Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, acidophilus
Lactobacilli acidophilus are
bacteria. They are also called L. acidophilus. They make lactic acid by breaking down
carbohydrates. This is mainly done by breaking down the sugar lactose in milk.
Lactobacilli grow well in milk and
foods made from milk. They’re responsible for the "souring" of milk. Many different
strains can be found in milk foods. They can also be found in the intestinal tracts
vaginas of adults. And they are found in the intestinal tracts of babies fed with
Some strains of Lactobacilli are
used to make cheese and yogurt. These are Lactobacillus bulgaricus.
Medically valid uses
L. acidophilus has been used to
control certain types of diarrhea. It may be helpful for diarrhea due to oral
antibiotics. These medicines kill the normal flora of the intestine. Consuming L.
acidophilus helps put good bacteria into the intestines. This often stops diarrhea.
may also help treat vaginal yeast infections.
There may be benefits that have not
yet been proven through research.
Over the last few years, L.
acidophilus has been recommended often. But studies are still in progress.
For instance, L. acidophilus may
improve immune function. Animal research shows that L. acidophilus may increase the
immune response to certain vaccines.
It may also help treat:
Treat lactose intolerance
Restore normal intestinal flora
Reduce cholesterol levels
Lower the risk of colon cancer
Prevent gastrointestinal ulcers
Help manage human papilloma virus (HPV) infection
A related species of Lactobacillus may control the growth of cancer
cells. Research in this area is ongoing.
L. acidophilus comes as a powder, granule, or capsule form.
Pure cultures of L. acidophilus are
available in health food stores. You should store them in light-resistant containers.
Keep them away from high heat. Make sure to use them before the expiration date.
Live-culture yogurt may also have L. acidophilus.
Side effects, toxicity, and interactions
L. acidophilus likely will not
cause any symptoms if you take too much of it.
Talk with your healthcare provider before using L. acidophilus if you
take any of these medicines:
You should also talk to your healthcare provider before taking it if
you have a weakened immune system due to HIV or another condition.