Yoghurt & Chemo

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I normally buy Alpro Greek yogurt but am due to start chemo on Weds and not sure if this is safe to eat, it contains:

S. thermophilus, and  L. bulgaricus. 

Does anyone know? 

  • The bottom line is you are not advised to eat live culture yogurts during chemo as the immune system would be greatly reduced by the chemo and it could not fight any infections caused by live cultures.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Sorry for my poor knowledge, but are S. thermophilus, and  L. bulgaricus live cultures?

  • I have no idea but did a quick online check and found this on the Alpro website……

    Our non-dairy yogurts include calcium and vitamin D along with plant-based live cultures including S. thermophilus and L. bulgaricus.

    So it looks like yes.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Thanks so much for this info, I appreciate it. 

  • I just found a copy of the information I was given by my chemo unit.  

    I was told the main issue was when our immune system is anyway reduced by treatments a small food bug in ‘any’ food can be hard for us to fight compared to someone having a fully functioning immune system that would not have any effects.

    Early on in my treatment I harassed my wife that I wanted a Chinese takeaway (even although my team had told me not to have them) the following morning I was very ill.... the rest of the family were fine... I had to go see my team and after a few tests I had developed Helicobacter Pylori, a bacteria that developed ulcers and stomach inflammation.

    It turns out a high percentage of the population have HP but it’s basically dormant but a small infection can set it off

    The 3 pack antibiotics I was given for the HP were horrendous..... never did have any more takeaway during and immediately after treatments until my counts were well up.... but even now - 10 years on we are very careful Rolling eyes

    Food when on Chemo

    Part of the way chemotherapy is it kills fast growing cells and this includes not only the cancer cells, but your white blood cells (neutrophils) that fight infections.

    The dieticians in my unit said that food safety and hygiene are very important…… and why take the chance of developing a food based infection during treatment.

    These were the tips I was given:

    Shop smart – Check foods are in date.

    Make sure you get the chilled and frozen foods home quickly.

    Prepare and clean up - Clean hands and the kitchen.

    Use separate chopping boards for raw and ready to eat foods.

    Prevent cross-contamination - Separate raw meats, chicken, seafood from ready to eat foods in the fridge.

    Cook food properly, piping hot throughout.

    Eat out in clean places and make sure your food is hot.

    Don't have carry out food as you can not control it.


    Meat, chicken and fish cooked through

    Pasteurised milk

    Cooked eggs with a firm yolk

    Washed fresh or cooked fruit and vegetables

    Hard cheese or soft cheese made from pasteurised milk

    Vacuum-packs meat, ham.

    Re-heat cold rice till it is steaming all the way through.

    Some foods have a higher risk of becoming tainted with bacteria. Here are some foods you might want to avoid.


    Raw or undercooked meat, chicken, fish and no shellfish

    Unpasteurised or raw milk

    Raw or undercooked eggs

    Unwashed fresh fruit and vegetables

    Soft cheeses made from unpasteurised milk

    Uncovered deli meats

    Cold rice

    To limit your risk of infection from food:

    • Cooking food (eggs/meat/fish) thoroughly and having good hand hygiene.
    • Avoid cross-contamination between cooked and raw foods
    • Wash fruit and vegetables well
    • Avoid unpasteurised cheeses and milk
    • Choose pasteurised milk, yoghurts and cheese
    • Ensure that food is in date
    • If having cooked/cured meat, opt to vacuum packed and not from the deli counter.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • That is very helpful, thanks. Why were Chinese foods of the menu? I do love a katsu curry from Wagamama!

  • The basic rule is don’t trust any type of fast food during chemo….. 

    Fast food is often cool by the time it is eaten….. and this short period of time is enough time for food bugs to develop….. A fully functioning immune system can deal with this but a reduced immune system won’t. Even at Hope be very carful when reheating any food, it needs to be very well re-heated.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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  • Wow! I didn’t know this, thank you! I was planning on buying ready meals for if I’m feeling too ill to cook, I take it they are ok?

  • Yes this is seen as ok…… as long as it is cooked correctly.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

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