Another day, another study on the ‘health foods’ we are turning to. Yogurt was the target of Spanish researchers studying the health claims made by proponents. The conclusion? Regular consumption offers little boost physically or mentally.

Sure, that may be the case. But ask your doctor this. Should I annihilate a bag of Oreos, or should I consume yogurt? Exactly. While some will trumpet these studies as evidence the ‘health food’ craze is crazy, just use a little common sense.

No, yogurt isn’t going to turn you into a beacon of health. If it were that easy, the yogurt aisle would look like Black Friday at Walmart.

Yogurt Study

Dr. Esther Lopez-Garcia, of the Autonomous University of Madrid, led a team that followed more than 4,000 Spanish adults.

The yogurt companies have been happy to trumpet a variety of benefits for years, including:

  • yogurt boosts your immune system
  • aids in digestion and lowers body fat
  • protection against food poisoning (learn and unlearn something new everyday)
  • helps strengthen your bones
  • freshens your breath

Dr. Garcia sums up her study rather nicely.

“The regular consumption of yogurt is not linked to health-related quality of life.”

“For future research more specific instruments must be used which may increase the probability of finding a potential benefit of this food.”

yogurt health claims

The team used HRQL (health-related quality of life) to measure if the dairy product had any impact relating to physical and mental well-being. Three-and-half years later, the team found the benefits were negligible.

“In comparison with people who did not eat yogurt those who ate this dairy product regularly did not display any significant improvement in their score on the physical component of quality of life and although there was a slight improvement mentally, this was not statistically significant.”

Yogurt And Calcium

Previous studies have pointed to the potential of yogurt impacting health in a positive way – either directly or indirectly.

This was due to the calcium contained in the product, which could help protect against osteomuscular illnesses.

Spain still supports the consumption of dairy as a part of its health diet guidelines. Most countries include dairy products in the main dietary recommendations.

So, what does it mean for your daily yogurt? Unless you have a health condition that prevents you from consuming yogurt, have at it. Just don’t expect miracles.

The healthy lifestyle you’re aiming for?

It involves more than eating packs of yogurt. Healthy diets combined with exercise and other lifestyle choices will get you to your goal.

Dr. Garcia’s study was published in the journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


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