Activia “probiotic” (promoting the growth of friendly bacteria) yogurt is a case study of successful marketing, based on its claims about the benefits of its particular live-and-active bacteria. Now its maker is being sued for overhyping the science and duping consumers into paying 30% more for Activia than for other yogurts. For what the company claims, see the Danone websit e.
To complicate the picture, Dutch investigators report the disappointing results of a clinical trial of probiotics in treatment of pancreatic cancer; the death rate was higher among study participants taking probiotics. Somehow, I doubt this had anything to do with the probiotics but it does suggest a need for caution in interpreting studies of benefit as well as risk.