Is Activia Yogurt Good for IBS?

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Having irritable bowel syndrome, IBS is a common condition that affects the digestive system of about 10-15% of the world’s population. However, just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s easy to deal with. Depending on the food you eat, you can very easily get stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and more. 

It makes sense that the best way of keeping your IBS in check, is by being careful about what you eat. After all, it’s a condition of the digestive system, so it depends on what your body is trying to digest!  Knowing which foods to avoid for IBS, and which foods can help soothe the condition, is vital. 

So what about yogurt? Or specifically, Activia yogurt. You might know this brand from its advertisements, often shown on TV, or see it in the dairy aisle at the store. 

It is known for being good for the digestive system, keeping everything running smoothly. Could it help soothe the symptoms of IBS? Or will it just make it worse?

Let’s find out all about it! 

What is Activia Yogurt?

Let’s start by taking a closer look at what Activia yogurt is exactly so that we know what we are dealing with before we discuss how it interacts with IBS. 

Activia yogurt is a brand of yogurt that is owned by Groupe Danone, from the United States.

During the 1980s, the Danone researchers started experimenting with bifidobacteria, and they ended up developing a strain that can survive in the acidic medium of yogurt. So they combined traditional yogurt bacteria with a probiotic strain, and thus Activia yogurt was created! 

In 1987 they introduced Activia yogurt to France, and as of 2013, the brand is widely spread amongst more than 70 countries all over the world. 

One of the reasons why Activia yogurt has become so popular is because it is classed as a functional food that is designed to improve digestive health.

It provides a source of calcium, supports gut health and contributes to the normal function of digestive enzymes, and the probiotic strain enhances this. 

The truth is, Activia yogurt is all about improving digestive health, with their motto being “happy gut, happy you”. It’s beneficial for people of all ages, and is all about being as healthy as it can, while also tasting good! (Although for many people, Activia yogurt isn’t the tastiest option, it’s simply the healthiest.) 

So, if Activia yogurt is all about improving the health of the digestive system, one can assume that it will be good for those with irritable bowel syndrome, right? Or is yogurt not good for IBS? Keep reading and we’ll give you the answers! 

Is Activia Yogurt Good for IBS?

Now that we’ve clarified exactly what Activia yogurt is, we can finally get into the main question: is Activia yogurt good for IBS?

The answer is not quite straightforward or simple, as it actually depends on each person. In most cases, yogurt is good for alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, as yogurt contains probiotics, which are good bacteria that can improve the health of your digestive system.

However, yogurt also appears on many of the lists of foods that you should avoid if you suffer from IBS, as yogurt is a dairy product and can cause some of the symptoms. 

It’s quite a contradictory answer, we know, which is why you should always ask your doctor, and test out what works for you. After all, no two bodies are the same. For some people, yogurt makes their IBS worse, while for others it helps alleviate the symptoms. If you’ve never had trouble with dairy before, it may be helpful.

It is also worth noting that there are many different types and brands of yogurt, and not all of them will have the same effect. As we mentioned before, Activia contains live probiotics, which isn’t the case with most yogurts.  

Basically, if you want to test yogurt with your irritable bowel syndrome, you should look for yogurts that contain probiotics.

Ideally, yogurt with a label that says “live and active cultures” will be most helpful for helping to keep your gut healthy. To make sure it is trustworthy, look out for the official live and active cultures seal, which was created by the National Yogurt Association. 

What this seal means, is that their products contain at least 100 million colony forming units per gram. These live cultures of bacteria help thicken the milk, and they are also what is good for digestive health, as these bacteria are what will interact with your gut. 

It turns out that Activia yogurt has this official seal of live and active cultures, which is not surprising as they deliberately add a special strain of probiotics in order to enhance the good bacteria that will increase the health of your digestive system. 

So long story short, yogurt might help alleviate your irritable bowel syndrome, or it might not (may want to skip this if you have lactose intolerance!). But if any yogurt is going to work, it will definitely be Activia yogurt, as it contains plenty of good bacteria to help improve digestion and keep your gut working smoothly. 

How Much Activia Yogurt Should You Eat for IBS?

If you do suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, and you want to start eating Activia yogurt in order to help alleviate your symptoms, then you might be wondering how often you should be eating this yogurt, and in what amounts. 

Once again, there is no straightforward answer, because it completely depends on each person. Irritable bowel syndrome is not the same for all, and you sort of have to slowly test which foods are and aren’t good for you, and the same goes for yogurt. So the first step is figuring out whether you can even eat yogurt, even if it is Activia yogurt! 

If it turns out that Activia yogurt does, in some way, help alleviate your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, then you should start out with very small amounts, and slowly work your way to more regular consumption. After all, too much of a good thing may do more harm than good! 

As a general rule, it is recommended that you should eat two Activia yogurts per day, in order to reap the benefits to your digestive system. For those with IBS, it might be best to reduce this to once a day if necessary. But the key is to eat Activia yogurt regularly, so you should try to get into the habit of consuming it daily so that you notice the effects. 

Alternatives to Activia Yogurt for IBS Sufferers

While Activia yogurt offers several benefits for digestive health, some individuals with IBS might be looking for alternatives. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Probiotic Supplements: These are specifically designed to provide the gut with beneficial bacteria, similar to those found in Activia. Ensure you choose a supplement that is IBS-friendly and always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement.
  • Lactose-Free Yogurts: For those who are lactose intolerant, lactose-free yogurts can be a great alternative. They provide the creaminess of yogurt without the lactose that can trigger IBS symptoms in some individuals.
  • Plant-Based Yogurts: Made from almond, coconut, soy, or other plant sources, these yogurts can be easier on the gut for some IBS sufferers. They also come in probiotic-enriched varieties.

Activia Yogurt and IBS Final Thoughts

So…is Activia yogurt good for irritable bowel syndrome? The answer varies from person to person. Activia yogurt contains an added strain of probiotics, and it has the official seal for live and active cultures, meaning it is one of the best yogurt brands to consume if you want to improve the health of your digestive system.

While Activia yogurt has been celebrated for its probiotic content and potential benefits for digestive health, it’s essential to remember that everyone’s body is different.

What works for one individual might not work for another. Activia can be a beneficial addition to the diet of many IBS sufferers, but it’s always a good idea to monitor your body’s reactions and consult with a healthcare professional.

Exploring alternatives and understanding your body’s unique needs is the key to managing IBS effectively.

So basically, you need to test whether yogurt helps alleviate your IBS symptoms or not, and then go from there. If yogurt does work, then we absolutely recommend eating Activia yogurt at least once a day, in order to help your digestive system cope with the IBS.

Here are more articles on probiotics and IBS:

Written and Medically Reviewed By

  • Kelly Chow

    Kelly first experienced IBS symptoms at the age of 24 with major-to-severe symptoms. She underwent all types of tests and experimented with many treatments before finally finding ways to manage her symptoms. Kelly has written and shared ebooks and Gluten-Free diet plans that she has used to live life like she did before IBS.

  • Julie Guider, M.D.

    Dr. Julie Guider earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Virginia. She completed her general gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy fellowships at University of Texas-Houston. She is a member of several national GI societies including the AGA, ACG, and ASGE as well as state and local medical societies.

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