the anticancer properties of yoghurt


In cooperation with Dimitris Grigorakis, Clinical Nutritionist-Dietician, MSc, Scientific Director of the Dietetic Support & Metabolic Control Centre APISXNANSIS - LOGO DIATROFIS, President of the Hellenic Nutritionists Society,,,

Yoghurt, is a dairy product produced through the fermentation process of milk’s lactic acid from Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophiles, which presents strong anticancer properties among its numerous health benefits. These qualities are mostly attributed to its nutrients, to the beneficial bacteria it contains, as well as to specific substances produced during the process of fermentation. Specifically, yoghurt’s natural constituents, such as proteins, calcium and specific vitamins or minerals, as well as peptides and free fatty acids produced during the fermentation process, can greatly boost the body’s immune system. In addition, yoghurt contains conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid produced by bacteria that has strong anticancer properties. Yoghurt’s consumption has also been found to boost the activity of macrophages and increase the number of B lymphocytes in comparison to cow’s milk. So far, numerous studies have demonstrated that yoghurt’s consumption has cancer-suppressing effects, supporting that this is most probably due to the enhancement of the immune system. Indeed, clinical studies exploring the effects of yogurt intake on the immune function, have shown promising results, including the reduced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, the enhanced phagocytic activity and the proper functioning of T lymphocytes. An increased production of interferon-γ by T lymphocytes has also been observed in adults (aged 20-40 years) who consumed 450 g / day of yogurt for a period of 4 months.

Furthermore, lactic acid bacteria contained in yoghurt can inhibit the growth and metastasis of cancerous tumours, while the consumption of fermented dairy products, including yoghurt, has been proven to protect human organism from different forms of cancers, such as breast cancer. Finally, animal studies investigating the effects of a nutrition rich in yogurt, showed an increased life expectancy, a phenomenon attributed to yoghurt’s ability to enhance animals’ local and systemic immunity.

In conclusion, yoghurt may present remarkable results regarding the prevention and possibly the treatment of cancer. This fact, along with its other well-established health benefits, support a strong argumentation for increased yoghurt consumption, especially by vulnerable population groups such as people over 40 years old.

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