Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I Heart DanActive. Here's Why...

Let's face it, dietitians tend to believe that food-based nutrients can be as genuinely supplemental to health as most medications. So when this wave of "Let's poop!" dairy-based yogurt-like probiotic products came out, they needed to be taken seriously....at least by us. At the end of the day, who doesn't want to clean themselves out? Waste equals weight. Previously we had acidophilus capsules, aloe vera, and a few bales of broccoli to do the job, but now once a day incorporating a small serving of these products instead? I had to try it, so I could at least answer the basic questions that one out of three people who know what my degree is in are going to ask.

Before we get into the gut to gut comparisons, some background information. What are probiotics? To short word this one, probiotics are bacteria that can help maintain the balance of the intestinal tract. As mentioned earlier, the most well known bacteria is Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in yogurt. These different strains of bacteria can be introduced in the diet to regulate the gut and make it more functional. While they may help in aid to a host of digestive issues, they can also cause allergic reactions and other side effects, so they should be monitored while in use.

I chose the three most commercial products to try: Activia, DanActive, and Yo-Plus. I judged them initially on texture and taste, followed by other aspects of convenience cross-referenced with their actual merit on improving my digestion. Their websites all show extensive scientific testing, etc., but frankly, if it tastes nasty, it's useless to me.

First, I tried Activia. Frankly, they were the frontrunners with their overly catchy theme music (Think "Hot Pockets" or "By Menon."), their aggressive "challenge" advertisements and using Jamie Lee Curtis as a spokesperson which makes me think of the some of her better work, etc....snowball effect, I'm trying it first. Sadly, it was fairly less than homogenized and gloppy and I did not even make it through the 4-pack of containers, let alone the challenge time... Icky. It did nothing for my taste buds (horrible fake sugar taste) or my digestion, although I would not have ingested as much as as was stated (two weeks) it would take to see a difference. This product was also panned by Andrew "The Yogurt Lover" at breakfast. If that kid won't eat it, trust me, there's something wrong with it. Sorry, Activia, you lose, even with your challenge rebate of freeness.

Second, I tried DanActive. They boast to have "more than 10 billion live cultures per bottle, including Dannon's exclusive L. casei Immunitas(TM)." Now why wouldn't I want that? Exclusive, trade-marked bacteria? Sign me up! The other thing I liked about this product is that it is a drink, kind of like a slightly fruity double shot of live bacteria. There is no spoon required. Pesky, time-consuming spooning is a such a plague with modern foods. And the container tossed easily in my recycling bucket; It gets major points for the convenience and green aspects. It also came in 8-packs which insured I would have enough to last a full week (one per day). But did it work? Why, yes it did! And only after two days, holy regulation, Batman! This is a product I would recommend, clearly. However, when I stopped using it, my digestive system lapsed back to its former sluggishness in about a week. It claims many aids to immunity, which frankly sound delightful, but in reality you are going to see basic changes just by cleaning out your intestines. Any time you rid yourself of toxins, you have a win-win situation.

Lastly, I tried Yo-Plus. Even though I already had an active love with DanActive, it seemed my local grocery was not ready for the run on it and one day I found myself without, and there was no way I was going to gag back any Activia. Yoplait had long been my favourite yogurt until their recent ad campaign featuring annoying women debating what kind of good the yogurt actually was (I broke my mute buttons on these hags.), so I felt it merited a taste test. It is the most like yogurt of the three, but it definitely has the shortest shelf life. One of the containers in the 4-pack was already molding by the time I got it out to eat. Some aggressive bacteria, indeed, although more likely a commentary on the ghetto quality of my local Fine Fare. This product tasted the most like a smooth creamy yogurt, so it got points there. And even denying the one moldy bit, it was easy to stick to three days of it, although no dent was made in my digestion. Then when I returned to get more, it was nowhere to be found. Back to DanActive.

So, in the great spirit of consumerism and choice, I would have to say that DanActive does make good on my digestion. I would recommend it only to healthy adults without medical conditions, of course, and each person's gut is, of course, different, as are their taste buds, so choose accordingly.



Katie said...


Thank you for your blog. I also have a great testimony for DanActive and I am doing marketing research on the product for my marketing paper. I would love to share your testimony about DanActive. Will that be ok? email me at beauty4ashes613@gmail.com. I cracked up at your batman comment! DanActive rules!!!

Katie said...

I want to say something else...on the shelflife...you must have gotten a bad package. I have kept some packs in my fridge for over a month. I have never had one to go bad on me.