How Do Yogurt Affect Bowel Movements?
Yogurt is a dairy product made from fermented milk. Any number of live lactobacilli bacteria can be used to produce yogurt, and the goal of eating yogurt is to improve the beneficial bacterial flora in the GI tract and improve health and digestion.
There are several types of good bacteria, and essentially yogurt is natural medicine. Yogurt has been studied for its beneficial effects on cholesterol and constipation, and even vaginal infections. Some physicians also recommend yogurt to people with lactose intolerance problems to aid in the breakdown of lactose and sugars derived from other food sources.
The research on the benefits of dairy products is still ongoing, but the studies that we see so far reveal that yogurt may well be a superfood.
As for yogurt’s effects on people’s bowel movement, it’s common to see people having a looser bowel movement when they consume yogurt regularly. Yogurt is something you can consume if you want to loosen your bowels and reduce pain when defecating.
There are various possible angles to look at when studying yogurt about diarrhea.
- Eating yogurt regularly before traveling can reduce your chances of having traveler’s diarrhea. The study results above have statistical significance, so it might be a good idea to eat probiotic foods in general (not just yogurt) before traveling to improve your intestinal flora and improve your chances of not having any digestive issues when you eat food from another country. Other studies have shown that people who consume more yogurt are 59% less likely to suffer from digestive infections that can cause diarrhea, especially while on the road.
- What about antibiotics? Common antibiotics are known for triggering diarrhea in some people. While this isn’t something that we want to happen, antibiotics can attack both the beneficial and harmful bacteria in the body, especially those in the intestines. These bacteria are the first ones exposed to the antibiotic when you take them orally. It’s possible to reduce the incidence of looser stools by eating more yogurt. Different studies with beneficial bacteria have shown that good bacteria from yogurt can keep the bad bacteria at bay while still taking antibiotics. You can get up to 17.5% protection from antibiotic-induced bacteria if you consume yogurt while taking antibiotics. Again, the impact of antibiotics is different. There will be a different scenario for each person. Antibiotic-related diarrhea is marked with nausea, a reduced appetite, sometimes low-grade fever, and cramping in the abdominal area, coupled with pain. In one other study published in a pediatrics journal, the researchers discovered that a person could get a much higher level of protection from diarrhea caused by the intake of antibiotics, marking the relative advantage to be as high as 67%.
- What about children? A randomized controlled trial published by BMJ Open showed that children could benefit from eating yogurt regularly, especially if they will be on medication (like antibiotics). It is worthwhile to highlight this here because the benefits of foods like yogurt vary by age. The effectiveness of food in supplementing diets is always changed when the subject is younger or older. According to the researchers, the more yogurt the kids ate, the more consistent their stools were, and there were no recorded incidences of severe diarrhea. This proves that eating probiotics truly has a protective effect on the body, especially the digestive system. It’s something that parents should truly look at, as it is a very simple solution to diarrhea from taking antibiotics.
The benefits of yogurt certainly extend to other conditions. For example, conventional medicine has already acknowledged that probiotic foods like kefir and yogurt can help reduce the impact or the risk of developing chronic and degenerative conditions like type 2 diabetes and the dreaded metabolic condition, which is known to be the precursor of diabetes and heart disease. Yogurt can be consumed as a means of improving weight management as well.
Since yogurt has some fat and carbs, it can make people feel fuller, faster, and this can certainly improve the eating pattern of someone who wants to lose weight. For the most part, the biggest challenge of those who wish to lose weight is they can’t stand the hunger pangs, which can come at any time of the day, most especially when the person who wants to lose weight is awake.
So if you want to boost your diet, we highly recommend that you begin adding stuff like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi to your meals, to improve your digestion and bowel movement. Those who have constant battles with constipation should benefit from eating more probiotic food.
What Are the Side Effects of Yogurt?
All types of food can have a side effect on certain people who have specific conditions. We do not recommend yogurt to children and adults with weakened constitutions and immunity. Some people develop an infection from the beneficial bacteria because they have a super low immune function. A healthy immune system should keep in check all kinds of bacteria, from healthy ones to harmful ones. However, a damaged immune system may well be the pathway to disease whatever you eat. So it’s not the yogurt but the body that is causing the problem in the first place. Individuals living with HIV or AIDS or those who have had transplants should probably reduce their consumption or avoid it for the time being until they can get a signal from their doctors.
As for kids and adults with lactose intolerance, eating yogurt can trigger a reaction since yogurt does contain lactose. The intensity of lactose intolerance varies, so the exact impact also varies. Some people with lactose intolerance can still take small servings of yogurt with little or no symptoms.