Activia is a probiotic yogurt or smoothie that is marketed by the Danone company (Dannon in the US). The March 2016 marketing says it "...may help reduce the frequency of minor digestive issues like bloating, gas, discomfort and rumbling, when consumed twice per day for two weeks as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle."
There were a few lawsuits (with compensation available) filed in Canada and the US against Dannon for false claims about these products in past years. As a result, Dannon softened its language and took specific health claims off the product.
All Activia products contain the beneficial bacteria B. lactis DN-173010, scientifically known as Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis DN-173010. In the US, Dannon calls this probiotic "Bifidus Regularis". For more information on Bifidus Regularis and on its various names in other countries, click here.
This product is considered to be a probiotic yogurt or probiotic smoothie because according to the Dannon website, it contains a sufficient quantity of live probiotic microbes to deliver health benefits. They say that it is suitable for the entire family.
Dannon does not state exactly how many CFU's of B. lactis DN-173010 are in the yogurt items on the product label.
Since this food from Dannon is a yogurt product, it also contains the required yogurt cultures L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus as live cultures.
There are many different Activia products around the world, so the ingredients will vary according to country. Because of this, I'm just going to comment in general terms about those in the United States. Please always read ingredients lists before you buy and consume any product.
As of March, 2016, these products are available in the US:
Nutritional consultations with me can help decide if any of these Dannon products are right for you or if there are better options for your circumstances, especially if you are eating it for the digestive complaints of bloating,
gas, discomfort and rumbling.
To begin with, none of the products are a plain yogurt. Each has
either added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Most have some sort of
modified food starch or corn starch in them. My guess is that any
cornstarch is probably genetically modified (GMO) since most corn in the US is GMO, unless stated otherwise.
Additionally, the milk used probably comes from cows treated with rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) since the products do not state otherwise.
In case you aren't familiar with GMO's - genetically modified ingredients - you can find out more information here. My opinion is that since most of the corn, canola, cottonseed and soy products made in the US are genetically-modified, unless a product specifically says it does not contain GMO versions of those crops, it's safe to assume that it does. My book, Probiotics: How to Use Them to Your Advantage, has more information on GMO's and gut health.
If you would like to try this product anyway, you may be able to find a coupon for the US here. For outside the US, please choose your country here.
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