School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Yogurt and Probiotics

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  • Bacteria: one-celled, microscopic organisms that grow and multiply everywhere on Earth. They can be either useful or harmful to animals... more
  • Culture: a growing “soup” of microscopic organisms and the nutrients they need to survive.
  • Microbe: a living thing so tiny that you would need a microscope to see it... more
  • Probiotic: food or another substance that helps to replenish microorganisms in specific parts of the body.
  • Vitamin: molecules found in the cells of living things that are needed for growth. They come from the food you eat, and cannot be made in the body... more

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Yogurt to the rescue!

Has a doctor ever suggested that you "Eat some yogurt!" when you’re sick and taking antibiotics? It’s a smart thing to do. Yogurt is chock-full of protein, vitamins, and calcium. It’s also a superb source of good, helpful bacteria. Another word for these good bacteria is probiotics.

yogurtThe good bacteria found in yogurt are known as live cultures. That means they are still alive when you eat them. Yogurt usually contains a few different kinds of microbes. It’s made under controlled conditions to allow only the good bacteria to grow. Letting in bad bacteria might spoil the food and make it taste bad, or even make you sick. The reason to eat probiotics after being treated with antibiotics is simple. You recharge your digestive system with a new batch of good bacteria.

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Additional images from Wikimedia via Oxytousc (yogurt).

yogurt

Yogurt is a great source of good bacteria for your body. It also makes a healthy snack.

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yogurt

Yogurt is a great source of good bacteria for your body. It also makes a healthy snack.

book icon” title=“book icon Microbes

Story Behind the Scenes

 

For Teachers

Download comic as PDF packet
or
Get a MagCloud version for print or iPad

Share to Google Classroom

Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.