health, there is no way that you can look over the health-risks such as eczema, gas, acne, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating—all of these far exceed any of the small improvements of gut health that these products say they deliver.