Does all yogurt have probiotics

Does All Yogurt Have Probiotics? (Greek, Fage, Dannon, Chobani, & Yoplait)

Dr. Dimitar

Medically reviewed by Dr. Dimitar Marinov, September 14, 2023

As an expert in gut health with years of experience, I’m here to answer one of the most common questions I get asked: does all yogurt have probiotics? The answer is yes, but not all yogurts are created equal when it comes to probiotic content and viability.

While all yogurts start with probiotics due to the fermentation process, not all finished yogurt products on the market contain live and active probiotics.

With so many different yogurt brands and types on the market, it can be difficult to navigate which ones are the best for your gut health.

In this post, I’ll break down everything you need to know about probiotics in yogurt, including which brands and types are the most beneficial, so you can make informed decisions about your gut health.

Key Highlights
  • Most yogurts contain up to 500 billion CFU of probiotics per serving.
  • But most of them die when it is processed to increase the shelf-life. Also, the older a yogurt is, the fewer microbes are left alive.
  • The probiotic content and viability of different yogurts may vary, so it’s important to check the nutritional labels for information on the strains and amounts of probiotics.
  • Some of the popular yogurts that contain probiotics are – Greek yogurt, Dannon, Chobani, Yoplait, Almond milk yogurt, Alpro yogurt, Fage, and Activia all contain probiotics.

Moreover, by the end of this read, you’ll also learn to figure out if the microbes in your yogurt are still alive and viable.

Which Yogurts Have Probiotics?

Initially, all yogurts have probiotics because yogurt is formed when milk is fermented by Lactobacillus and Streptococcus probiotic bacteria. However, sometimes yogurt starter cultures are not considered probiotics. This difference is scientifically incorrect. 

By definition, a probiotic is any microbe that benefits health and improves the digestive ability of your gut. Both starter strains fulfill this criterion. Thus, they are probiotics. 

The detailed research analysis of yogurt culture properties also confirms the probiotic nature of yogurt culture. 

Besides the starter culture, some dairy brands include additional good bacteria strains to further improve their products’ nutritional value. The names and amounts of probiotic strains are usually shared on the nutritional labels.

Does All Plain Greek Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Yes, all plain Greek yogurts contain probiotics. It is a concentrated form of a regular product. However, the probiotic content of both is quite similar.

Greek yogurt cultures contain two main bacteria, Streptococcus thermophilus, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.

Besides these, other lactic acid bacteria (like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacteria) are also used to make yogurt more beneficial.

These microbes help the gut in the following ways;

  • Streptococcus thermophiles are a modulator of the gut microbiome. It prevents inflammation and toxin build-up on intestinal walls. That is why researchers often recommend it as a natural therapy for chronic gastritis.
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus is a bile-tolerant microbe that colonizes the intestinal lining and prevents infections from pathogenic microbes. Its chemo-protective properties may help reduce the risk of serious intestinal inflammations like Colitis and Colon cancer.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus is an effective pharma-biotic species. Due to its positive effect on the gut microbiome, it is often used in treating dysbiosis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and acute or chronic diarrhea. 
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus protects intestinal walls by increasing the production of protective proteins, lowering cell breakdown rate, and enhancing intestinal tissue growth-recovery rate.
  • Lactobacillus gasseri improves gut functions and positively influences gut-brain communication. That is why it is effective against stress and anxiety. A randomized trial on medical students shows that sleep quality and stress management improved by L. gasseri constant supplementation.
  • Lactobacillus casei produces antioxidant secretions, reducing oxidative stress. It also prevents inflammation of intestinal walls, thus, helps in diarrhea treatment.
  • Bifidobacteria are excellent microbiome modulators. It inhibits the growth of infectious germs in the gut, improves immune functions, and helps treat diarrhea and IBS.

Does Dannon Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Dannon produces plain, creamy, low-fat, blended, and fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts. All these products are prepared using cultured grade A low-fat milk. Hence, all contain health-friendly lactic acid bacteria, mainly Lactobacillus acidophilus.

These snacks also contain pectin fiber which supports the growth of these probiotic strains.

Does Chobani Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Chobani yogurt is highly rich in probiotics, containing six bacterial Strains; Streptococcus thermophiles, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidus, Lactobacillus casei, Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus.

Plus, this brand adds many prebiotic ingredients (like guar gum, locust bean gum, fruit pectin, soy lecithin, citrus fiber, and allulose) to its yogurt and yogurt drinks. 

Does Yoplait Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Yoplait regular and zero-sugar yogurts have active yogurt cultures comprising Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. And its yogurt drinks PetitMiam also contain Bacillus lactis.

Thickening polysaccharide agents like locust bean gum, starch, and pectin act as growth promoters for these healthy bacteria.

Does Fage Yogurt Have Probiotics? 

Fage is a UK-based yogurt producer. It has three product lines; Fage total, Fage split pot and Fage fruit. 

And all of these are multi-strain snacks containing five probiotic microbes; Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, Streptococcus Thermophilus, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidus, and Lactobacillus Casei.

Does All Activia Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Activia yogurts provide two probiotic strains named Bifidobacterium animalis lactis, and Lactococcus lactis, in addition to the regular yogurt culture bacteria (Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus).

Does Frozen Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Fun fact; when you make ice cream using yogurt instead of milk or cream, it is called frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt has the same bacterial culture and probiotics as yogurt. Adding fruit chunks to the dessert provides micronutrients and prebiotic fiber as well.

Does Oikos Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Oikos yogurt products are made with nonfat milk, all containing the standard yogurt culture microbes, aka. S. thermophilus and L. Bulgaricus

However, the brand seems to accept the common misconception that yogurt cultures are not probiotic cultures. That is why the official website states that Oikos does not contain probiotic cultures but yogurt cultures are present.

Does Coconut Yogurt Have Probiotics? 

Coconut yogurt, aka. The Coyo offers two types of yogurt snacks, regular yogurt, and frozen yogurt dessert. 

Both products contain a yogurt starter culture. The prebiotic content like Chicory root fiber, organic starch, and vegetable gums (Guar gum) are also present.

However, Coyo has added different strains to these products;

  • Yogurt contains live vegan cultures of Bifidobacterium lactis and Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Conversely, frozen yogurt packs contain Lactobacillus paracasei.

Does Two Good Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Two Good Yogurt is a brand that takes pride in producing yogurt cups with just 2 grams of sugar per serving. They ferment low-fat milk with active yogurt culture (L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus), so yes, they have probiotics.

Does Almond Milk Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Vegan and lactose-intolerant people often prefer plant-milk products to regular dairy, and Almond milk is one of the favorites because of its nutritional content. Almond milk yogurt is created by fermenting the plant milk with a vegan starter culture.

Hence, it has probiotic strains depending upon the composition of the starter.

Does Alpro Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Alpro is a famous plant-based dairy brand based in Belgium. It has regular and Greek-style yogurt product lines. Both products are fermented with plant-based yogurt cultures containing S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus.

Besides probiotics, these creamy snacks contain prebiotic stabilizers (Pectin, Guar gum), antioxidants (Tocopherol extract, ascorbic acid esters), and acidity regulators (Sodium citrates, Citric acid). These substances promote the growth of probiotic strains in the gut.

Does Astro Yogurt Have Probiotics? 

Astro is a Canadian yogurt brand with five extensive product lines on its shelves. These products include Astro original Balkan, Protein and fiber, Indulgent flavors, Smooth n’ fruity, and Biobest. 

All Astro yogurts have colonies of starter bacteria and prebiotics like pectin and starch. Biobest contains the highest probiotic content, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, and Streptococcus thermophiles. 

It also has a lactase enzyme to help dairy-intolerant people with digestive issues.

Does Dehydrated Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Dehydrated yogurt is made by drying up the yogurt in a dehydrator or oven for several hours. Resultantly, the number of probiotics in dehydrated yogurt is much less because heat kills most microbes.

Does Goat Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Goat yogurt differs from cow yogurt in nutritional value, having different protein and fat content. However, like cow milk yogurt, it also contains live probiotics derived from lactic acid bacteria starters.

Hence, all goat yogurts will contain S. thermophiles and L. bulgaricus. Other probiotic colonies might be present if a multi-strain starter was used.

Does Hollandia Yogurt Have Probiotics? 

Hollandia organic yogurts contain the standard yogurt culture (S. thermophiles and L. bulgaricus) and two additional probiotic strains; Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus acidophilus. Hence, you get multi-strain probiotic yogurt cups with this brand.

Does Lactose-free Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Lactose is removed from milk to produce gut-friendly dairy for people with lactase deficiency. Other options for lactose-free yogurts are plant-based yogurts.  

In both cases, yogurt culture bacteria will promote good gut health and efficient digestion.

Does Silk Dairy-free Yogurt Have Probiotics?

Silk is a brand offering plant-based alternatives to milk and yogurt. Its yogurts are created from Soymilk, Oat milk, Coconut milk, or Almond milk and contain live yogurt culture probiotics.

Does Liberte Yogurt Have Probiotics? 

Yes, it has. Liberte contains probiotics, namely Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium lactis.

Does Homemade Yogurt Have More Probiotics Than Store-bought?

Yes, homemade yogurt, especially that fermented over 24 hours, contains more probiotics than store-bought. Microbial activities in any food product reduce the shelf stability; hence, it goes bad sooner. 

Commercial yogurts are processed (usually by heat sterilization) to increase stability, but many probiotic bacteria are killed in this heating process. 

On the other side, all colonies of microbes formed during the fermentation are preserved in homemade yogurt.

And that is why its shelf life is shorter than the ready-made snack. So, it’s best to consume it the same day you make it.

Which Yogurt Has The Most Probiotics?

Among commercial yogurts, Chobani has the most probiotics per serving. Each cup supplies six live and active good bacteria to your tummy. 

The addition of fruits and prebiotic ingredients makes it even more health-friendly. And the best thing is anyone can use its yogurts because they are all lactose-free, plant-based products.

 The popular health forum Healthline ranks it among the best vegan probiotic yogurts.

Fage and Liberte yogurt rank the second best in the market for their probiotic content, as both contain active colonies of probiotic bacteria.

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How Do I Know If My Yogurt Has Probiotics?

The presence of microbes in yogurt is easily detected. If any harmful bacteria or yeast strains start growing in yogurt, it is spoiled and becomes smelly and distasteful.

And to see if the yogurt contains enough colonies of probiotic bacteria, read the nutritional chart of the yogurt because most reputed brands carry a Live and Active Culture (LAC) seal from the National Yogurt Association. 

Some companies also mention the strains and number of CFUs their product has.

Another concern for store-bought products is that probiotics in yogurt are weakened or die until the product becomes available to customers. 

A recent Canadian research revealed that probiotic content is often less than the marketing claims of the brand.

No worries, you can check if the probiotics in your yogurt are still viable by following the method. 

Bonus: You can use this method to make yogurt at home.

  • Heat a glass of milk to about 180°- 190° F with gentle stirring. This step is necessary to restructure the milk proteins.
  • Let it cool to about 115° F because the microbes will die if you use overheated milk. You should be able to dip your clean finger in it for 3-5 seconds. 
  • Add half a tablespoon of yogurt to this lukewarm milk and whisk gently.
  • Leave it for 12 hours at 110° F. Use a thermos or heavy pot to maintain a constant temperature. If it’s too cold outside, wrap a towel around the pot and place it in a “turned-off” oven to keep it warm.
  • If your yogurt has probiotics, the milk will change into yogurt.

Due to the risk of heat killing while processing, it is recommended to use homemade yogurt. It is easy, low-cost, and more nutritious!

Conversely, you can get better probiotic content from commercial products by choosing a multi-strain yogurt. 

European Journal of Nutrition infers that mixtures of different probiotic strains are more effective than those used separately. Brands like Chobani, Fage, Liberate, Holland, and Astro have probiotics belonging to different bacterial groups.

Final Thoughts – Yes! All Yogurt Has Probiotics

Yogurt is a common, inexpensive fermented food that you can eat for gut health improvement. It is a whole food, providing healthy proteins like whey and casein and several micronutrients like Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium, and Zinc.

The biggest benefit of yogurt is the presence of probiotic strains. These gut-friendly bacteria improve gut microbiome composition and produce protective secretions on the intestinal walls. 

In the start, all yogurts contain a significant number of probiotic colonies, especially of S. thermophiles and L. bulgaricus

However, some of these microbes may be killed if the yogurt is processed with heat afterward. Also, microbes gradually die with time. Hence, homemade, fresh yogurt will provide you with the most probiotics of all yogurts.

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