Its discoverer Élie Metchnikoff received the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1908 for its beneficial effects on the human body

From the ancient Greece it is known that certain foods are good for health. As Hippocrates said in the 5th century BC: "Get your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food" this phrase happened to modern man by the maxim: "We are what we eat". The Greeks knew by experience that clotted milk was a good remedy for stomach ills, from liver or respiratory diseases. They believed that it was a "miracle" food.

The mongol Emperor Genghis Khan fed his host and "kumis", a kind of milk drink containing alcohol. And the nomadic populations of the Carpathians and the Caucasus used pouch of goatskin and transporting fresh milk; at the end the milk turned into a semi-solid mass, in contact with the bacteria that fermenting the milk to heat the skin bag. Empirically it was discovered that these foods are not damaged, knew well and were good for health; the scientific explanation is that the bacteria produce lactic acid from carbohydrates benefit the human being.

Over time the terms (of Arab origin) yogurt is emerged or 'milk Bulgarian'. Although yogurt is the most famous, there are other types of fermented milk drinks: "Mazum" (Armenia), "Kefir" (Russia) or "Masslo", in Iran. Today (BAL) lactic acid bacteria are very popular.

The official "discoverer" of living microorganisms beneficial to health was the Ukrainian microbiologist Élie Metchnikoff, who got the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1908 by discovering the mechanism of action of fermented milk (yoghurt, Bulgarian milk) and its beneficial effects on the human organism. Firstly, the researcher showed that fermentation of yogurt was possible by the action of bacteria (Lactobacilli) able to convert the milk sugar into lactic acid; the resulting substance prevented the development in the intestine of harmful microorganisms that arise after the breakdown of food. He managed to isolate in the laboratory at the "good bacteria".

And what was his field work? Studying the reason of longevity in Bulgaria. A not very developed country like this at the beginning of the 20th century had a relevant number of citizens who exceeded the hundred years… The reason, according to the Ukrainian microbiologist, was at the base of the diet: yogurt or Bulgarian milk. Thus, Metchnikoff became defender of the Hippocratic concept of the "dieta-medicina".