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Ain't got No Culture

Ain't got No Culture

"No people come into possession of a culture without having paid a heavy price for it."
- James A. Baldwin

Today's column is dedicated to the uncultured and boorish louts of the yogurt industry who continue to deceive consumers with their lies.

The February, 2011 issue of the Journal of Crohn's and Colitis includes a study in which the same strain of acidophilus that is commonly added to yogurt was given to people suffering from colitis and to a control group. What happened after one year of treatment? Not a thing...

The authors concluded that "no significant clinical benefit of (acididophilus) could be demonstrated in comparison with placebo for maintaining remission in patients with left-sided ulcerative colitis."

Notmilk readers have been told for more than 15 years that the acidophilus Dannon adds to their yogurt does not work. In Dannon's own words, the so-called beneficial bacteria "does not culture in the gut."

That's the bad news...the good news was a (December 15, 2010) story as reported by the Associated Press:

"Dannon Co. Inc. has agreed pay $21 million and drop some health claims for its Activia yogurt and DanActive dairy drink under pressure from state and federal regulators. The food company has claimed in its marketing its Activia yogurt helps relieve irregularity and that its DanActive drink helps people avoid catching colds or the flu. The Federal Trade Commission says Wednesday there is not enough evidence to back those claims. It says it has reached a settlement with the company that prohibits it from making such claims unless they are approved by the FDA."

More than five years ago (December 4, 2005), Notmilk reported:

Notmilk readers ask:

"What about the benefits of yogurt? Isn't the acidophilus added to yogurt good for you? Don't Hunzas who eat lots of yogurt outlive every other society?"

The truth is that the acidophilus bacterium added to yogurt is not absorbed by the human body. It doesn't work. It's simply an unethical marketing petard hoisted by dairy producers upon a trusting public. The Dannon Yogurt company scientists admit this truth but Dannon executives continue to fool the public.

During the 1950's, teams of researchers "discovered that Hunzas regularly ate yogurt and seemed healthy. The Pakistani Muslim Hunzas living in one of the most isolated areas of the world craved the new found attention. One year after all of the excitement of discovery, a group of 60 year old Hunzas mysteriously became 75. The next year, they were 90. A few years later, they were over the age of 100. The Hunza myth (Dannon's lie) has been exposed in great detail in a book by Wilcox, Wilcox,& Suzuki, called "The Okinawa Plan."

Why would one small region of Pakistan, a nation roughly the size of California, have the average person living past age 100, while the average expected age of a Pakistani at death is 64.

The Hunzas are not a small tribe living in a remote mountain village with 12 goats and a few sheep, as Americans have been led to believe. The mountainous Hunza region of Northern Pakistan comprises a land mass greater than the combined areas of Delaware and Rhode Island.

Why would the Pakistanis of Hunza be any different from those living in Murree, Quetta, Ziarat, Swat, Kaghan, Chitral, or Gilgit? The truth of the matter is that the people of Hunza are no different. Pakistanis (including the Hunzas) eat similar diets and drink similar water. The answer to this mystery perpetrated by Dannon is that the Hunza myth was invented, and it is pure fraud.

The Dannon Yogurt research foundation publishes a newsletter extolling the virtues of their product. Here are excerpts from a column written by Cathy J. Saloff-Coste:

"Lactobacillus Acidophilus

"In the mid-1980's acidophilus was first suggested to have health benefits for humans (1,2). Acidophilus occurs naturally in the gastrointestinal tract but tends to grow slowly when added to milk (yogurt), leading to the risk of undesirable organisms. There is no direct proof and no consensus among researchers on whether or not added acidophilus in yogurt adheres to or colonizes in the intestines (3). Few human studies have been performed. A recent study reported that yogurt did not alter immunoglobulin secretions. These results show no health benefits from yogurt consumption. (4)"

1. Jones, et al,(1985) Effect of acidophilus yogurt on serum cholesterol, triglyceride and lipoprotein levels of healthy males. J. Dairy Sci. 68 (Suppl. 1 83-84

2. Nelson, et al, (1984) Cholesterol uptake by lactobacillus acidophilus, J. Dairy Sci. 67 (Suppl. 1), 50

3. Saavedra, et al, (1995) Microbes to fight microbes, J. Pediatric Gastroenterol. 21, 125-129

4. Marteau, et al, (1996) Effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus strain LA1 on serum concentration and jejunal secretions of immunoglobulins and serum proteins in healthy humans. In SOMED 21st Intl. Congress on microbial ecology and disease, Paris, October 28-30, 1996.

So...let's set the record straight. What exactly is yogurt?

It's a delicious snack consisting of jelly, starch, and flavorings with naturally occurring pus, hormones, and glue. Marketing geniuses have convinced consumers with a series of clever lies that this high calorie food is a healthy dietary option. It is delicious, just as ice cream is delicious. Healthy? You can bet your life that it is not.

Robert Cohen

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