Bioyogurts are not dangerous

The Baltic Times, TALLINN
Jan 20, 2000
By Kairi Kurm

The Tallinn dairy Tallinna Piimatoostus has introduced a new healthy pro-biotic product TERE “biojogurt”. According to Austrian experts, bioyogurts can be dangerous for some people.

The German magazine Der Spiegel states that yogurts with pro-biotic supplements, which are popular in about 23 countries including Germany, Japan and UK, may cause illnesses in people with weak immune systems. These products may cause inflammation of the lungs and blood poisoning, the magazine reports.

Bioyogurt is a dairy product consisting of living lactic-acid bacteria. Tiiu Mai Laht, a researcher with the National Institute of  Chemical Physics and Biophysics in Tallinn, said this kind of product has been consumed for thousands of years.

“Der Spiegel is not a science magazine and they can not disprove this scientific truth. There are many German scientists who can say the opposite. It is possible that some people are born without a normal immune system and for those people, all normal food containing living micro-organisms can be dangerous. They can survive only in a sterile environment,” said Laht.

“Bioyogurts are as dangerous as living itself. There is always someone for whom one or another substance is dangerous. Bio-yogurt maybe harmful to perhaps one person in a million,” said Laht.

Laht claims that bioyogurt is very healthy because it helps to strengthen the body’s self defense, for example, by recovering bacteria which has been killed by antibiotics.

“When I suffer from some kind of inflammation and use antibiotics, I can still keep my level of microflora normal by eating bioyogurt. It makes me feel better. I do not feel sick and I do not have a headache. When I am well, I take bio-yogurt as normal sour milk,” said Laht.

Studies say that bio-products protect against gastrointestinal diseases and lower hypersensitivity. Living lactic acid bacteria are also used in products such as kefir, sour milk, cheese and curds.

“The world should not be overly sterile. People are used to living and competing all the time. In a sterile world there would too many problems to deal with such as allergic diseases for example,” said Laht.

“Bioyogurt provides you with normal digestion and a stress-free day,” a note on the label of the yogurt says. The Estonian health protection board approves the product.

Besides the bioyogurt produced by Tallinna Piimatoostus, there are two other pro-biotic products on the Estonian market: Alma’s kefir and sour milk produced by the dairy group Uhinenud Meiereid.

According to Kristina Seimann, a spokeswoman for Tallinna Piimatoostus, “Tere” Bioyogurt is the most popular yogurt on the Estonian market at present. The company holds about a one third market share in sales.


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