Last Updated on May 7, 2023 by Lily Connel
Yakult is a probiotic drink that can support gut health. It contains Lactobacillus casei Shirota, a beneficial bacteria that may improve digestive health. However, some people may experience side effects such as bloating, gas, or upset stomach after consuming Yakult. Additionally, Yakult contains added sugar and may not be suitable for those with certain dietary restrictions or conditions.
What is Yakult?
Yakult is a fermented milk drink that contains a strain of beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus casei Shirota. This bacteria has been shown to support digestive health by promoting the growth of other beneficial bacteria in the gut. Yakult is a popular probiotic drink that originated in Japan but is now available in many countries around the world. It is often marketed as a convenient way to support gut health and is sold in small bottles that can be easily consumed on the go.
Ingredients of Yakult and their benefits
The main ingredients in Yakult include:
- Skimmed milk: Yakult is made with skimmed milk that has been pasteurized and homogenized.
- Sugar: Yakult contains a small amount of sugar to give it a slightly sweet taste.
- Water: Water is added to the milk and sugar mixture to make up the bulk of the drink.
- Lactobacillus casei Shirota: This strain of beneficial bacteria is added to the drink during the fermentation process.
- Flavorings: Yakult may also contain flavorings such as natural or artificial fruit flavors to enhance its taste.
Health Benefits of Yakult
Yakult is a popular probiotic drink that is often touted for its potential health benefits. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that can provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Here are some potential health benefits of Yakult:
- Supports digestive health: The beneficial bacteria in Yakult, Lactobacillus casei Shirota, can help support digestive health by promoting a healthy balance of gut bacteria. This can improve digestion, reduce bloating and gas, and alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
- Boosts the immune system: Research suggests that consuming probiotics can help boost the immune system by enhancing the production of antibodies and immune cells. This can help protect against infections and reduce the severity and duration of illnesses.
- May improve cholesterol levels: Some studies have found that consuming probiotics like Lactobacillus casei Shirota may help improve cholesterol levels by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
- May reduce the risk of certain diseases: There is some evidence to suggest that consuming probiotics like Lactobacillus casei Shirota may help reduce the risk of certain diseases, including colon cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
- May improve mental health: Research suggests that the gut microbiome (the collection of microorganisms in the gut) plays an important role in mental health. Some studies have found that consuming probiotics like Lactobacillus casei Shirota may help improve mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and enhance cognitive function.
The Downsides of Yakult
While Yakult can provide potential health benefits, there are also some downsides to consider:
- Contains added sugar: Yakult contains a small amount of added sugar, which can contribute to excess calorie intake and potentially lead to health issues such as obesity and diabetes if consumed in excess.
- May cause digestive side effects: Some people may experience digestive side effects such as bloating, gas, and upset stomach after consuming Yakult. This is because probiotics can alter the balance of bacteria in the gut, which can lead to temporary digestive disturbances in some individuals.
- May not be suitable for those with certain dietary restrictions or conditions: Yakult contains milk and sugar, which may not be suitable for individuals who are lactose intolerant or have diabetes or other conditions that require them to limit their intake of dairy products or sugar.
- Limited research on the specific benefits of Yakult: While there is some evidence to suggest that consuming probiotics like Lactobacillus casei Shirota may provide health benefits, there is limited research specifically on the benefits of consuming Yakult compared to other probiotic products.
- May not be cost-effective: Yakult can be relatively expensive compared to other probiotic products, which may make it less accessible for some individuals.
How to Incorporate Yakult into Your Diet
If you’re interested in incorporating Yakult into your diet, here are some tips to get started:
- Start small: Begin with a small amount of Yakult, such as one bottle per day, and gradually increase the dosage as tolerated.
- Consider timing: Some people prefer to consume Yakult in the morning on an empty stomach, while others prefer to take it with a meal. Experiment to find the timing that works best for you.
- Use it as a supplement: Yakult can be a helpful addition to a balanced diet, but it should not be relied upon as a substitute for nutrient-rich foods. Use it as a supplement to a healthy diet, rather than a replacement for it.
- Pair it with fiber-rich foods: Probiotics work best when consumed with prebiotics, which are indigestible fibers that feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut. Pair Yakult with fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
- Consult with a healthcare provider: If you have any underlying health conditions or concerns, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before incorporating Yakult into your diet.
- Consider other probiotic sources: While Yakult can be a convenient way to consume probiotics, there are also other sources of probiotics, such as fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi, as well as probiotic supplements.
Overall, incorporating Yakult into your diet can be a simple and convenient way to consume beneficial bacteria and support gut health. However, it’s important to remember that probiotics should be used as a supplement to a healthy diet and lifestyle, rather than a replacement for it.
In conclusion, Yakult is a probiotic beverage that contains live Lactobacillus casei Shirota bacteria, which can provide potential health benefits such as improved digestion, immune system support, and better gut health. While there are some downsides to consider; incorporating Yakult into a balanced diet can be a simple and convenient way to consume probiotics and support overall health and well-being.