Actimel® is a yoghurt drink from Danone, which has been advertised in Germany for its "activation of the immune system" for 20 years and has often fallen into disrepute for this. Critics warn that Actimel® has no advantages over ordinary natural yoghurt, but is significantly more expensive. What exactly Actimel® actually is, how and whether it really works, you will find out in the following text.

Actimel® indication

Actimel® is not a medical product and therefore has no clear indication. Danone advertises its product with the ability to activate the body's defenses and prevent colds. The group has been under strong criticism for this for years. In 2009 they even received “the golden cream puff”, a negative award from the non-profit organization foodwatch, which campaigns for truthfulness in food advertising - and thus described Actimel® as a particularly bold advertising lie.

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Regardless of any controversy, Actimel® can actually have an effect, namely pure as what it is - a yogurt product. Yogurt contains so-called probiotics, which are lactic acid bacteria, some of which are are resistant to our body's own stomach and bile acids and can thus support the natural intestinal flora. Possible indications for probiotic yogurt products are chronic constipation and similar gastrointestinal problems. There is no scientific proof of the immune-boosting effect of probiotic yogurt products. However, they can make an important contribution to a balanced diet and thus support the immune system.

Active ingredient / effect of Actimel®

The ingredients of Actimel® are: yogurt, skimmed milk, sugar, glucose and Lactobacillus casei imunitass, a lactic acid bacterium. These ingredients make Actimel® a probiotic yogurt product. In this case, probiotic means that the lactic acid bacterium mentioned above can defy our body's own stomach and bile acids and work alongside our natural bacterial intestinal flora in our digestive system. The actual use of probiotic foods is a very controversial topic in medicine and must be differentiated from the administration of therapeutic probiotics as drugs. The study situation is very contradictory.

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In spite of everything, regular consumption of yogurt products apparently promotes better digestion. Some bacterial strains also influence the so-called MALT system of the intestine, which is responsible for stimulating the immune system. The exact mechanism of action is not yet known.

In summary, the effect can be said that yogurt products can be used as part of a balanced diet. However, it has not yet been proven that Actimel® is superior to conventional natural yoghurt.

What does "probiotic" mean?

As mentioned earlier, Actimel® is a probiotic yogurt product. In this case, probiotic means that the product contains certain lactic acid bacteria. These have the property of surviving the passage through the stomach and bile acids in a substantial proportion and thus have an influence on the body's own intestinal flora. By the way, intestinal flora is understood to mean the composition of microorganisms in our digestive tract - this consists mainly of different bacterial strains but also of fungal species.

Side effects and interactions of Actimel®

Actimel® is not a medical product and therefore has no proven side effects or interactions.

  • As a dairy product, however, it can be used in the case of corresponding food intolerances (see also: Lactose intolerance) lead to gastrointestinal problems.
  • Actimel® has a laxative effect when consumed in excess.
  • It can also lead to hypersensitivity to the ingredients.

The possible interactions of Actimel® can also be attributed to its milk-containing ingredients. There are some drugs, including antibiotics, which, in combination with dairy products, are not sufficiently absorbed and thus cannot work. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about this; you will usually find this information noted in the package insert.

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Dosage of Actimel®

The dose of Actimel® recommended by Danone is one vial of 100ml in the morning.

How much does Actimel® cost?

Actimel® can be found over the counter in many supermarkets. There are different pack sizes, and larger packs are often cheaper than "economy packages" calculated on the milliliter. 8 bottles of Actimel® cost around 3 euros.

Actimel® and alcohol - are they compatible?

There are no known interactions between Actimel® or yoghurt products and alcoholic beverages. However, if you resort to yogurt products to strengthen your immune system or to promote natural digestion, you should seek medical advice about a healthy diet. This will then also shed light on the possible negative effects of alcohol on these problems.

That could be interesting for you too: Consequences of alcohol

Actimel® or Yakult?

Yakult® is a Japanese probiotic yoghurt drink, which can also be found over the counter in Germany in supermarkets. Yakult® and Actimel® are very similar in terms of ingredients and contain a similar strain of lactic acid bacteria. From a medical point of view, none of the products can be preferred over the other. It should only be noted that Yakult® contains over 14 grams of sugar per 100ml (Actimel® 10.5g) - that is more than 100ml Coca Cola.

Read more about "Yakult®" under: Yakult® - The probiotic yoghurt drink "

Is Actimel® lactose-free?

Actimel®, as yoghurt, naturally contains milk sugar, so-called lactose, and can lead to gastrointestinal complaints in the case of lactose intolerance. There is currently no lactose-free variant.

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How many calories does Actimel® contain?

Actimel® currently has several product lines with different nutritional values ​​on the market. The classic Actimel® has per bottle (100ml) 71kcal and 10.5 grams of sugar. The Actimel® variant with 0.1% fat has 28 kcal with 3.3 grams of sugar.The information varies with the different flavors. For comparison: 100 grams of natural yoghurt with 1.5% fat have 47 kcal and 5.0 grams of sugar.

Is Actimel® allowed during pregnancy?

There are no contraindications to Actimel® and other probiotic yogurt products during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What types of Actimel® are there?

Actimel® is available in the classic version and the lighter version with only 0.1% fat content. Both varieties are available in different flavors such as classic, strawberry and vanilla.

Is Actimel® gluten free?

Actimel® is gluten-free.

Actimel® after taking antibiotics

As mentioned before, some antibiotics interact with dairy products that prevent proper absorption of the active ingredient. When prescribing, ask your doctor or pharmacist about a possible interaction and keep the intervals between dairy products and antibiotic intake in order to achieve the best possible therapy. This can often be found in the package insert.

Read more about this under: Treatment with antibiotics

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