Issue 3 - Mar 18 2011

Ice Cream Scoop Probiotic ice cream?

Probiotics – the live “friendly” microorganisms believed to support immunity  protect against allergy, and prevent harmful bacteria and other microbes colonizing our gastrointestinal tract – are currently receiving a lot of attention from the food industry. At the supermarket, probiotics like lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria spp. are to be found in yogurt, but are also showing up in orange juice and even cereal. But ice cream? Wouldn’t freezing kill these delicate organisms?

Not according to a new study which found that probiotics did survive in the freezer under usual storage conditions [1]. A previous study of probiotic ice cream found that regular consumption of probiotic ice cream increased the numbers of good bacteria and also reduced the number of potentially harmful streptococcal organisms in the mouth [2]. So probiotic ice cream might be a good thing, except for the extra calories and sugar you would be consuming if you ate it every day. But for an occasional treat it may be an improvement on the standard confection. Otherwise, for a daily intake of probiotics, stick to yogurt or (calorie-free) supplements.

 

References:

1. Production of functional probiotic, prebiotic, and synbiotic ice creams.
Di Criscio T et al. J Dairy Sci. 2010 Oct;93(10):4555-64.

2. Short-term effect of ice-cream containing Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12 on the number of salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli.
Caglar E et al. Acta Odontol Scand. 2008 Jun;66(3):154-8

Note: Articles or commentary in this newsletter are not intended as medical advice. Please check with your doctor if you have a concern about your health.
©2011 Aileen Buford-Mason. All rights reserved.

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