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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Do you eat yogurt specifically for crohns?


04-23-2013, 12:22 PM   #1
KWalker
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Do you eat yogurt specifically for crohns?

I know home made yogurt is a big part of the SCD diet because of the bacteria properties but those that use it make it home made to avoid the store bought brands to avoid the dairy and other additives (when applicable).

My question is, since I'm not following the SCD diet at the moment, I've been considering trying store bought yogurt but wondering if others find it beneficial. I'm looking past the controversy regarding whether people with crohns should avoid dairy or not and strictly looking for benefits of the yogurt, if any.

I've been looking into acidophilus as well but it is A. expensive, and B. reviews are saying that yogurt can be more effective because of the higher bacteria content.

Does anybody have any experience?
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04-23-2013, 12:27 PM   #2
nogutsnoglory
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I find most yogurts have a lot of other questionable ingredients like carrageenan. I do drink kefir for Crohn's though. I know it's got beneficial probiotics and it helps me add on weight.
04-23-2013, 12:30 PM   #3
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Yeah it does have carageenan which would typically make me want to avoid it, but I was trying to weigh the pros and cons and see if it was worth it in this case.

I've heard a lot about Kefir but have no idea what it is. Do you buy it a regular grocery store? Is it something you drink like water?
04-23-2013, 12:31 PM   #4
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I buy it at health food stores but large supermarkets might carry it too. I think it's just fermented dairy. It's a bit like thick dairy with champagne like bubbles.
04-23-2013, 12:34 PM   #5
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That sounds awful lol. I don't know why but the process of letting dairy go bad absolutely grosses me out
04-23-2013, 01:07 PM   #6
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It's actually delicious but probably an acquired taste.
04-23-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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It sounds like it may be similar to a product I first had in Finland - called Viili (Vee lee a I think)...it is a dairy product, not really a yogurt, but not really a drink either.....once upon a time my Mom had culture for it and made her own...hmm...wonder if I could find it in the US...
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04-23-2013, 03:11 PM   #8
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Personally, and this is just me - I find that I have to avoid probiotics, as they are rough on my system and also seem to make my GERD worse. I also have to avoid dairy as I'm lactose intolerant. When I try to have something like yogurt, which combines both dairy and probiotics, it's so awful on my body that I pass blood. I'm not sure why exactly. I am not normally a bleeder - only when I have dairy & probiotics together do I bleed. I tried Greek yogurt once, I think I must have lost my mind. That was not a fun time!
04-23-2013, 03:52 PM   #9
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Interesting. I would hate for yogurt to cause problems for me. I just thought it might be good to try because my father in law takes acidophilus for his crohns and seems to notice a difference so as I was googling it I found lots of people saying yogurt was even better.

I'm not sure why I was even looking to be honest because I don't feel I need to improve more than I am right now, I just thought if there were an easy way to try take it further and maintain my health than it would be worth it to try
04-23-2013, 04:10 PM   #10
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Go with goat yogurt! Supposed to be very beneficial for crohns.
04-23-2013, 09:40 PM   #11
Ya noy
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Yeah it does have carageenan which would typically make me want to avoid it, but I was trying to weigh the pros and cons and see if it was worth it in this case.

I've heard a lot about Kefir but have no idea what it is. Do you buy it a regular grocery store? Is it something you drink like water?
Yo! Kefir pseudoexpert here.

First, not all yogurt has carrageenan, which can easily be determined by reading the ingredients on the label. You may want to avoid any that are sweetened with "high fructose corn syrup" as well, and either buy plain (and sweeten with your own fruits and honey) as well. Actually, organic applesauce is a very good natural sweetener (and SCD legal!). alternatively, just take some apples, run through a blender, and add them to your yogurt to sweeten and flavor.

Second, in my personal opinion, kefir is far superior to yogurt because it contains far more concentrated varieties of beneficial probiotics. yogurt has acidophilus, but kefir has acidophilus plus at least 34 additional strains of probiotics, although the commercial brands, such as "Lifeway" only claim they have 10 probiotic cultures, which includes acidophilus.

Yes, you can buy kefir in regular grocery stores and you drink it, only it's thick, more like a yogurt smoothie, or milkshake. In fact, you can buy plain kefir, add honey, cocoa and ice, and make a kefir milkshake. I've never seen any of the sweetened varieties of kefir with carageenan

We (of course) make our own kefir, and all it requires is a quart of milk and some kefir grains--which can be used and reused indefinitely. The fermentation process renders the milk 99% lactose free, and you just leave the milk and kefir grains out in the counter for about 35 hours for it to thicken into kefir. It's easy to make and after obtaining grains, all you ever pay for again is the milk.

Kefir grains grow, doubling in size roughly every 20 days, and before long, you will have kefir grains coming out of your ears, so people often give away their excess. I got mine free off craigslist, but got them from an organization before kefir became popularized, and they no longer share--and won't let me either. The grains apparently originally belonged to their founder, and his research results (so they claim) angered "Big Pharma", so they became very protective. I just found all this out a couple months ago. My kefir grains have some interesting history behind them.

If you buy kefir instead of making it, in my personal opinion, Ludwig brand kefir is tastier than Lifeway. I'm not crazy about Lifeway, which is kind of bitter, while Ludwig is smoother, with lots of chunks of real fruits, but the fruited varieties of both are sweetened with cane sugar, but you can always buy it plain. There is a brand called "Greek Gods" which carries a kefir sweetened with honey.
04-23-2013, 09:46 PM   #12
Ya noy
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It sounds like it may be similar to a product I first had in Finland - called Viili (Vee lee a I think)...it is a dairy product, not really a yogurt, but not really a drink either.....once upon a time my Mom had culture for it and made her own...hmm...wonder if I could find it in the US...
Why, yes you can. In fact, we're culturing some right now, along with kefir, rejuvalac, kombucha, kimchi, and pickles.
04-23-2013, 10:42 PM   #13
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That sounds awful lol. I don't know why but the process of letting dairy go bad absolutely grosses me out
The milk doesn't go bad or sour. Yogurt and kefir originated in the centuries prior to refrigeration--specifically to preserve milk and prevent it from going bad, without the need for refrigeration.

There weren't even iceboxes until the 19th century, and even then, you needed to get ice every couple days from a vendor who delivered, just for that very purpose, and he got his ice from huge ice storage houses, where they cut the ice in huge chunks from frozen lakes, and kept frozen by storing underground, packed in sawdust and salt. There were no electric freezers that produced ice until the 20th century --relatively short period of time in the history of mankind.

Refrigerators were a luxury in the 1920sthat few could afford, so most families used ice boxes, clear up to approx. the 1950s. In fact, they used to have ice boxes they hung on the outside of apartment windows, so they wouldn't have to buy ice for them during winter months.

and I read too much.
04-24-2013, 01:39 AM   #14
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If you are looking for the pro biotic aspect of yogurt, I would recommend VSL#3, nothing can top it.
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04-25-2013, 05:26 AM   #15
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I eat yogurt because I can tolerate it, if it has probiotics, bonus. I mostly eat the Liberte brand, there's a great natural food store in Kingston that sells it cheaper than anywhere else I have seen. As for the integrity of its probiotic value, I don't know, I would suspect it better than some of the bigger brands.
04-25-2013, 05:59 AM   #16
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I love kefir, and I have been thinking about making my own -- Ya noy has inspired me!

But I do also like the Greek Gods brand; the honey flavored kefir is delicious!

And agree that kefir and yogurt is not milk gone bad! There are TONS of fermented foods that we eat -- cheese, beer, wine, sourdough bread, etc. These all originated as way to preserve food!
04-26-2013, 09:30 AM   #17
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Personally, I was completely dependent on quality probiotics, at least 2 a day (Living Streams Liquid Probios, Jarrow EPS, G.O.L. Primal Defense Ultra, Kyodophilus 9, or Thorne Research Bacillus Coagulans) for years, until I started culturing kefir milk with the grains and taking plant sterols, Moducare, twice a day on an empty stomach (morning/night with LDN).

I sometimes blend in a teaspoon of the grains into my smoothies for the probios and good sugars therein. There are some mouse/skin cancer studies in which the grains were emulsified and placed on the skin, covered by bandages, for a few weeks and the tumors shrank in a good percentage of them in that one study. There are good sugars that comprise the gelatinous matrix of the "grains" which boost the immune system.

I might add N-acetylglucosamine, one in the morning, also allows me to feed my caffeine addiction free o f consequences. To stave off SI joint pains I take 5000 iu D3 and K2 Complex daily to great effect.

I would highly recommend others try any/all the above.
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04-26-2013, 03:24 PM   #18
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I personally have found that greek yogurt is one of the foods that actually seems to help calm my flare symptoms when i eat it...i don't go overboard, i only eat it once every other day or so, but i have personally not had any issues with greek yogurt.

Fage brand is my preferred brand. I haven't dabbled into organic yogurts much yet just because I find greek yogurt pricey enough as it is.
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04-29-2013, 03:29 AM   #19
Ya noy
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Personally, I was completely dependent on quality probiotics, at least 2 a day (Living Streams Liquid Probios, Jarrow EPS, G.O.L. Primal Defense Ultra, Kyodophilus 9, or Thorne Research Bacillus Coagulans) for years, until I started culturing kefir milk with the grains and taking plant sterols, Moducare, twice a day on an empty stomach (morning/night with LDN).

I sometimes blend in a teaspoon of the grains into my smoothies for the probios and good sugars therein. There are some mouse/skin cancer studies in which the grains were emulsified and placed on the skin, covered by bandages, for a few weeks and the tumors shrank in a good percentage of them in that one study. There are good sugars that comprise the gelatinous matrix of the "grains" which boost the immune system.
I find it gratifying to hear that others here have started drinking kefir, as well as making their own, which I personally believe is the most beneficial route to go.

There have been studies performed that have shown consuming the grains offers additional health benefits. Kefir has been used by medical professionals in other countries for many years. Primarily in Eastern European countries, and particularly in Russia, where every Russian child receives a glass of kefir, every day.

Again though, everyone is different and even though the fermentation process renders kefir 99% lactose free, there are some whose systems can't tolerate other milk proteins, casein in particular.

Craigslist is a good source for local kefir grains, many either sell their excess grains for $5-$10, or even give them away for free--which is how we obtained ours. Otherwise, they can be purchased over the Internet for a nominal fee, usually around $15. Marilyn the kefir lady is a good source, but she only accepts cash. I do not recommend buying from Dom in Austrailia as it is my understanding that he became ill, and a number of people have complained that they have not received grains they paid him for. There are also companies that sell live kefir grains through Amazon, which offers additional security and assurance.

I've been drinking kefir for over 20 years, but wasn't able to get my husband to even try it until just a few years ago. He suffered from chronic colitis instead for many years, taking all kinds of meds on a daily basis continuously, which did very little to relieve the pain of his symptoms. Digestive disorders run in his family, most of who suffer from various digestive conditions, including IBS, IBD and Colitis and crohns. His mom died of stomach cancer recently, after suffering colitis and gastritis for most of her life.

He was in so much pain that even I didn't hold much hope that kefir would work as well as it did for him, if at all. He's virtually addicted to it, far more so now than I am and won't go a single day without it.

I have no idea why it's been working so well for him, and realize it doesn't work for everyone. I can only speculate that there are different causes for digestive disorders, and his may have been caused by taking far too many antibiotics as a child, which weakened his immune system by killing off too many of the beneficial probiotics in his system, which the kefir has now helped recolonize.

While that may be what happened to him, the human body is very complex, and as different treatments work for different people, I believe there could be a different causes as well. I just feel it's worth trying.
04-30-2013, 06:20 AM   #20
prettykitty
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I ordered kefir grains on ebay just a few days ago -- should be arriving in a day or two! I'm super-excited! Will keep you posted on how it goes!
04-30-2013, 07:24 AM   #21
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I've always eaten yoghurt, but more so since my CD diagnosis ( I don't think I have any problem with dairy)
I had a non-Crohn's related hospital admission a couple of years ago, and the consultant at that time suggested probiotics to add the the IBD management. Since then, i've taken them religiously.. My GI tells me it's "soft science" (I.e. not medically proven) but I'm currently in remission, so "if it ain't broken, don't fix it"!!
When we visited the US a couple of months ago, it was harder to find the sort of probiotics I use in Australia. I tried Kefir there, which seemed to have much the same effect. I explored Kefir when we returned home, but the Aus varieties were quite different to those i tried in the US, and I struggled to drink more than a few sips..
I'm certainly a yoghurt advocate though!!
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04-30-2013, 07:34 AM   #22
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I ordered kefir grains on ebay just a few days ago -- should be arriving in a day or two! I'm super-excited! Will keep you posted on how it goes!
Cool! Please do
05-01-2013, 08:35 AM   #23
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I used to love yogurt before I became lactose intolerant. Now I've been happy to find that Yoplait makes a lactose-free yogurt, which I enjoy except that it does have a lot of sugar in it (but at least it's not HFCS). It also does not have caragheenan in it. I am adding it back into my diet slowly to see if it helps with the flare I'm currently in.
05-02-2013, 10:51 AM   #24
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Cool! Please do
I started a new thread about making kefir. It got moved to the "cooking with crohn's" sub-forum under the diet and fitness forum. Totally makes sense, but afraid nobody will see it!

So here it is:

http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=50859
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