February 15/Oslo, Norway/London Daily Mail -- Scientists have found that eating probiotic yogurts might significantly reduce a pregnant woman's risk of premature labor.
A team in Norway found a daily intake of "live" probiotic dairy foods, such as yogurt, cut the chances of an early delivery by up to 18%.
Products that contain probiotic bacteria, such as lactobacilli, are thought to protect against premature birth by reducing levels of harmful bacteria in the gut.
One theory is that high levels of bad bacteria lead to some passing into the uterus, causing a rupture of the amniotic sac.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health tracked 950 mothers who gave birth early. Results suggested women who ate probiotic yogurts were less likely to have a premature baby.
From the February 21, 2011, Prepared Foods E-dition