Friday, August 31, 2007

Spending Money on Activia® or DanActive™? Try Kefir!!

By Marcie Barnes

There 's something called Kefir which has been around for thousands of years and it offers the same (if not more) benefits as the new products on the market such as Activia® or DanActive™.

What annoys me about Dannon's advertising campaigns are claims such as: "Specialists at Dannon® selected Bifidus Regularis™ for Activia® because it survives passage through the digestive tract, arriving in the colon as a living culture." - Well, they didn't exactly select it, they trademarked the words so they could be the "only people in the world" using it. Bifidus Regularis was trademarked in the US by Compagnie Gervais Danone - which seems to be the parent company of Dannon in Europe.

Another Dannon product, DanActives Immunity, claims "The probiotic culture L. casei Immunitas™ is, in comparison to other yogurt cultures, more resistant to the stomach acid and is therefore getting in a high concentration in the intestine, where about 70% of the body's immune cells are located. Once there, DanActive with L. casei Immunitas™ can help strengthen our body’s defenses." Same thing - another trademarked term, and all you are probably getting is a well-known strain of Lactobacillius Casei.

So, what do you get when you drink kefir? Here is the list of probiotic strains contained in each bottle:

Lactobacillius Lactis
Lactobacillus Rhamnosus
• Streptococcus Diacetylactis
Lactobacillus Plantarum
Lactobacillius Casei
Saccharomyces Florentinus
Leuconostoc Cremoris
Bifidobacterium Longum
Bifidobacterium Breve
Lactobacillus Acidophilus

See the chart to compare nutritional information and price. As you can see you get a lot more bang for your buck with kefir. There are sweetened/flavored varieties available which would have more sugar, but Dannon does not give a lower-sugar alternative like kefir does. Two cons to kefir: it's not readily available in major groceries (but is carried at WholeFoods and the like, of course) and the consistency may take some getting used to - it's basically a cross between milk and yogurt in thickness. Try it!


Jamie said...

I make my own kefir, but thanks for putting this up. Kefir blows this sugary yogurt away. I love the stuff.

Joanne said...

I buy Kefir at Trader Joe's and add pureed fresh fruit - mangoes, bananas, peaches, etc. for sweetening and nutrients.
I drink about 11 oz of Kefir mixed with 5 oz. of fruit each morning for breakfast. Works like a charm. Tums use has drastically abated over the last month I've used it.

Joe said...

Our family has been drinking DanActive since May with awesome results, but it is pricy for our family of 8. I made Kefir, but not sure how much we should have? I was going to put it into our smoothies in the morning. Any thoughts?