Capsules vs Yogurts

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Note: This article may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and purchase a product, Consumer’s Health Report may receive a commission, which allows us to continue to do our research.

How do probiotic yogurts measure up against probiotic capsules?

Yogurt probiotics were the original source of probiotics to be studied scientifically.

It was the finding that the probiotics within yogurt were associated with improved digestive function, nutrient uptake, and weight loss which led to the commercialization of probiotic yogurts and supplements we see today.

But is one more effective than the other?

The Short Answer: Capsules

Here’s why:

Although some yogurts do contain probiotics, the United States does not require yogurt to contain any live cultures. In fact, even if a yogurt claims to contain probiotics there is zero regulation on the minimum amount of probiotics which that product has to contain. For example, a yogurt could market itself as being a ‘source of probiotics’ even if it has a single culture of a single strain in it.

Even if a specific number is given, most companies that give a number report the viable cell count at the date of manufacture, a number probably much higher than existing at the moment of consumption. This is because the probiotics of yogurt are further limited by the associated shelf life and cold storage needs of yogurt. Also, many individuals might find it difficult to consume a sufficient amount of yogurt to meet your digestive tract’s probiotic needs – especially while trying to meet their caloric needs.

Another factor that detrimentally affects the viability of the live cultures is stomach acid. Whether it’s yogurt, kombucha, or tablets, the probiotics are exposed to stomach acids during their journey to the gastrointestinal tract. This results in the probiotics converting to paraprobiotics that will just produce gases and provide little to no benefits in the body.

Now this is where the importance of taking a product that has been enteric coated comes into play, it ensures viability and improves the deliverability of the probiotics. How do enteric coated capsules work? Here’s how…

Enteric coated capsules are typically made from polymer or plant cellulose. These compounds are able to resist the stomach’s harmful acids. For example enteric coating will not dissolve in the body until it reaches an environment that does not have a high ph.

When the capsule reaches a less acidic environment which is when the capsule makes it to the gastrointestinal tract, is where it’s actually able to colonize faster and more efficiently, overall this helps the life of the probiotics so they can do more in our bodies, helping our everyday function.

If you are seeking benefits from probiotics, it’s always best to choose a probiotic supplement for a variety of reasons, most likely a supplementary form will be enteric coated, contain a wider selection of strains, have a higher CFU and be formulated to target more problems that we deal with everyday.

On average yogurt only contains 4 strains of probiotics and is only 1 Billion CFU, while the average probiotic supplement contains 8 key strains of probiotics and is 40 Billion CFU on average. Each probiotic strain has a variety of its own benefits to offer to the body so widening the range of strains is going to be more effective.

This may not sound like a big difference but take this into consideration, there are literally billions of more good bacteria in a supplement than yogurt! And this makes a huge difference in supplement form the probiotics are able to colonize at much faster rate, allowing them to eliminate the bad bacteria faster than yogurt will.

The same probiotic strains you are found in yogurt can also be found in most probiotic supplements, but at a much higher rate.

One of the most common reasons people will choose yogurt over capsule form is because sometimes capsules will contain common allergens many of us suffer from, however the supplement industry has caught on to this problem and most companies have made the switch to gluten free dairy free capsules, free of most common allergens, allowing a larger group of individuals to take probiotic supplements.

If yogurt does not stay refrigerated it detrimentally affects the quality of the live cultures (live-probiotics) this is even a problem in many probiotic supplements, but most of them have caught on and started freeze drying their products so the live cultures can remain viable. Once freeze dried a probiotic supplement can remain viable up to 2 years if stored out of direct sunlight, and the best part is it no longer requires refrigeration, this makes the probiotics great for having on hand when traveling, working, or occupied with daily activities. Overall we recommend finding a probiotic supplement rather than trying to get the recommended dose of probiotics by consuming yogurts, in a supplement the amount and variety of probiotics will be there and will host the benefits more efficiently.


When it comes to the delivery of probiotics, enteric-coated capsules are the superior option, although both can be effective.

Enteric-coated capsules protect the probiotic microorganisms on the journey through the digestive system. The enteric coating protects the probiotics from stomach acid (which can kill them) and allows them to reach the intestines, which is where they need to reach in order for them to have health benefits.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email

Recommended Articles

Black text on a yellow background that says "lactobacillus bulgaricus" and a graphic of a bacterial cell

Lactobacillus Bulgaricus: A Probiotic Strain

Lactobacillus bulgaricus, also known as Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus is a member of the acidophilus group of lactic acid group of bacteria and Firmicutes phylum (1,2,3). Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus is one of the subspecies of Lactobacillus delbrueckii along with

BlueBiotics Ultimate Care Review

-EDITORS’ CHOICE-           Overall Rating:          4.8/5 What Really Sets BlueBiotics UC Apart From The Rest? For years, BlueBiotics has been the most highly recommended and most effective probiotic supplement available. With their new supplement, BlueBiotics Ultimate Care, BlueBiotics

The Top 5 Best Prebiotic Supplements of 2020

Dietary fibers contain a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that is unlike anything else we eat. For that reason, the scientific community has studied them extensively over the past few decades. The resulting list of benefits is incredibly long

Image of a bowl of miso soup, which can contain the probiotic lactobacillus gasseri

Lactobacillus Gasseri

While bacteria are often associated with sickness, infection, and a host of other health issues, they are an essential part of a healthy GI system. The gut microbiome, consisting of countless bacteria found mostly in the large intestine, has been

Image of a container of the best prebiotic supplement, BlueBiology 100% Plant Based Prebiotic

BlueBiology Prebiotic Review

BlueBiology’s BlueBiotics Ultimate Care probiotic supplement has been our preferred probiotic supplement for some time now and it’s what we recommend the most when people ask us about probiotics. So when BlueBiology came out with their prebiotic supplement, we were

Image of the top 5 best probiotics

Top 5 Probiotics of 2020

Within the past few years, the probiotics market has been EXPLODING. Doctors may have been prescribing them for a long time, but only recently have people started including these extraordinary supplements in their daily diets. Those who have started regularly

Image of a person holding prebiotic grains

What Are Prebiotics?

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers, carbohydrates, and certain types of sugar that act as food for probiotic microorganisms that pass through the digestive system. By eating prebiotics or taking a prebiotic supplement, you can improve the balance of microflora in your

Image of a woman holding a glass of water taking probiotic supplement bifidobacterium longum in a pill

Bifidobacterium Longum: A Probiotic Bacteria

Bifidobacterium longum is a rod-shaped, Gram-positive, anaerboic bacterium strain in the Bifidobacterium genus of the phylum Actinobacteria (1,2). Bifidobacteria are prokaryotes, which mean that they are unicellular organisms that do not have a membrane-bound nucleus, mitochondria, or membrane-bound organelle (3).

Image of yogurt on a table from above, which can contain lactobacillus casei

Lactobacillus Casei

Lactobacillus casei is a rod-shaped, gram-positive, non-spore forming bacterium strain in the Lactobacilli genus (1). It is found in many strains in lactic acid fermented food products such as sauerkraut, fermented meat and fish, sourdough, pickled vegetables, and wine as

Image of yogurt, fruit and granola in a bowl on a table, which can contain the probiotic lactobacillus rhamnosus

Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

What is Lactobacillus rhamnosus? Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is a form of naturally occurring bacteria that is commonly found in the genital and urinary tract of human females. It is one of the most widely used probiotic strains, and is often