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An easy, scientifically proven way to help improve digestive health*

Nutrition and bacterial balance both play significant roles in digestive and overall health. A healthy digestive system, particularly in the intestinal tract, is important for absorbing the essential nutrients that our body needs for an active and healthy lifestyle.

One of the important indicators for digestive health is transit time. Transit time is defined as the length of time it takes for something to pass through the digestive system, normally 24 to 72 hours. Slow transit is a regular source of discomfort for a significant proportion of the population in Western countries, with more women than men experiencing it and increasing in prevalence with age.(1) Slow transit is often associated with feeling uncomfortable, bloated or irregular and thus may have consequences on overall quality of life. An easy way to improve slower transit is through the daily consumption of probiotic products with a specific benefit on digestive transit, such as Activia® yogurt*.

How probiotics can influence digestive health
The human digestive system is naturally inhabited by billions of bacteria - beneficial as well as less appreciated ones. That is where probiotic products can help. A probiotic is a living microorganism that, when administered in adequate amounts, confers a specific health benefit.

Activia is a probiotic yogurt that is scientifically proven to help improve slower digestive transit time and thus help support digestive health*. Activia differs from other yogurts due to its unique probiotic strain, Bifidobacterium animalis DN-173 010 (Bifidus ActiRegularis®), that has been proven to survive passage through the digestive tract and reach the gut in high quantities.(2-4)  Once there, it works alongside the beneficial microbiota and helps to support digestive health by improving slower intestinal transit time*.(5-8)

The effect of Activia is proven by a number of scientific and clinical studies. For example, one scientific study in healthy adults showed that daily consumption of Activia significantly reduced colonic transit time by 21%.(8) Slower digestive transit can also influence overall digestive discomfort: 82% of people with self-reported digestive discomfort said they felt better after eating Activia for two weeks**, and 87% reported feeling less bloated***.

Help your patients feel more comfortable talking about digestive health:

  • Routinely talk about digestive health - your patients will be keen to discuss if prompted.
  • Ensure that you understand exactly what they describe by rephrasing and/or repeating their statements back to them.
  • Digestive discomfort can be associated with a variety of factors. Adopt a holistic approach in your consultation, focusing on quality of life, exercise and diet.
  • Place leaflets about digestive health and diet in your waiting room or reception area.

Recommendations to help improve digestive health:

  • Probiotic yogurts: consumption of dairy products rich in probiotic bacteria with proven scientific evidence, such as Activia yogurt, can help improve slower transit time*.
  • Healthy diet: it's important to get balance and variety in your daily diet to help maintain good overall, including digestive, health. Consuming food high in fibre such as vegetables, fruit and wheat bran can all help to improve digestive health.
  • Adequate hydration: consumption of 1-1.5 litres of fluids daily helps to ensure regular transit.
  • Exercise and physical activity: physical activity appears to increase colonic activity through the pressure exerted by the abdominal muscles and will support overall health as well.

Causes of digestive discomfort:

  • Nutritional parameters: a poor diet and rushing or skipping meals can lead to feelings of digestive discomfort.
  • Age: modifications in the microbiota may be caused by age-related changes.
  • Menopause: in menopausal women, there appears to be a moderate increase in yeasts and Clostridium, which may be attributed to changes in their hormonal profile.
  • Lifestyle changes: many situations involving physical or psychological stress, prolonged fatigue or sudden changes in daily routine can modify the balance of the intestinal microbiota.
  • Certain medicines: antibiotics are a common and significant reason for change in the microbiota as well.
  • Illness: certain diseases and conditions, such as diarrhoea, IBS or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), modify the distribution of the microbiota and can increase the percentage of pathogens present.

In the light of rising cases of digestive discomfort, it is important to recognise the overall benefits of maintaining good digestive health. The consequences of slow transit time can extend well beyond daily discomfort and can play an important part in overall quality of life. Quality of the diet, physical activity levels as well as the balance of the bacteria in the intestines are all important. Daily consumption of probiotic foods with proven scientific evidence, such as Activia yogurt, can help improve slower transit time, thus being an easy way to help improve digestive health*.

If you would like to receive the following materials, please email and include your contact details and the specific type and number of materials requested:

  • Activia Scientific Summary including a glossary of terms.
  • Top Tips for Digestive Health for patients' consultations.

For more information visit

Best time to take a step towards digestive health              

Every 29 May, the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) celebrates World Digestive Health Day. The 2008 focus is "Optimal Health and Nutrition".

The WGO Foundation believes that nutrition is integral to digestive health. Within nutrition, daily probiotics can play a major role in digestive health. To support this, the WGO Foundation and Danone have entered into a three year partnership and are working together to help raise awareness and improve digestive health around the world.

*Activia is scientifically proven to help improve slower digestive transit when at least one pot is eaten every day for 14 days as part of a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle.
**Study where 292 consumers ate one or two pots of Activia everyday for 14 days.
***As compared to 53.5% who reported feeling less bloated in the control group.

  1. Wyman JB, et al. Gut 1978;19:146-50.
  2. Berrada N, et al. Jour of Dairy Science 1991;74(2):409-13.
  3. Collado M, et al. Food Research International 2006;39:530-535.
  4. Picard C, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2005;22:495-512.
  5. Marteau P, et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2002;16;587-593.
  6. Meance S, et al. Microb Ecol Health Dis 2003;15:15-22.
  7. Meance S, et al. Microb Ecol Health Dis  2001;13:217-222. 
  8. Bouvier M, et al. Bioscience and Microflora 2001;20(2):43-48.