Scientific research conducted in two different medical centers in the USA evaluated the potential of homemade yogurt containing probiotic bacteria, especially the “Lactobacilli” strain, to regulate the gut microbiome.
In the study, 189 patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome were included in the study. Each of the participants was allowed to consume about 2 cups of homemade yogurt each day and their symptoms were monitored for a period of 6 months.
In the study, it was found that 89 percent of the participants' irritable bowel syndrome symptoms were completely relieved, all existing irritable bowel syndrome symptoms disappeared, and the patients' daily bowel movements improved.
Providing information about the research, the results of which were announced at the World Congress of Gastroenterology, Assoc. Dr. Kıvanç Bilecen said that the study in question is a first in its field and that the preliminary results obtained are very important.
Explaining that irritable bowel syndrome is one of the most common digestive system diseases, Bilecen stated that the disease progresses with abdominal bloating, pain, excessive gas, constipation and diarrhea attacks and that it affects the social life of the person to a great extent.
“It was observed that it decreased or completely disappeared within 6 months”
Assoc. Dr. Kıvanç Bilecen stated that the cause of the disease is not known exactly and said:
“Research has suggested that those with irritable bowel syndrome have abnormal bowel movements and a disturbance in the transmission between the muscles and nerves in the intestinal wall. Because of this problem, the intestine makes incompatible movements in order to expel the stool, and the person experiences abdominal pain, bloating, and problems with stool consistency and amount.
“Eating habits affect the disease in a good or bad way”
Bilecen pointed out that the complaints vary from person to person, but that eating habits and patterns affect the disease in a good or bad way. In 169 of 189 patients, symptoms decreased or disappeared completely within 6 months of the study.
“Be careful when consuming dairy products”
Assoc. Dr. Bilecen stated that in traditional diets, patients with digestive system disorders and irritable bowel syndrome are advised to be careful about consuming dairy products due to lactose intolerance.
“However, this study showed that products such as homemade yogurt containing a fresh bacterial culture, perhaps including kefir, can be very effective in controlling the symptoms of cramping and irregular bowel movements.”
“High quality yogurts contain lots of beneficial probiotic bacteria”
Bilecen, who said that homemade yogurt is advantageous because it is easy to make and fresh, gave the following information:
“When you make yogurt at home, you can be sure that it contains more live bacteria. In general, yogurt contains two types of bacteria from the Lactobacillus and Streptococcus genera. This is basically the same in homemade yogurts and industrial yogurts. These bacteria are classified as probiotics and, as in this study, help increase the health and diversity of the intestinal flora.”
“Plain natural yoghurts should be preferred”
Stating that it is beneficial to have plain and natural yogurt when choosing yogurt from the supermarket, Bilecen made the following suggestions:
“Plain natural yoghurts and yoghurts without sugar, additives or sweeteners should be preferred. Light yogurts often contain calorie-free artificial sweeteners that are used as sugar substitutes. Be sure to check the artificial sweeteners on the label. In short, only pasteurized milk and yoghurt culture phrases should be on the label. Organic yogurts should be preferred. Because certified organic yogurts are made from higher quality milk.”
What milk should I make the yogurt with?
Bilecen said that daily pasteurized milk is recommended for making yoghurt, adding that the milk should be heated a little and prepared for bacterial culture.
Emphasizing that there is no need for boiling because it is pasteurized, Bilecen made the following warnings:
“However, one should be very careful when using unpasteurized milk, which is called street milk. Because if these milks are not controlled, they can contain many disease-causing bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, Brucella, Yersinia. Some manufacturers add antibiotics to the milk to prevent the growth of these bacteria. In this case, when you add yeast to your milk, as the bacteria cannot multiply, the milk will not be fermented.
Milk must be transported by cold chain, checked for disease-causing bacteria and antibiotic residue tests must be done. Pasteurized milk of large producers or raw milk sold by cooperatives do not pose a health problem as they pass these controls.”