Lactobacillus Acidophilus Probiotic

Lactobacillus acidophilus, commonly called acidophilus, is one of several stains of friendly probiotic bacteria normally found in the intestines and vagina. These beneficial bacteria help protect the body from hostile organisms that can cause yeast infections, intestinal toxemia, and other health problems.

The name ‘lactobacillus acidophilus’ comes from lacto meaning milk, bacillus meaning rod-like in shape, and acidophilus meaning acid loving. This particular bacterium functions better in acidic environments than most other microorganisms.

The term probiotic breaks down as follows: “pro” means for and “biotic” means life. So a probiotic bacteria is for life or pro-life.

Intestinal flora, like acidophilus, play an important role in keeping the immune system healthy, the digestion system in balance, and in producing vitamins. Unfortunately, this army of friendly bacteria is under constant attack by a diverse group of enemies. Antibiotics, medications, chlorinated water, yeasts, chronic diarrhea, stress, infections, and poor diet can destroy these friendly bacteria. If the population of the probiotic bacteria is not replaced regularly with additional organisms, harmful bacteria can take over and cause serious health problems.

  • As acidophilus breaks down foods, it produces lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and other beneficial byproducts. This creates an environment where unfriendly organisms find it difficult to survive.
  • Also, acidophilus consumes many of the same nutrients these unfriendly organisms depend on, thus limiting their food source and ability to proliferate.
  • Acidophilus produces another important enzyme, lactase. Lactase breaks down milk sugar (lactose) into simple sugar. This is particularly beneficial for individuals that are lactose intolerant and can’t produce this enzyme.

Acidophilus also resides in the vagina.

  • It helps control the growth of yeast infections.
  • Common symptoms of yeast infections are burning, itching, inflammation, and discharge.
  • Some spermicides and contraceptive creams kill acidophilus and other beneficial bacteria.
  • This allows yeast infections to grow.

Health Benefits

Acidophilus typically residents in the small intestines of adults and older children and appears to provide these important benefits:

  1. Helps curtail yeast overgrowth,
  2. Improves digestion of dairy products,
  3. Prompts colon regularity,
  4. Neutralizes toxin growth,
  5. Helps maintain cholesterol levels,
  6. Helps with digestion of complex proteins and carbohydrates,
  7. Supports immune system functions.

Acidophilus supplement included in your daily diet appears to help keep your digestive system in balance and offset some of the negative effects caused by ingested toxins and viruses. If you currently are not taking a probiotic supplement on a regular basis, we strongly suggest you reconsider.

    • In a study reported in the February 1998 issue of Health & Nutrition Breakthroughs researchers tested the effect of using L. acidophilus and B. bifidum to destroy unfriendly micro-organisms. Twenty-eight adult subjects were divided into three groups.

      The first group received L. acidophilus.
      The second group received B. bifidum and
      the third group received a placebo.
      After three weeks, researchers took blood samples to determine the phagocytic activity (ability to destroy foreign bacteria) of each person’s white blood cells. They measured the cells’ ability to attack and ingest E. coli bacteria (known for its high potential to cause disease).

      • In subjects receiving either L. acidophilus or B. bifidum, the percentage of white blood cells able to destroy E. coli jumped from forty percent to eighty percent.
      • In the placebo group, there was no change in phagocytic activity.

      Blood samples were examined again six weeks after stopping probiotic supplementation and the phagocytic activity was still much greater than at the beginning of the study.

  • As early as the 1920’s, Dr R. Schroder conducted research to determine the importance of pH in the vagina and the role beneficial bacteria played in reducing vaginitis.

    In one study, Dr Schroder found that women suffering from a high incidence of vaginitis generally had high-alkaline pH and low levels of L. acidophilus present in the vagina. And, that women without vaginitis had acidic pH readings and L. acidophilus present.

  • Another study reported in a 1960 issue of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology concluded that use of L. acidophilus capsules as vaginal inserts destroyed pathogenic germs such as staphylococcus, streptococcus, and diplococcus. It also caused the pH of the vagina to shift from alkaline to acidic. Vaginitis symptoms promptly disappeared and didn’t return as long as L. acidophilus supplementation continued.

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