Acidophilus is responsible for increasing the levels of both other healthy bacteria and short chain fatty acids. It offers a high level of benefit to gut health.
Acidophilus Gut Health Benefits
Acidophilus (Lactobacillus Acidophilus) is one of the most studied probiotics known to man. It’s a member of the Lactobacillus genus of bacteria, and it plays a key role in supporting good health.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus bacteria were first isolated during the 1890s. Since then, thousands of clinical studies have examined the bacteria’s capabilities.
What Is Acidophilus and How Does it Benefit Gut Health
Lactobacillus acidophilus is also known as L. acidophilus. That’s a shorter version to write but most people simply call it acidophilus, which is even less of a mouthful.
The name of the bacteria provides a pretty good idea of what it produces—lactic acid. Acidophilus achieves this by producing lactase.
Lactase is the enzyme the body uses to process the lactose provided by dairy products and break it down into lactic acid.
Extensive study shows the many health benefits Acidophilus can provide. However, there are a number of strains and each one benefits the body in different ways.
What Does Acidophilus Do:
- Regulates cholesterol
- Reduces the severity of allergy symptoms
- Fights bacterial and viral infections
- Helps with digestive disorders
- May aid weight loss
- Reduces bacterial vaginosis (vaginal inflammation)
- May prevent and reduce eczema
Plenty of research shows probiotics can help reduce cholesterol. Furthermore, Acidophilus appears to be the bacteria that offers the most value in this regard.
The results of several studies show yogurt fortified with Acidophilus reduced cholesterol levels 7 percent more than ordinary yogurts.
Reduces the Severity of Allergies
Allergies are a problem many people have to live with and symptoms such as itchy eyes and/or a runny nose can be very unpleasant.
Fortunately, research suggests Acidophilus can be very good for reducing the symptoms of certain allergies.
One 4-month study involved children suffering from hay fever-like symptoms due to perennial allergic rhinitis. The data shows Acidophilus was successful in reducing their symptoms.
The data from several studies suggest the probiotic works by reducing levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A.
Fights Bacterial and Viral Infections
Probiotic bacteria boosts immune function and may help prevent viral infections. The results of some studies suggest probiotics may also prevent or improve the symptoms of the common cold. Several studies explored the value of Acidophilus specifically.
In one study, involving 326 children, Acidophilus reduced fever by 53 percent. It also produced a 41 percent reduction in coughing.
Data from the same study shows using Acidophilus in combination with another probiotic can be even more beneficial.
Helps With Digestive Disorders
Acidophilus along with other probiotics support healthy digestion in many ways. Among other things, it prevents and reduces diarrhea, protects against and naturally repairs a leaky gut, and reduces the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Diarrhea can have many causes but research shows Acidophilus can reduce the problem regardless of whether it is due to radiotherapy, antibiotics, or exposure to exotic foods during travel.
Like diarrhea, IBS is a very common problem. In some countries, it affects up 20 percent of people.
The results of one study show Acidophilus was effective for reducing abdominal pain in IBS patients. Other study results show it can also be good for reducing bloating.
May Aid Weight Loss
Acidophilus and other probiotic bacteria help control food digestion. The efficiency of the digestive process can influence body weight.
Some evidence suggests supplementing with probiotic bacteria can aid weight loss. It’s unclear if Acidophilus retains this ability if it’s acting alone but it’s often among the probiotics that support weight loss in clinical trials.
Reduces Bacterial Vaginosis
Vaginosis is a surprisingly common type of vaginal infection that causes swelling in the genital area. There is a respectable amount of evidence to suggest Acidophilus can be effective for treating the condition.
Lactobacilli bacteria are naturally present in the vagina. In fact, they are the most common type in that area. Their ability to produce lactic acid promotes good vaginal health by subduing and destroying less friendly types of bacteria.
When you know that it’s easier to understand why taking Acidophilus as a probiotic supplement appears to be such a good vaginosis treatment and preventative measure.
May Prevent and Reduce Eczema
Eczema is a common condition that inflames the skin, causing itching and pain. Research suggests Acidophilus and other probiotics have the ability to reduce the symptoms of eczema.
The results of one study show a mixture of Acidophilus and other probiotics, given to pregnant women and their children, resulted in a 22 percent reduction in the prevalence of eczema.
In another study, Acidophilus was combined with a traditional medical therapy and successfully reduced atopic dermatitis in children.
Acidophilus Gut Health Benefits – The Bottom Line
Research shows Acidophilus is a valuable probiotic that offers a number of health benefits, several of which are not local to the gut.
Although some of the studies evaluate the abilities of Acidophilus while acting alone, many do not. In a lot of cases, Acidophilus appears to offer more value when it is being used in combination with other types of friendly bacteria.
If you want to take advantage of the health-boosting abilities of Acidophilus, one way to do so is to eat sauerkraut. Certain other fermented foods provide Acidophilus too.
However, it may be easier to use a good probiotic supplement. Doing so will enable you to reap the benefits of many additional gut-friendly bacteria as well. Why concentrate on one key player when you could have an entire probiotic team?
Most of the best probiotic supplements provide Acidophilus. Try and go for an option that provides at least one billion CFUs per serving.
Generally speaking, it’s best to take probiotics with a meal. Many people take them at breakfast. However, if you do decide to get Acidophilus from a supplement instead of food and are new to this type of product, try to ease into things gently.
Although probiotics are well tolerated by the majority of people, there is a possibility of minor stomach upsets in the early stages of supplementation.
Beginning with a lower than normal dose is a good way to allow your body time to adjust.
It is safe for the vast majority of people. It has been well tested and well researched
Yes you can take very day. Some people may experience gas or bloating – these are common side effects of probiotics in general.