Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a probiotic that supports the immune system and promotes a healthy gut for potential treatment and prevention of diarrhea, symptoms of IBS, constipation and vaginal infections.
What is Lactobacillus Acidophilus Probiotic ?
Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a “good bacteria” that is found in our gastrointestinal tract, genitals and mouth. It is naturally used to keep the nutrients in the body that we get from food consumption while protecting against bad bacteria that may cause diarrhea and certain diseases.
It’s main purpose is to keep our gut healthy, where the largest amount of bacteria in the body lives. L. Acidophilus is thought to contribute to the balance of good and bad bacteria and to repair it when needed, that live in the intestinal tract. It can take up to 5 months to naturally repair itself without supplementation.
This probiotic, is often prescribed by physicians when a person is taking antibiotics. Antibiotics, kill bacteria but may also kill the good bacteria at the same time and that may cause an imbalance. This, can especially result in consistent diarrhea that can cause severe dehydration.
A good source of L. Acidophilus can be found in foods including yogurt, bananas, vegetables, honey, miso and tempeh. Supplements can be found in capsules, powder form, tablets and freeze dried granules.
It is important to choose a high quality supplement. Certain probiotics may not contain L. Acidophilus or the proper strain of it and may contain bad bacteria.
Benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus
One of the main uses of L. Acidophilus is to potentially treat/prevent diarrhea in general, promote a healthy gut and support the immune system. This includes, travelers diarrhea and rotaviral diarrhea (rotavirus).
This is a contagious virus that affects the intestinal tract and causes inflammation in the stomach and bowels. Common in children exposed to bacteria and sometimes passed onto adults, it is best to speak with your doctor first whether a probiotic is your best option.
Since Lactobacillus Acidophilus fights to prevent bad bacteria, some studies suggest that it is has very beneficial probiotic effects and it is used by many people to potentially treat and prevent other conditions including;
- Vaginal infections (UTI’s and yeast infections)
- Symptoms of IBS
- Lactose intolerance
- Digestion problems
It is also being currently studied on it’s potential abilities to lower cholesterol levels and provide anti-cancer properties. Particularly in relation to colon cancer, where there seems to be some association with L. Acidophilus reducing inflammation in the colon. More research needs to be done.
Also, L. Acidophilus supports the immune system. Not only does this promote overall health but it may give you additional energy and prevent common colds.
It is a good idea to take L. Acidophilus during and after antibiotic treatment to restore a healthy bacteria balance. However, it is recommended to take the antibiotic a few hours before taking L. Acidophilus to ensure it doesn’t kill the good bacteria.
Side Effects of Lactobacillus Acidophilus
L. Acidophilus is a safe supplement to take to for healthy people. Side effects are rare however mild stomach discomfort has been reported but may be associated with over usage.
It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
L. Acidophilus is not recommended for people with weakened immune systems or those who are taking medications that suppress the immune system. This includes individuals with AIDS/HIV or those taking medications to prevent organ rejection from a transplant.
Also, if you have short bowel syndrome (SBS) or artificial heart valves, it is not recommended to take L. Acidophilus as it may cause infection.