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A Natural Alternative to Antidepressants and 5 Other Benefits of Yogurt

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A recent study suggests that the good bacteria that is found in yogurt, which has displayed a great many benefits already, may even lower rates of depression!

In this particular study, mice that were fed lactobacillus (one type of “good bacteria”) for 28 days displayed a decrease in stress, anxiety and depression when compared to mice that were not fed lactobacillus.

These positive results are attributed to chemical changes in the brains of the mice as a result of the lactobacillus consumption.

The brains of the mice that were fed lactobacillus proved to handle the chemical gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) differently than the others. GABA is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It inhibits nerve transmission in the brain and calms nervous activity.

In addition, these mice also displayed lower levels of corticosterone -- a stress related hormone -- as well as a decrease in anxiety and depression-like behavior!

Although this research is promising, there is a big gap between reactions in rats and humans and obviously, much more research needs to be done. However, this study reminds us of the many health benefits of probiotic-containing yogurt which include:

1. Osteoporosis
Calcium and vitamin D have both proven to be essential nutrients for both the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Many yogurts contain both, but for the best prevention, check to see if your yogurt has added vitamin D.

2. High Blood Pressure
In a two year study for high blood pressure, research found that individuals who ate 2 to 3 or more servings of dairy a day had a 50 percent reduction of risk for high blood pressure, when compared to those who did not have dairy.

3. Yeast Infections
We’ve all heard that the live active cultures in yogurt can help with intestinal health, but these active cultures have also been shown to help yeast infections. A study found that women who ate 6 oz. of yogurt every day had a decrease in vaginal pH from 6.0-4.0 (a much more normal range) while also reporting a decrease in yeast infections.

4. Get Full Faster
A University of Washington study found that individuals who consumed yogurt reported a much more substantial decrease in hunger ratings and an increase in fullness ratings after snacking on yogurt when compared to other snacks.

5. Lose Weight & Get Flat Abs Faster
According to a study from the University of Tennessee, individuals who ate 18 oz. of yogurt a day and decreased their overall calorie intake lost 22 percent more weight and 81 percent more belly fat than those who decreased calories but skipped the yogurt.

There are plenty of other benefits of probiotic-packed yogurt, but although the snack has many health benefits, it’s always good to compare brands and ingredients when purchasing. A few things keep an eye out for when choosing the your yogurt: milk-fat content, sugar content, active culture content, vitamin and protein content.

A well-balanced diet has already proved to be one of the best health moves you can make. So eat up, drink up, and enjoy a happy health!


Barrett, M. (2011, August 30). Probiotics in This Food Could Help Treat Depression. Natural Society. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from


News. (n.d.). GABA. Welcome to the Denver Naturopathic Clinic . Retrieved September 14, 2011, from

Magee, E. (n.d.). The Benefits of Yogurt. WebMD - Better information. Better health.. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-yogurt

Pressner, A. (n.d.). Yogurt Health and Weight-Loss Benefits |10 Surprising Benefits of Yogurt. Fitness Magazine: Weight-loss plans, video workouts, abs exercises, diet plans, beauty tricks, and health advice. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from

Reviewed September 21, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

This is such a great blog post! Very good information! Appreciating the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you present. It’s awesome blog.

July 18, 2012 - 10:52pm
EmpowHER Guest

This is such a great blog post! Very good information! Appreciating the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you present. It’s awesome blog.

July 16, 2012 - 9:19pm
EmpowHER Guest

The above post first sentence, IE I am quitting smoking cigarettes...taking lithium the rest of my life, its a wonder drug.

November 23, 2011 - 11:11am
EmpowHER Guest

I am quitting and have taken lithium off and on for 32 years for bi-polar was recently put on an herbal med that made me very sick, in fact I am sure if I had not stopped taking it I would have died right here in our house alone. while he is at work, Anyway I started feeling better phsically and asked my husband for yogurt, remembering my mother used to get it when I was sick...I did not realize that this pineapple prairie farms yogurt was improving my fearful mood along with milk. Now I must find other flavors to eat and have at least one a day, my stomach does not hurt anymore and the headaches are leaving too, I had migraines, am off tylenol...Please keep making this original variety without sugar artificial additives please for those who have health concerns ok? Thanks for Prairie Farms, and we will get your ice cream too if we can afford it, Do you have frozen yogurt too? Thanks and God Bless you for having a great company that gives such good dairy products to the USA> Sincerely, Diane Minton Evansville, IN

November 23, 2011 - 11:09am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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