experts cornerhealth updateKids NutritionLive CultureIndustry resources

Return to Health Update

Overview of Yogurt's Health Attributes

Physicians have long recognized yogurt as a healthy, wholesome food for the whole family. A growing body of medical and scientific research examines yogurt's healthful properties:


One out of two women and one out of eight men will develop osteoporosis. Studies show that a diet high in calcium can help slow bone loss, thereby preserving bone mass and reducing the risk of developing this debilitating disease. Calcium-rich yogurt may also lessen the effects of osteoporosis among the elderly, as well as slow bone loss in post-menopausal women.


As many as 50 million Americans suffer from hypertension, or high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. When your family eats lowfat yogurt, they're getting calcium, potassium, and magnesium - three nutrients that have been shown to reduce hypertension. Studies also show that a calcium-rich diet helps regulate blood pressure in women during and after pregnancy.

Lactose Intolerance

The inability to digest lactose, the natural sugar in milk, results from a deficiency of the enzyme lactase in the body. Studies have shown that the live and active cultures present in yogurt allow it to be eaten by many of the more than one quarter of American adults who ordinarily experience lactose intolerance with other dairy products.

Colon Cancer

New studies indicate that calcium may reduce the risk of colon cancer. Furthermore, other studies have found that populations that eat large amounts of yogurt, or other fermented milk products, seem to have a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer, especially colon cancer. Ongoing studies are being conducted to confirm this relationship.

Yeast Infections

Vaginal yeast infections affect nearly 12 million women each year. Research suggests that when eaten regularly, yogurt-containing L. acidophilus, a culture found in some yogurts, may decrease yeast growth and infection in certain individuals.

Immune System

Studies suggest that live and active culture yogurt may enhance the immune systems of certain individuals by boosting certain markers associated with a healthy immune system.

*The information contained in this section is intended to provide a balanced presentation of health-related information, including emerging scientific information. Because studies may be preliminary and ongoing, readers should not interpret this information as conclusive. This information does not constitute labeling or advertising for any specific products, and is not intended to endorse any particular products or types of products.