I’ve been eating yogurt all my life and one yogurt I will never eat is Dannon’s Activia. It’s far too expensive and it’s a rip-off.
Dannon touts their “bifidus regularis” as being unique.
It’s just a variation, bifidobacterium lactis DN-173010 which belongs to the common bacteria found in other yogurts bifidobacterium animalis – all of them much less expensive than Activia. What Dannon has done is to patent the name, “Bifidus regularis” to make it seem like something really special.
Other patented names Dannon uses are: Bifidus Actiregularis, Bifidus Regularis, Bifidus Digestivum, Bifidobacterium Lactis and its variants, are marketing names Dannon for one of the specific bacteria it uses in its “Activia” range of yogurt products sold throughout the world.
I prefer to call their name, “Bifidus Bullshitus.”
Dannon was sued – and lost – for falsely claiming that Activia and Dan-Active yogurt drinks could be “clinically proven to help strengthen your body’s defenses.” Their insistence that their yogurt products contained something magical, “L. casei Immunitas,” another name made up by Dannon, is actually Lactobacillus casei DN-114 001 – and found in all yogurt.
So in other words, you’re really getting ripped off when you pay a lot of money for those little green containers versus a larger one of something like Stonyfield Farm – which BTW, is organic.
The basic cultures used to make yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Additional probiotics are often added. Common ones are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidus.
Many yogurts contain artificial ingredients. Yoplait is one of them. Read “What’s Under The Lid” from the Yoplait site. They admit to using these additives such as artificial sweeteners: “Some of our products contain artificial sweeteners. Sweeteners let us deliver an amazing taste without adding calories.”
Like Dannon, they also color their yogurt with something called “carmine,” an FDA legally allowed ingredient sometimes indicated on the label as “crimson lake,” “cochineal,” or “carminic acid.”
It’s actually the skin of an insect called cochineal beetles, used in cosmetics and other applications, and is in other foods for colors of red, pink and purple. It can also cause hives, itching, asthmatic reactions or, in extremely rare cases, anaphylactic shock.
READ LABELS! Those with “live & active cultures” are far more beneficial than products made with “active cultures,” which may have been heat-treated after fermentation which will kill beneficial bacteria. Make sure you buy yogurts containing “acidolphilus” and “bifidobacteria” that can withstand stomach acid and get to the colon alive – thus giving more benefit.
Thus the old adage proves true: “less is more.” Read labels, become informed and you’ll find all that hype is just that. Don’t fall for Dannon’s “Bifidus Bullshitus.”