What Type of Yogurt Is Good When Taking Antibiotics? 

 June 23, 2023

By  Diane Miles

Taking antibiotics is a necessary precaution for treating bacteria. However, it can cause damage to the healthy bacteria population in the gut and this is why consuming yogurt is beneficial when medicating. But with all the different types of yogurt out there, which one is best for when you are taking antibiotics?

The best yogurt for restoring gut microbiome when taking antibiotics is one that has a minimum of 100 million live and active cultures per gram. It should also be low in calcium, and have under 10 grams of sugar per serving. Look for those with the Live and Active Cultures Seal for reassurance.

There are other things to think about when shopping around for yogurt to consume while medicating with antibiotics. Read on below to learn more.

What Kind of Yogurt Do You Eat When on Antibiotics?

The probiotics, or live microorganisms in fermented foods such as yogurt, are also found in our very own gut.

These are good types of bacteria that are essential to regulating the immune system and keep us healthy. However, medicating with antibiotics can disrupt the population of good bacteria in the gut and cause other side effects such as diarrhea, yeast infections, nausea, or vomiting.

Yogurt is an effective remedy for that, but all yogurt is not made equally. Here’s what you should look out for:

At Least 100 Million Live Cultures Per Gram

According to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), formerly the National Yogurt Association (NYA), an organization that certifies yogurt manufacturers, yogurt should contain at least 100 million live and active cultures per gram by the time it was manufactured. If you want to be sure, look for their “Live and Active Cultures (LAC)” seal which is given to certain brands that meet their requirements.

Yogurt that contains at least 100 million live cultures is effective for countering side effects of antibiotics, most especially diarrhea. In addition, it’s also beneficial in helping to restore the healthy microbiome population in your gut.

However, if you are opting for frozen yogurt, look for those that have at least 10 million active cultures per gram.

Low Calcium Content

Calcium is an important mineral needed by the human body to maintain strong bones while carrying out many important functions. While consuming calcium from food sources or supplements is necessary for optimum health, you may want to reduce the intake of calcium when taking antibiotics because it can interfere with how the body absorbs the medication. In other words, calcium may inhibit the efficacy of antibiotics.

Look for yogurt that has a lower calcium content, such as under 200mg. Others don’t contain any calcium at all, such as dairy-free and plant-based milk. Some examples of yogurt with reduced calcium are Greek yogurt and dairy-free yogurt.

Dairy-free yogurt uses milk alternatives derived from plants, and they are excellent choices for individuals who are taking antibiotics. Here are some common plant-based, dairy-free milks that are low in calcium compared to cow’s or goat’s milk:

  • Coconut
  • Almond
  • Hemp
  • Soy
  • Oat
  • Sunflower seed milk
  • Cashews
  • Flax
  • Hazelnut

Less Than 10g of Sugar Per Serving

A high sugar intake isn’t healthy for anyone, especially if you are taking antibiotics. Far too many commercially produced yogurt brands have high amounts of sugar, anywhere from 20 to 35 grams per serving, especially if it contains flavorings and fruit. Sugar promotes inflammation all over the body including the gut, and changes the composition of gut microbiome.

Opt for yogurt with under 10 grams of sugar per serving. The lower, the better. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat bland yogurt; there are some yogurt brands that make sugar-free varieties that are tasty, made with sugar alternatives such as Stevia.

Best Yogurt for Antibiotics

There are many wonderful varieties of yogurt that are good to take on antibiotics. Here are some examples that you can buy from Amazon:

-   Wallaby Organic Aussie Greek Nonfat Yogurt
-   Dannon Activia Probiotic Yogurt
-   Yoplait Blueberry Fat Free Yogurt

Frequently Asked Questions

Does yogurt interact with antibiotics?

Yogurt, as well as other types of dairy products like milk and cheese, can interfere with antibiotics. It’s important to space out the time between the consumption of each of these by at least 3 hours especially if you are consuming yogurt with a high calcium content.

Common antibiotics including ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, and tetracycline are known to interact with yogurt. They can bind to the calcium content in milk used for yogurt, which results in a substance that cannot be absorbed or digested in the stomach as well as the upper small intestine. Furthermore, the binding of calcium with antibiotics means that it reduces the chances of the medication to make it to the bloodstream in order to fight infection.

Small amounts of calcium in yogurt will not have this effect, so it’s best to go for yogurt with as low a calcium content as possible – under 200g per serving.

How much yogurt to eat when taking antibiotics?

Consuming 450ml of yogurt everyday while taking antibiotics is beneficial for your gut microbiome, and will also help reduce the side effects associated with antibiotics. However, the yogurt you choose is also important; these are the factors you should look for:

  • Minimum of 100 million live active cultures per gram
  • Low or no sugar
  • Low calcium content

It’s just as important to wait at least 2 hours between consuming yogurt and/or antibiotics. This is because dairy products including yogurt contain calcium, which can bind to the antibiotics and makes it less effective.

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