I was at Sam’s Club a few weeks ago and they were trying to get people to eat samples of Activia. I had never seen the substance before and was curious plus my kids really wanted some.
“It has healthy bacterias,” the attendant smiled. It’s “bacteria.” but who’s counting?
The label proudly reads that Activia has Bifidus Regularis. “Hmm,” I thought, “that sounds odd.”
“Is it safe for kids?” I asked.
The lady paused and I realized who I was asking, I walked on.
Turns out that Bifidus Regularis is a made up name by Dannon substituted for Bifidobacterium animalis, discovered in 1969, it is a bacteria that exists in many mammals. Dannon markets the same bacteria with several different names depending on the country. Studies show that it is supposed to be good for digestion; regardless of the name, I think.
Dannon claims that eating Activa yogurt every day for two weeks will provide enough bifidus regularis to help speed up intestinal transit time. Finally a bacteria that will help speed my intestinal transit time! Truly, a dream come true! I thought bean burritos and travelling were the only solutions.
Dannon is also enjoying a class action lawsuit for these claims; the claimants are probably a bunch of tight wads. I wonder if the ruling will be binding.
Read more here.
The moral of the story? An intestinal bacteria by any other name is still an intestinal bacteria.