Monday, December 28, 2009

Another Great Question from JayCee!

Hi Jim

Is there any scientific truth in the statement that the bacteria inside Yogurt ‘eats’ the sugar and therefore it’s actually a low-carb (sugar) product ?
Especially Plain Yogurt with more fat that the low-fat version..



My response;

Hi JayCee!

So the most common bacteria in yogurt, providing the active yogurt cultures is the Lactobacillus acidophilus organism. Lactobacillus is a facultative anaerobe, meaning it needs a little bit of oxygen to survive, but too much oxygen and it will die.

There are some species of lactobacillus that are indeed used to produce beer ( L. casei and L. brevis), but the species found in yougurt generally is not. Lactobacillus produces more lactic acid than anything and this will result in a lower ph reading, giving the acidy flavor to the yogurt, more detectable in the plain yogurt.

L. acidophilus is important in intestinal health as it prevents the overgrowth of other bacteria, thus preventing infections. An intestinal infection sometimes seen when antibiotics are used is something referred to as Clostridium difficle or C. difficile colitis. Since some antibiotics selectively kill off the normal protective L. acidophilus, and not the C. difficile bacteria, C. difficile will grow unchecked and can create a life threatening infection.

L. acidophilus is also found in the vaginal flora and this is why some women experience yeast infections after taking antibiotics. Same thing happens in the vagina that happened in the intestine. Only within the vagina it is a fungus that overgrows.

LOL. Never heard this one:-) Where'd you come across this statement:-)

An interesting outcome, if the bacteria in yogurt utilized the sugar and created alcohol, alot more people would be, uh, happier after eating their yogurt...

I can see it already..No, ossifer, i waz jus eaching mine yogurts, I swearz I haz noding to drunk,hiccough!!

So I guess my final answer, being that I never got drunk or even buzzed after eating yogurt is; No, doubt it. Interesting fact is that plain yogurt does indeed have fewer carbs than the ones with fruit. Since plain yogurt tastes kinda yucky, everyone goes for the low fat, higher carb containing yogurts which are bad for us as they provide more sugar; but do taste alot better.

As always, just love your questions...



  1. They make flavored yogurts sweetened artificially, they say 'light' on the label. You can add flavorings and artificial sweeteners to plain whole milk yogurts, also, since you can't seem to buy anything but no fat flavored yogurts, anymore.

  2. The questioner was correct. The bacteria in the yogurt convert milk sugar, lactose, into lactic acid, which is why the yogurt is acidic. When you make kefir, the yeasts will sometimes ferment the product farther, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide, which makes the yogurt "fizzy." I love this.

    Commercial yogurt producers usually stop the fermentation before all the lactose is gone, because most people don't like sour yogurt, even when sweetened. But if you make your own, you can let it ferment longer.