How do I ferment dairy products

Fermenting: hipster trend or really healthy?

"Our intestinal flora is like a personal fingerprint," says Hans Hauner, Professor of Nutritional Medicine at the Technical University of Munich. It forms mainly at birth and in the first few months of life.

At the latest when we grow up, that will remain Gut biome relatively stable. Even after antibiotic therapy, which kills many microorganisms in our body, the intestinal flora usually forms again in roughly the same way as it was before. But this is also due to the fact that most people's lifestyle and diet are pretty much the same. Because Basically, nutrition influences our intestinal flora absolutely.

How many of the living bacteria that we ingest with fermented food can actually settle in the intestine and what they possibly cause there is not yet known for sure.

Health benefits only demonstrable for a few products

There are studies for fermented milk products that show a positive effect on health. A meta-study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found a Lowering of blood pressure in participants who had consumed a probiotic fermented milk. A Swedish meta-study showed that a diet high in fermented milk (yogurt and curdled milk) was beneficial to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease goes hand in hand.

In these studies, however, it was not investigated whether live microorganisms from the milk ended up in the test subjects' intestines. These studies cannot say anything about whether the positive effect on health is related to this. In addition, the findings cannot be transferred to other fermented foods.

The European Food Safety Authority has a register of all foods that can be advertised with health benefits. This only affects two fermented foods: Red mold rice and living Yogurt cultures. Red mold rice helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels, live yogurt cultures make lactose easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance. Prerequisite for this: There must be more than 108 living starter microorganisms that form colonies per gram. For all other health claims made on products containing live bacteria, there is not enough evidence to be cleared by the European Food Safety Authority.

Don't get stuck on individual foods

When examining the health benefits of individual foods, the following applies in principle: "It is not just a single food that has to be considered, but the entire diet," says Professor Bernhard Watzl, Head of the Federal Institute for Physiology and Biochemistry of Nutrition. A balanced, diverse diet will always have a greater effect on health than individual foods, including probiotic, fermented foods.