Bioyogurts are not dangerous

  • 2000-01-20
  • By Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - The Tallinn dairy Tallinna Piimatoostus has introduced a
new healthy pro-biotic product TERE "biojogurt". According to
Austrian experts, bioyogurts can be dangerous for some people.

The German magazine Der Spiegel states that yogurts with pro-biotic
supplements, which are popular in about 23 countries including
Germany, Japan and UK, may cause illnesses in people with weak immune
systems. These products may cause inflammation of the lungs and blood
poisoning, the magazine reports.

Bioyogurt is a dairy product consisting of living lactic-acid
bacteria. Tiiu Mai Laht, a researcher with the National Institute of
Chemical Physics and Biophysics in Tallinn, said this kind of product
has been consumed for thousands of years.

"Der Spiegel is not a science magazine and they can not disprove this
scientific truth. There are many German scientists who can say the
opposite. It is possible that some people are born without a normal
immune system and for those people, all normal food containing living
micro-organisms can be dangerous. They can survive only in a sterile
environment," said Laht.

"Bioyogurts are as dangerous as living itself. There is always
someone for whom one or another substance is dangerous. Bio-yogurt
maybe harmful to perhaps one person in a million," said Laht.

Laht claims that bioyogurt is very healthy because it helps to
strengthen the body's self defense, for example, by recovering
bacteria which has been killed by antibiotics.

"When I suffer from some kind of inflammation and use antibiotics, I
can still keep my level of microflora normal by eating bioyogurt. It
makes me feel better. I do not feel sick and I do not have a
headache. When I am well, I take bio-yogurt as normal sour milk,"
said Laht.

Studies say that bio-products protect against gastrointestinal
diseases and lower hypersensitivity. Living lactic acid bacteria are
also used in products such as kefir, sour milk, cheese and curds.

"The world should not be overly sterile. People are used to living
and competing all the time. In a sterile world there would too many
problems to deal with such as allergic diseases for example," said

"Bioyogurt provides you with normal digestion and a stress-free day,"
a note on the label of the yogurt says. The Estonian health
protection board approves the product.

Besides the bioyogurt produced by Tallinna Piimatoostus, there are
two other pro-biotic products on the Estonian market: Alma's kefir
and sour milk produced by the dairy group Uhinenud Meiereid.

According to Kristina Seimann, a spokeswoman for Tallinna
Piimatoostus, "Tere" Bioyogurt is the most popular yogurt on the
Estonian market at present. The company holds about a one third
market share in sales.