Yogurt, the versatile dairy product made by fermenting milk with bacteria (AKA yogurt cultures) has a number of applications aside from the morning meal. It has a whole host of uses for health issues and can be employed in a few beauty formulas as well. Yogurt. It’s not just for breakfast anymore. (That was painfully cliché, I know, but it’s true!)
Fermentation of lactose by one or more varieties of bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Enterococcus faecium, Streptococcus thermophilus, and others) produces lactic acid which turns milk into yogurt and gives it its texture and tangy taste. Those cultures also give yogurt its health-boosting qualities.
Look for yogurt labeled with a “Live and Active Cultures” seal from the National Yogurt Association, indicating the product reliably contains at least 100 million active cultures per gram of yogurt. Opt for organic if you can afford it and it’s available–and buy it in large containers to save on packaging, or make your own.
1. Lower cholesterol
Taking yogurt that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and a combination of Enterococcus faecium and Streptococcus thermophilus seems to lower cholesterol for people with borderline to moderate high cholesterol levels. This type of yogurt is thought to lower total and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol but does not raise “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
For lowering cholesterol, according to WebMD: Several different doses have been tried depending on the preparation. A typical dose of 200 mL of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus per day has been used. A combination product of 125 mL (approximately 4 ounces) Lactobacillus acidophilus yogurt with 2.5% fructo-oligosaccharides three times daily has also been used. A dose of 450 mL daily of yogurt containing the Causido culture (which contains Enterococcus faecium and two strains of Streptococcus bacteria) has also been used.