A friend mentioned that the bacteria used to make blue cheeses has similar beneficial properties to the bacteria in yogurt.
Could you clarify?
— Corey Clark
Like other fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, and tempeh), aged blue cheeses — including roquefort and gorgonzola — contain health-promoting live and active cultures (AKA “bacteria”) commonly known as probiotics.
Blue cheeses contain significant amounts of Penicillium bacteria. In the case of roquefort cheese, or instance, the specific bacteria is Penicillium roqueforti.
Research on the specific health benefits of these strands is limited (largely because these cheeses are not consumed in the same quantities as yogurt). However, it has been established that these are indeed probiotics that survive the digestive process (meaning they have some effect).
As with anything else, probiotic foods are only effective if they are eaten on a consistent basis.
Remember, too, that probiotics appear to work best in diets that are also high in prebiotics (leafy greens, whole grains, beans, and legumes are the best sources).
More evidence that eating real, whole, unprocessed foods is the best way to go.