Bifidus Actiregularis, Bifidus Regularis, Bifidus Digestivum, Bifidobacterium Lactis and variants

Bifidus Actiregularis, Bifidus Regularis, Bifidus Digestivum, Bifidobacterium Lactis and its variants are marketing names generated by Danone (known in the United States of America as Dannon) for one of the specific bacteria it uses in its “Activia” range of yoghurt products.

According to a reply received from Dannon by the Writerious blog, Bifidus Regularis (and therefore presumably all the variations of Bifidus…) is a proprietary strain of Bifidobacterium.

The source of “Bifidus” is from the intestinal bacterium Bifidobacterium animalis, a kind of bacteria found in the large intestines of most mammals, including humans. “Actiregularis” is an invented word, the first half of which which emphasises the active nature of the bacteria. In common with with Bifidus Regularis, the “regularis” part emphasises being “regular” and the “is” at the end suggests a scientific derivation. The bacteria is known as Bifidus Actiregularis in UK marketing materials and Bifidus Regularis in marketing materials from the USA.

Bifidus Actiregularis used to be called Bifidus Digestivum in UK marketing materials. “Digestivum” is an invented word which uses “digestive” as a root to suggest beneficial effects on digestion, combined with the latinate ending “um” to suggest a scientific derivation.

It is known as Bifidobacterium Lactis in Canadian marketing materials, where Lactis uses the Latin root for milk (“lac” / “lact-“) and “is” to suggest a scientific derivation.

It is known as “Digestivum Essensis” in German and Austrian marketing materials. These are both invented words, the first emphasising digestion and the second emphasising the “essential” nature of the nutrition, using latinate endings to suggest a scientific derivation.

The name of the bacteria changes from country to country and over time, to reflect differences in marketing strategy and consumer behaviour. One suggestion for the change in the UK from Bifidus Digestivum from Bifidus Actiregularis is that Bifidus Digestivum was so ridiculed it become a liability – do a Google search for Bifidus Digestivum to see the results.

The scientifically correct name for the bacteria is “Bifidobacterium animalis DN 173 010”.

The BBC has recorded an excellent radio programme about gut bacteria, including a discussion of the fundamental uncertainty about the very specific advertised claims for probiotics.

Read more about probiotics, prebiotics, and intestinal flora, Danone’s marketing strategy and what’s in Activia, Danactive and Actimel using the More information menu on the right.

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  • Nothing like watching Jamie Lee Curtis talking about taking a number 2 every day on the TV. Maybe there should be a 2 for 1 deal between Danon and Febreeze.

    Posted by Yambo #76 on 4th March 2013

  • I dont know much but wouldn’t the bacteria get killed in the stomach before they have a chance of reaching gut?

    Posted by New2Me on 28th February 2013

  • My husband and I started eating Activia (flavors we like are the blueberry /strawberry & I myself love piutting
    Granola in my Vanilla Dannon Activia.) We were told by my mom a nd step dad that Activia
    Had played a huge part in helping regulate their stomachs by increased bowel movement
    But also softening stools…so pain from constipation( let alone constipation at all) has not been an issue in their
    Daily lives anymore. So my husband and I started to eat it based off of my mom’s referral to
    Give it a try. My husnand and I both suffer from extreme constipation from the medications we are both on.
    Let me tell you that after two days of eating yogurt (I had one the first day and 2 the second day because
    I just felt like eating more( or was more hungry for no other particular reasoning besides the fact that im pregnant and) THE YOGURT REALLY WORKS–I dont care what anyone says–I know it works for my parents/siblings and my husband and I –we are all using the restroom with fewer problems and definitely no more BLOATING OR CONSTIPATION ANY MORE!!!! THANKYOU ACTIVIA AND DANON!!! WE LOVE HOW YOUR ACTIVIA HAS CHANGED BBQ OUR LIVES FOR THE BETTER!!

    Posted by Jocelyn H. on 26th February 2013

  • I apologize for misspelling Activia in my comment below. I did not mean to type Activist. Typo error on iPhone. Sorry lol

    Posted by Jules on 6th February 2013

  • Activist has worked for me and I think it has a better taste than other yogurts I have tried. I take medications daily that cause constipation and have had trouble with it all my life. I eat an Activia every morning and have not had a problem since. However, I first bought the product because it was the cheaper of the 2 yogurts at Cosco and decided to try it for no other reason than that. I really liked the way it tasted, and the other benefits I got were just a bonus. It doesn’t cost any more than other brands of yogurt and has a much creamier taste to me. I will continue to buy it for the taste alone.

    Posted by Jules on 6th February 2013

  • Biffidud actiregularis is just a madeup marketing name, I could say I have identified bigbottomius actiregularus and added into a product and unless you can prove differently I have myself a marketing spin, as with Yakult in order to be effective as per the advertising campaign all these products first have to get through the acid bath that is our stomachs and survive to get to the part where that are claimed to be effective , which they can’t as the stomach acid kills anything living in the product, eat a healthy diet, lots of greens and wake up to all the marketing hype that wrongly convinces you this rubbish is good for you, you are what you eat and who wants to be a biffidus?

    Posted by Truth sayer on 29th January 2013

  • To be fair, there are a lot of people out there who would fall for these sort of cheap but effective marketing tactics.
    Maybe its the governments fault for not educating people properly.
    Danone are just the b@stards taking advantage of the situation!

    Posted by Lister on 28th January 2013

  • I recommend Activia whenever I get the chance! I picked it up not knowing about
    The gram positive bacteria and fell in love with it within the first week! Not only do I get it because of the improved digestion but I love how it tastes. Most yogurts taste watery or chalky. LOVE this product. Glad it worked for me 🙂

    Posted by Tiny city on 23rd January 2013

  • No shit Sherlock another lode of bullshit from marketing people to try and fool us. Do they think we are thick???

    Posted by Grumpy old man on 7th January 2013

  • Can you have an allergic reaction from eating the yogurt with Bifidus Regularise

    Posted by Sophie on 20th December 2012

  • can you be alergic to bifidus regularise

    Posted by Linda on 20th December 2012

  • I’m not listening to any comments. I tried Activia, prune flavor, a few months ago and threw out 2 out of 4 packs since I was used to eating Greek and other yogurts and the Activia was not very tasty. At that time I ate yogurt pretty regularly and I wasn’t having any problems.

    Now, I will be having a colonoscopy in a few weeks. I have also been having intermittent problems with Gerd and constipation and the manager of the colonoscopy center recommended I use Activia regularly. She said yogurt doesn’t have the same benefits. It’s been 4 hours since my first cup of peach Activia which was very tasty, and my stomach still hurts from all the OTC products I have been using. Looking at these comments, I half expected to be in bathroom in pain by now, but really there is not much change. My grocery store had a 12 pack of peach and strawberry for $5.98 so it wasn’t too expensive, and I am going to give it a chance. Also a friend and a neighbor both said they had or were currently using it every day and liked it very much.

    So, I will report back later.

    Posted by Gladys on 15th November 2012

  • I had the flu once and with it came a nasty bout of “intestinal upset” that lasted for almost a week. I called the public health nurse and asked her if I should eat yogurt of any kind and this is what she said: (loosely).

    1. Most yogurts are high in calories, specifically sugars.
    2. The amount of yogurt you would need to eat to counter-act and re-balance your digestive track would basically amount to a bucket of yogurt.
    3. The balance of bacteria in the gut is delicate and established over time. When something unbalances it you have to locate and remove that part of your diet and wait it out.

    I then asked about this one, Activia because they make the claim that their yogurt is better than others for this specific reason – and her response was essentially:

    “Think about what happens when one bacterium gains a competitive advantage over the others in the gut: diarrhea is usually the result. Why and how could one specific strain cause all the other strains in your gut (thousands of varieties by the way) to fall nicely into line. Unlikely. ”

    Your basic balanced high fibre diet is the way to go in all cases. I was advised to keep hydrated and wait it out. A few days later I was back to normal.

    If you want to regulate your gut; eating regularly and including lots and lots of fibre is very effective.

    Posted by CDYCo on 11th November 2012

  • The name in Italy is “Bifidus Actiregularis” and sounds idiotic. Obviously it is misleading the cosumers. Ironicly in Italy “bifido” sounds also like: “do not trust”!!!

    Posted by Chaim on 29th October 2012

  • It is with great conncern that Dannon uses this gimmick to increase the price. I was in the health care field for almost 12 years working with dieticians and doctors alike. People get with the program, yogart is yogart and the enzymes are all basically the same. Dannon and it’s Parent company should be shut down for missleading the American public and the fleecing of consumers world wide. You can and will get the same results from any yogart including great value from Wal=Mart. If you think there is that much of a differance then you are psycologicly trapped in the world of mind benders from advertising field. Thank You.

    Posted by Bill the Pill on 22nd October 2012

  • I agree – probably more for deisgn than effective selling. They might be too subtle for Mexico (where I live), but I guess Activia’s trying to stand out – any decently-sized supermarket here has practically an entire aisle of drinkable yogurt products (much like the soda aisle – I should’ve attached a pic). I nearly died laughing at the segmented packaging of milk also (same brand sold separately for boys, girls, soccer moms and the rare whipped or closeted dad doing the shopping) – which made me think of your blog.

    Posted by Fenando on 21st October 2012

  • I’m a boring yorgut person too, although I don’t mind a few different flavors. I do tend to stick to one brand though, but after your review I’m up for trying this kind! I love granola and think that would probably be yummy in my yorgut, and getting extra nutritional benefits from the Activia can’t hurt either, right?!

    Posted by Jojoje on 19th October 2012

  • Whatever name is used for marketing strategy, Activia is the only yogurt that helps to regulate my system since I had surgery last year. None of the others work so Dannon must be doing a good job.

    Posted by Marcia Tinto on 11th October 2012

  • The “new” strain of B. animalis the Dannon claims to be better than the garden variety can be derived in two ways and is not necessarily a GMO made by genetic engineering. This strain may well be isolated from the mammalian gut originally and then naturally selected to grow at a certain temperature or under a certain ph which is best for manufacturing. Dannon then just isolated the strain and was able to show a slight genetic difference and so could claim that they had invented a new strain and pulled a patent on it. Any variation in a microb pure culture can theoretically be patented as a new strain of that species, however, the “regularis” name suggesting benfits for regularity beyond other yogurts is BS — I agree with the other comments on this matter but do not agree with the other comments on the fear that this strain is engineered and therefore may be dangerous. If it works better for your gut than cheaper yogurts then use it.

    Posted by Dr. S Porter on 8th October 2012

  • So what’s the big deal here? Don’t all yogurts have active cultures? Yoplait does, you can use it to,start you own yogurt or sourdough starter. It just depends on their point origination. I am curious to see how much of the culture actually survives the digestion process which evolved to disable foreign bacteria from food

    Posted by Bob L on 16th September 2012

  • Can Bifidus l Casel work on the digestive system or do we need the regularis ingredient as well?

    Posted by Eeggener on 1st September 2012

  • I’ve been eating yogurt since I was a kid. The thing that tipped me off about this Activia is the fact that “bifidus regularis” has a little “tm” (trademark) on the label.

    Under U.S. Patent Law, you cannot patent anything such as an organism which occurs naturally. Only man-made things can be patented.

    Therefore, Dannon had to invent a name to make the public think this is something SPECIAL! It isn’t! All yogurt contains live cultures, whatever strain of “bifidus” it is. Additionally, ANY yogurt will be beneficial to your gut health, not just Activia. This is just a bunch of BS. You’ll get more bang for your buck if you buy the larger containers of yogurt, stick to “organic” and don’t buy the other brands, either, that have all the artificial ingredients like aspartame and spelnda!

    Posted by Bev H on 3rd August 2012

  • I am a 37 year old male and I eat this stuff every day I don’t have terrible gas any more and it has saved my marriage. My wife doesn’t mind sleeping in the same bed with me now.

    Posted by Tim b on 26th July 2012

  • a) Plain youghurt as Grandma’s effective home remedy for mild to moderate diarrhea can be remembered since time immemorial.
    b) GPs who forgot to prescribe multi vitamin drugs alongside oral broad spectrum antibiotic treatment for their patients would recollect patients complaining about stomach dis-order usually accompanied by diarrhea as the
    antibiotics probably killed the Bifidobactereium present in the gut.
    c) If in these days of competition at break neck speed one should not make too much hue & cry for any last ditch marketing effort using the beneficial selling point of the” Bifidobacterium animalis”

    Posted by Peekay the sufferer &benificiary on 16th July 2012

  • I’ve had three operations for constipation and now that I’m in 80’s, things wearing out (?), I have the runs so started eating only protein which caused bloating, alittle constipation and a hard stomach. So I just ate my first Activia. I’ll let you know…………

    Posted by Jean at the beach on 12th July 2012

  • What about the lawsuit? Nobody mentions the lawsuit. Dannon(makers of Activia) recently was forced by the FTC to pay out $21 mil for false advertising, regarding the regularity thing. Didn’t you notice? Jaimie Lee now says “three times a day,” instead of “daily.” The FTC required this.
    I think what this means is, it does have some beneficial effect, just not nearly what they were claiming at first.
    I tried it back in ’07, in the wake of HepC treatment, which had me almost totally constipated. During the “once daily” campaign, and it seemed to work (and I didn’t even eat it every day) for about three weeks. Then it didn’t. That could have been due to my particular condition. I don’t know.
    Anyway, I’m glad to learn of the lawsuit and that they were allowed to continue, ’cause that suggests “Bifidus Poopalotius” (they make up words, I can too) probably does have some beneficial effect, just not as impressive as we were originally led to believe.

    Posted by Albert Decker on 28th June 2012

  • So, genetically modified bacteria to mimic the effects of 2 bacteria instead of one
    Damnit i just ate that Shit on accident
    i severely destest eating gmo’s( genetically modified organisms )
    you never know how the food you eat can be genetically modifying you!

    Posted by Kaiti Lynn on 24th June 2012

  • Just curious, outside of the regulatory nature that it does to you, does this do the same thing as cleaning your intestines? I’ve been doing this Bifidus thing for a while now. I wouldn’t want to be a Bifidus Bonehead to only find out it’s alot of bacteria that’s going to make me have a Bifidus Barf.

    Just curious??

    Posted by Dan on 12th June 2012

  • I wanted to know what Bifidus Regularis is but unfortunately all I got is different names. I am experiencing the law of diminishing returns. It worked for the first week; now I am back to being bloated again. What gives!!!!!

    Posted by Chicago Moe on 24th May 2012

  • I have been taking Activia for few weeks now and I must say it has regulated me and took care of my constipation like nothing else. I was just wondering if it causes discoloration of stool or not.

    Posted by Karen on 22nd May 2012

  • Nice

    Posted by A on 19th May 2012

  • Hola! I’ve been following your weblog for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

    Posted by SoliSataddy on 17th May 2012

  • Basically he/she is saying that the bacteria in Activia is called ‘Bifidobacterium animalis’ and all the other names are made up names used for marketing purposes.

    Posted by Ree on 11th May 2012

  • I have just begun using Activia one per day.I really hope it works as I have always had problems with regularity.

    Posted by Babs on 5th May 2012

  • I have always had difficulty with regularity since being an adult. i found immediate and sustaining results from one small carton of Activia per day. I am very satisfied. I will look for capsule forms for when I travel.

    Posted by Suzy on 21st April 2012

  • I like activia, it works

    Posted by michael on 17th April 2012

  • It works!!!!! and tastes goo too:)

    Posted by Enter your name here on 27th March 2012

  • Agreeing with the last comment. You didn’t answer the question we’re still asking. What is Bifedus Regularis??

    Posted by Matthew on 24th March 2012

  • This was completely pointless, The only thing you did was tell me that it was a bacteria found in your intestines then talked about the stupid oregin of its name in differt counties the rest of the time. You wasted both your and my time with this crap. I just wanted you to know this

    Posted by Enter your name here on 16th March 2012

  • I am on day three. I will keep writing on this site, and let everyone know if there is actually a difference after two weeks. I am eating 3 of the 70 calorie Activia yogurts daily.

    Posted by Peggy on 7th March 2012

  • I have been eating this for the last few days and too am more bloated than I have ever been. Agreed, they are awful!

    Posted by Enter your name here on 15th February 2012

  • Ha! a total load of bollo**s, made up names, based upon ‘health’ perception. Still I’m sure Danone would argue otherwise. The body already contains sufficient equipment to manage it’s gut requirements. That is unless one is actually ill!

    Posted by Unbeliever on 6th February 2012

  • yo mama so fat, when she no longer eats actvia, she explodes

    Posted by yo mama on 26th January 2012

  • I’ve been eating Activia for the last 4 days.It tastes great and seems to be working.

    Posted by Bill on 19th January 2012

  • I have eaten yoghurts with this for three days and I am more bloated than I have ever been. They are awful.

    Posted by Sarah on 18th January 2012

  • This is good to know.

    Posted by Enter your name here on 13th January 2012

  • yes but wot does it do

    Posted by james on 8th December 2011

  • thanks for good information

    Posted by said kh.ahmed on 1st December 2011

  • Whatever it is, it works.

    Posted by midsouth72 on 22nd November 2011

  • My comment is: how come Dannon doesn’t use the term bifidus regularus any longer ? Seems that the term was a marketing ploy from the Dannon company.
    I knew this all along.

    Posted by H. Spoto on 22nd October 2011