Fermented milk products enhance digestibility, provide new and unique flavors, added probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and act as preservation products for food that normally has a very short shelf life. The best known traditional fermented milk product is Kefir.
Fermented sour milk has a higher acidity (lower pH), a tangy taste and a thicker consistency than regular milk, and it contains less lactose. There are many different types of lactic acid bacteria, and each gives a milk product its own distinct taste.
Fermented milk is created when milk is fermented with specific kinds of bacteria called Lactobacilli or Bifido bacteria. Fermentation creates milk that is partially digested by the bacteria. This makes the milk product easier to digest, especially for people who have milk allergies or are lactose-intolerant.
Fermented milk also seems to have some antioxidant and immune-stimulating effects.
Although it can be taken as a drink, especially the commercial brands that use sugar to offset the sour taste of the bacteria, many people prefer to use it in their recipes
Taking Fermented milk may help reduce the symptoms of these ailments
Some studies show that taking fermented milk containing Lactobacillus acidophilus reduces runny nose, but not runny or red eyes, in adults with hay fever, and that taking fermented milk might decrease the occurrence of hay fever in both children and adolescents.
Early studies suggest that taking milk fermented with Lactobacillus casei reduces the severity of diarrhea in infants and children. Another study showed that using Actimel (A leading brand of fermented milk product) reduced the length of time needed to stop diarrhea in children 6 months to 5 years old.
Diarrhea in people taking antibiotics
Some studies show that taking fermented milk containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria while taking antibiotics reduces the risk of developing diarrhea.
Diarrhea caused by radiation therapy
Studies suggest that taking fermented milk containing Lactobacillus acidophilus starting 5 days before treatment with radiation can reduce diarrhea and other stomach side effects caused by radiation. Taking fermented milk might also improve stomach discomfort after radiation.
Diarrhea caused by rotavirus
Evidence suggests that taking a fermented milk product containing Lactobacillus GG for about 5 days reduces how long diarrhea lasts in children with diarrhea caused by rotavirus.
Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
Studies suggest that taking fermented milk containing multiple types of bacteria during pregnancy and just after giving birth may reduce the risk of a young child developing eczema.
Some studies show that taking fermented milk made with Lactobacillus casei can help to prevent colds in preschool children.
High blood pressure
Some studies show that fermented milk lowers systolic (the first number) but not diastolic (the second number) blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain. Studies show that taking fermented milk twice daily for 4 weeks may decrease IBS symptoms, including pain and gas.
Inability to properly digest sugar lactose in Milk (lactose intolerance)
Some studies show that taking fermented milk containing Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus acidophilus reduces bloating, diarrhea, and pain in people with lactose intolerance.
Although there isn’t enough evidence to classify all types of fermented milk as safe to drink, it’s likely that in the amount taken as food you won’t have any problems.
As always if you have any doubt consult your medical professional.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: As there isn’t enough reliable information to know if it is safe to use fermented milk when pregnant or breast-feeding you may want to stay on the safe side and avoid using in amounts greater than those commonly found in food.
Low blood pressure: Fermented milk may reduce blood pressure so taking fermented milk could possibly cause blood pressure to become too low when used by people who already have low blood pressure.
Weakened immune system: Some fermented milk products contain live bacteria. There is some concern that the bacteria in fermented milk might grow too well in people whose immune systems are weakened. If you have any doubts consult your medical professional.
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