Mayo Clinic: Are there any special health benefits to
juryís still out. In recent years, claims of possible health
benefits of fermented dairy or plant foods, such as yogurt,
kefir, aged cheese, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut and many others,
have gained the spotlight.
digestive tract is loaded with beneficial bacteria. Likewise,
live, active bacteria make fermented foods possible. These
bacteria, known as probiotics, are where the potential health
benefits in fermented food may be.
sounds promising, the evidence is more suggestive than proved.
Some evidence supports select probiotic use for certain bowel
disorders. Research is ongoing to understand how probiotics
may influence other areas of health, including obesity and
regulation of the immune system.
benefits, itís generally thought that a daily probiotic dose
of around 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of certain
bacteria strains is needed. However, fermented foods are all
over the map in terms of the dose and type of beneficial
bacteria. Some fermented foods contain supplemental probiotics
to achieve a consistently high dose. Others might contain only
moderate or low levels of live cultures ó or no live
cultures at all.
foods can be a part of a healthy diet and may provide health
benefits that other foods canít. But, itís hard to say
exactly what youíre getting from a fermented food in terms
of bacterial type or dose. Therefore, itís difficult to know
what you can expect in terms of probiotic benefits. In
addition, a fermented product with live active cultures also
may contain high levels of saturated fat, salt or added