If you are new to my work and want to first learn SCD yogurt benefits and the immune modulating properties, skip down a bit to the section delving into the RECENT STUDIES CONCERNING PROBIOTIC YOGURT BENEFITS AND IT’S ANTI-INFLAMMATORY IMMUNOMODULATING FACTORS. No wonder that SCD yogurt is the foundation of the healing diets: SCD/GAPS and some PALEO camps, if tolerated.
By now you have realized that the usual starter yogurt I recommend when teaching “How to Make Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) Homemade Yogurt” is no where to be found on the shelves of Whole Foods stores.
Normally I recommend a starter yogurt combination of Erivan Acidophilus Yogurt (containing L. Acidophilus) AND Whole Foods 365 Greek 2% PLAIN Yogurt (containing S. Thermophilus and L Bulgaricus live cultures) [see step 4 below].
I also recommend using a grass-fed milk if you aren’t using an alternative milk such as goat, coconut, or almond. Fermenting such, 24 to 30 hours, turns this product into a “raw milk” type beneficial whole food that is lactose-free, and loaded with probiotics according to the BTVC website (1 cup has ~708 Billion beneficial bacteria and that’s about 50 times more than that claimed for a typical 15 billion capsule), and nutrition (proteins vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fats, and others yet to be discovered). And… it’s EASY to make. “It gets easier each time I make it”… “It tastes so much better than any store bought yogurt”… “I really miss this when I travel,” sentiments from MM, RC, JM, and MP.
Update: Recent labs report the quantity of probiotics in SCD yogurt to be less that that cited on the BTVC website but well above quantities found in commercial yogurt. This testing is reported in the post, The power of SCD yogurt, dated Jan 9, 2017, which looked at the quantity of probiotics in SCD cow, sheep, and coconut milk yogurts. Cow and sheep milk yogurts were fermented at 40 degree Celsius for 26-28 hours. Coconut yogurt was fermented for 22 hours. The lab used, SQTS (Swiss Quality Testing Services), also tests commercial yogurts. Testing omitted Streptococcus thermophilus which means if the starter contained this probiotic, the probiotic quantities would be higher than reported below. Also, Dannon All Natural Plain Yogurt as starter was not used. In sum:
SCD yogurt samples are between 2 to 30 times more potent than most commercial yogurt values. Commercial yogurt normally contains around 5,000 000-10,000 000 CFU/gram Lactobacilli and around 20,000,000 CFU/gram Streptococcus (according to SQTS).
SCD Cow and Sheep Milk. The post notes the GIProhealth starter was difficult to dissolve meaning the fermentation may be less effective.
- Yogourmet starter with cow milk: over 300,000,000 CFU/gram.
- Yogourmet starter with sheep milk: 200,000,000 CFU/gram.
- GIpro Start starter with cow milk: 20,000,000 CFU/gram.
- GIpro Start starter with sheep milk: 100,000,000 CFU/gram.
SCD Coconut milk. The post discusses contamination issues likely from the honey used and optimal ferment times being 12 hours instead of the 8 to 10 hours typically recommended.
- Coconut yogurt (made with homemade coconut milk , 2 tbs honey and 2 tsp gelatin per quart) with GIpro start (1/4 teaspoon per quart) : 76,000,000 CFU/gram.
- Coconut yogurt (made with commercial coconut milk without additives, 2 tbs honey and 2 tsp gelatin per quart) with GIpro start (1/4 teaspoon per quart) : 54,000,000 CFU/gram.
- Coconut yogurt (made with homemade coconut milk , 2 tbs honey and 2 tsp gelatin per quart) made by adding 1 capsule of GIpro health SCDophilus 10+ to 100ml coconut milk and fermenting for 22h: 37,000,000 CFU/gram.
- Coconut yogurt (made with commercial coconut milk, 2 tablespoons honey and 2 tsp gelatin per quart) made by adding Kirkman Lactobacillus Duo to 200ml coconut milk and fermenting for 22h: over 300,000,000 CFU/gram.
WHAT’S UP WITH STARTERS (ie WHY USE ERIVAN AND WHOLE FOODS 365 PLAIN GREEK YOGURT) AND WHY USE GRASS-FED MILK?
I recommend Whole Foods 365 Greek 2% PLAIN Yogurt, while not grass-fed, it does contain OTHER multiple bacteria strains critically important for increasing bacteria strain diversity within the SCD yogurt. Also important, this is one of the yogurts I’ve found to not contain the bifidobacteria strain understood to overgrow in compromised guts according to the tenets of Breaking the Vicious Cycle SCD, here and here, and GAPS guidelines: “In the case of bifidus, it has a tendency to overgrow. Each type of bacteria has different properties, different byproducts… I usually think of it in terms of different levels of tenacity and agression. Your gut is truly a multicultural society – some members are more altuistic, and others are criminal. Some are interested in improving the neighbourhood, and some are only out for themselves. L. Acidophilus is about as community-minded a bacterial strain as you will find, with S.Thermophilus and L.Bulgaricus running a close second. The others are either less friendly, or are unknown quantities. It gets even more complicated if you consider soil based strains. So we stick with Acidophilus in our supplements, and Acidophilus, Thermophilus and Bulgaricus in our yoghurt, because they are good neighbours.” I want to note that Lactobacillus rhamnosus was recently included on the yogurt containing list due to dialogue with Lucy of Lucy’s Kitchen and the makers of the SCD LYO-SAN Acidophilus & Yogurt Capsules wherein it was confirmed that L.Rhamnosus has always been in this probiotic, though L acidophilus predominates at a proportion of 9 to 1 (mixture of the other three).
What to do about the Whole Foods 365 Greek 2% PLAIN yogurt since it is currently missing from the Whole Foods shelves? Well, it was pulled since Consumer Reports investigated and reported on July 17, 2014 of a likely error printed on the container’s labeling; the sugar content listed likely isn’t 2 grams, it’s probably more like about 12 grams. On August 19, 2014, AboutLawSuits.com reported that two major consumer action lawsuits have been filed against Whole Foods for deceptive labeling, one in New Jersey and one in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There you go. We now know why the Whole Foods 365 Greek 2% PLAIN Yogurt isn’t on the store’s shelves.
NO WORRIES: JUST USE THE “Dannon All Natural Plain Yogurt”. While I don’t prefer it over the Whole Foods starter, it’ll suffice till the labeling issue gets resolved. One can further mediate it’s likely grainfed, GMO, and CAFO status, by using the starter proportions: 10 Erivan to 1 Dannon (just eye ball this in your measuring cup) given Lyo-San proportions.
The Erivan is especially nice since it is made using milk from primarily grass-fed cows (pastured sometimes up to 16 hour a day). Supplemental feed is grown on the farm where it is fertilized organically by returning liquefied manure to the soil. Calves are fed their mother’s milk and social contact within the herb is significant. This milk is hormone free, and the thin layer of cream on top proves the yogurt has not been exposed to the extra processing of homogenization. For clean-up, they avoid harsh chemicals and use instead vinegar and heat sanitation.
In simple English, this product is a very clean whole food source and because it is grass-fed, it has the added benefit of CLA and other micronutrients, minerals, and other compounds not even understood today. Ditto when using grass-fed milk in making SCD yogurt. Additionally, grass-fed milk likely is not from large volume producing herds which has the more intolerant A1 casein milk protein. So grass-fed milk very likely has the A2 casein which is more easily digested.
OK… NOW IT’S TIME TO SHARE SOME RECENT STUDIES CONCERNING PROBIOTIC YOGURT BENEFITS AND IT’S ANTI-INFLAMMATORY IMMUNOMODULATING FACTORS
This 2013 study, “Probiotic yogurt Affects Pro- and Anti-inflammatory Factors in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease,” is so loaded with meaty technicalities that you’ll need to read it many time to truly understand it’s immunomodulating insights of probiotic yogurt. To sum in simpleton: “Intestinal homeostasis is a balance between pro and anti-inflammatory responses of intestinal immunocytes and could be maintained by probiotics.” If you dare to read the study, you’ll learn that after probiotic yogurt intervention:
- Serum levels of PRO-INFLAMMATORY CYTOKINES: IL-1β, TNF-α and also in CRP levels significantly decreased, and
- Serum levels of ANTI-INFLAMMATORY CYTOKINE IL-10 and IL-6 significantly increased.
- For clarity: subjects where supposed to eat probiotic yogurt containing 26,500 CFU of each Bifidiobacterium BB-12 and Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5 daily for 8 weeks. NOTE: Bifidobacterium is NOT eaten for SCD/GAPS… matter of fact, it is “feared” as it is easily overgrown in a compromised gut thus specific bacterial legal starters containing: L.Acidophilus, S.Thermophilus, L.Bulgaricus and L. Rhamnosus are mandated.
AS IF THAT IS NOT ENOUGH, LETS TALK ABOUT CONJUGATED LINEOLIC ACID (CLA).
CLA is getting a lot of attention lately. CLA is an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid known for its anti-cancer and immune modulatory properties. This pubmed 6/13 study and this accepted “The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry” (2014) pdf (print version can be found here) goes into much detail about the immune modulating effects of CLA for those desiring the technical.
Read on for simpleton summary of these two studies, though skip this paragraph if it bogs you down: CLA is known to suppress dendritic cell activation which is characterized by a decrease in IL-12 and an increase in IL-10 production . Additionally, CLA can modulate dendritic cell cytokine production which plays a central role in initiating inflammation by directing T helper (Th) cell differentiation. Exposure of dendritic cells to CLA suppressed their ability to promote differentiation of naïve T cells into Th1 and/or Th17 cells. Th1 cells (heightened in Crohn’s Disease) are considered pro-inflammatory and are highly effective at clearing intracellular pathogens, whereas Th2 cells (UC is mediated by a predominant Th2 response ) are associated with the clearance of parasitic infections . Th17 cells has been implicated for: rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis [7,12]. Additionally, treatment with CLA suppressed LPS-induced induction of circulating IFN-γ, IL-12p40 and IL-1β. CLA suppressed the ability of peripheral blood T cells to produce proinflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ, TNF-α and IL-17 and decreased disease activity. This is the first study to demonstrate that exposure of antigen-presenting cells to CLA can modulate the subsequent Th cell response, and the findings may explain some of the beneficial effects of c9, t11-CLA in inflammatory diseases mediated by Th1 and Th17 cells.
Glad you are still here… otherwise, suffice it to say that CLA is an antioxidant and unfortunately, it is sorely lacking in our diets today for two reasons:
- First, certain probiotic friendly gut bacteria strains produce CLA, but with the prevalence of altered microflora, many are missing or have reduced levels of bacterial strains. This study showed that “About a quarter of us have up to 40% fewer gut bacteria, reduced bacterial diversity, and harbor more bacteria causing a low-grade inflammation of the body which is reflected in blood samples that reveal a state of chronic inflammation, which we know affect metabolism and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.” In this VA Tech CLA trial, marked improvement using CLA supplement was achieved for 50% of those having Crohn’s Disease (one of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases).
- Though this may surprise readers, CLA is the only good trans-fat and it is naturally occurring in the lipid fraction of meat, milk, and dairy products. CLA contained in grass-fed meat and dairy products are greater than that contained in grain-fed, even if organic. Grass-fed beef contains an average of 2 to 3 times more CLA than grain-fed beef and is one of the best dietary sources of CLA. CLA is especially high during the spring and fall when pasture grass is rapidly growing. Grain-fed has lesser CLA since the pH in the ruminant digestive system is reduced and this inhibits the growth of the bacterium that produces CLA. CLA can be produced industrially by partial hydrogenation of linoleic acid [74,75]. CLA has been considered for the prevention and treatment of gut inflammation since 2002 . The below slides depict how grass feeding is accomplished year round by my incredible farmer, Your Family Farmer.
- Breast milk fatty acids are enriched in CLA compared to control within 28 hours after the ingestion of a CLA-rich food product. Note though, today’s Westernized diet contains low dose CLA containing foods and additionally, many do not breast feed in accordance with the recommended guidelines (see this post).
- Also worth noting, there is a micronutrient synergy impact involved with consuming grassfed products that is not well understood. Since many eat yogurt for bone health, I am going to go into this somewhat. Grass-fed or pastured butter, ghee, cheese, egg yolks, cream, some fermented foods like natto (but not sauerkraut), and liver is full of vitamin K2, a fat soluble vitamin, which works in tandem with calcium and vitamin D. It is not found in green leafy vegetables like vitamin K1. Vitamin K2 was first identified as ActivatorX by Dr. Weston Price. Dr Whitcomb describes the role vitamin K2 plays in the below YouTube. The short of it: Vitamin K2 controls your calcium metabolism directing where calcium goes in our body, and that is the bones and teeth and not in soft tissues like the arteries. or arthritic regions. Vitamin D makes calcium usable. I have heard some mention that the French may not have heart disease since cholesterol is not to blame, rather K2 clears out the plaque.
You can also check out this YouTube for a 3 hour lecture condensed into 38 minutes!
According to Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, Naturopathic Doctor and author of “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox – How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life,” other health conditions associated with vitamin K2 deficiency include: osteoporosis, diabetes, cavities, kidney disease, kidney stones, varicose veins and wrinkles, Alzheimer’s, and Arthritis. In addition vitamin K2 helps control cell growth helping to prevent cancers such as: lung, prostrate, and leukemia. Fertility wise, vitamin K2 also boosts testosterone and aids in fetal skeleton and teeth formation.
THE IMPORT OF FINDING NUTRITIVE ALTERNATIVES FOR CHRONIC DISEASE, WITH A FOCUS ON IBD, BUT PLEASE RECOGNIZE THE LIKELY EXTENSION TO OTHER INFLAMMATORY CHRONIC DISEASES:
This review excerpt: “[We} summarize the status of innovative nutritional interventions against gastrointestinal inflammation, their proposed mechanisms of action, and their preclinical and clinical efficacy, and present novel computational modeling approaches that can be applied to accelerate knowledge discovery in nutritional and mucosal immunology research. IBD affects up to 0.5% of the human population in developed countries, and numbers are increasing in the developing countries . The total number of IBD cases in the United States is estimated to be around 1 to 1.5 million , which results in annual direct health costs of $6.3 billion, with pharmaceutical claims accounting for ~30% of those expenses . Current treatments for IBD include corticosteroids (i.e., 6-methylprednisolone and budesonide), aminosalicylates and immunomodulators (i.e., azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, cyclosporine and methotrexate) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, anti-TNF-α humanized antibodies . These therapies ameliorate IBD by inducing and maintaining clinical remission, but cannot be considered for the long-term management of the disease due to their significant adverse side effects, which include immune suppression, enhanced susceptibility to malignancies and suppressed resistance against infectious diseases . In addition, none of these approaches has been approved as a prophylactic. Dissatisfaction with current traditional therapies has resulted in increased use of complementary and alternative medicine approaches such as prebiotics and probiotics, with an estimated incidence of 49.5% among IBD patients . Thus, exploring novel therapeutic and preventive approaches for IBD and their mechanisms of anti-inflammatory activity is both novel and important.“
Why I do not prefer “Dannon All Natural Plain Yogurt“ for the SCD yogurt starter?
One of the main problems is it’s likely from crummy CAFO herds which have more reactive A1 casein protein. These herds are large volume producing milkers, and to add even more insult to injury, they probably eat a crummy GMO corn and soy (and who knows what else) diet. Are they Grass-fed???? I’d say absolutely, “No” after cruising through Dannon’s website which provides very little detail actually about this yogurt none the less milk source. But at this point, with the Whole Foods 365 Greek 2% Yogurt unavailable, we’ve no other choice if we want a store sourced starter.
You can try to find a replacement but read labels. I’ve not been able to find any that does not also contain the bifidus strain, which is not permitted for SCD Homemade Yogurt. Bifidus has been found to cause bacterial overgrowth in a compromised gut. Be careful reading labels, it comes in a lot of name variations: Bifidobacterium infantis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus Bifidus, Bifidobacterium longum etc… Just avoid anything that has bifid in its name.
WHY I SUGGEST PROPORTIONING THE TWO STARTERS
If you still have Whole Foods 365 Greek 2% Yogurt in your fridge, and the expiration is still valid, you can use about a 9 Erivan to 1 Whole Foods 365 Greek 2% Yogurt ratio in your starter. This is the proportions contained in the LYO-SAN Acidophilus & Yogurt Capsules that are available from Lucy’s Kitchen as detailed by the manufacturer. You can use this same ratio if you are using the Dannon yogurt.
I do want to mention that if one is using the LYO-SAN Acidophilus & Yogurt Capsules, Lucy’s Kitchen does recommend opening the capsule and stirring the powder into a little water or soft food since the capsule ingredients changed about a year ago; the LyoSan capsule now contains: Nonfat milk powder, mycrocrystalline cellulose, capsules (hypromellose, gellan gum) ascorbic acid. It is due to the new hypromellose and gellan gum ingredients that they suggest people on the SCD not consume the capsule itself.
In other words, recognize that the additional Dannon or Whole Foods 365 Greek 2%Yogurt is added simply to boost probiotic diversity; but that the majority of the starter can be the acidophilus strain, or Erivan yogurt! That’s good news!
If you are considering reusing prior SCD Homemade Yogurt as starter yogurt, the “Breaking Vicious Cycle” and GAPS camps would highly discourage this practice since the fear of contaminants is a real concern, especially for those with compromised gut microbiomes.
So there you have it, this very same Whole Foods 365 Greek 2% Yogurt that was pulled earlier this summer since it was actually discontinued, returned amidst cries of angered consumers (or so I was told by a Whole Foods employee) again goes missing due to a possible sugar labeling error. But it will be back (or so a Whole Foods rep told me). The ramifications are probably not even appreciated or realized by Whole Foods, Consumer Reports, or the two class action law suit plaintiffs and attorneys, as to how this is really affecting the little guy who just wants to use decent quality of starter yogurt to help heal and modulate the gut microbiome and thus immunity.
Hoping Whole Foods gets their labeling issue resolved and returns this product quickly to their store shelves!
I hope you learned more about the immune modulating effects of CLA and in particular, that SCD yogurt, besides being probiotic and nutrient rich, can also be made to be CLA rich. Perhaps this is one part of the puzzle behind the anecdotal evidence of SCD success for remission or management of IBD and other chronic disease.
Last updated: January 14, 2017 at 7:59 am to add the reported results of recent testing performed to learn the quantity of probiotics in SCD cow, sheep, and coconut milk yogurts as documented in the Jan 9, 2017 post, The power of SCD yogurt. The prior update March 22, 2016 was for SEO optimization.
In good health through awareness,