Lactobacillus acidophilus is a naturally occurring bacteria that exists in the body. Lactobacillus bacteria is found primarily in the intestine and in the vagina. It acts to maintain the acidic environment within the body by preventing the growth of other, harmful bacteria. Lactobacillus acidophilus is used to prevent and treat yeast infections, which may occur in the mouth and vagina, and to prevent urinary tract infections. Lactobacillus acidophilus also produces vitamin K, good for proper blood clotting and to heal cuts and bruises, and found in green, leafy vegetables.
What Is Lactobacillus Acidophilus?
It is a bacteria that occurs naturally in the body that combats yeast infections, urinary tract infections and maintains normal consistency of the bacteria in the stomach, vagina and intestine. Some varieties of Lactobacillus acidophilus found on the market have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals and other drugs. Some antibiotics can interfere with the natural balance of bacteria in the digestive tract and can cause diarrhoea. The intake of Lactobacillus acidophilus can help restore the natural bacterial balance within the stomach and intestine.
Acidophilus and IBS
Some people have a sensitivity to certain foods like wheat, corn, sugar or milk, which can contribute to the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A diet high in carbohydrates could be the cause of the problem but chocolate may also be a contributor. When such a problem exists, it causes unhealthy microorganisms to develop in the intestinal tract and take control from the beneficial ones. IBS can be helped by introducing more of the bacteria that is helpful to the digestive system in the form of acidophilus, either through supplements or yoghurt.
Acidophilus and Yeast Infections
As mentioned earlier, acidophilus is a major combatant against yeast infections. The bacteria that grows in the vagina is called Candida. Women who consumed eight ounces of Lactobacillus acidophilus daily saw a one-third decrease in the incidences of vaginal yeast infections. Yoghurt douches taken daily over a period of a few days to a few weeks was also found to provide relief from vaginitis.
Lactose Intolerance and Acidophilus
Some people suffer from lactose intolerance--the inability to digest the milk sugar found in dairy products. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include stomach discomfort like gas, stomach cramping, indigestion and diarrhoea. The addition of Lactobacillus acidophilus has the ability to improve lactose adsorption by adding the enzyme to change lactose to lactic acid. Acidophilus milk products are designed for this reason.
Acidophilus Side Effects
Since acidophilus is a naturally occurring bacteria within the body, there are really no side effects to speak of. Adding acidophilus can cause an initial side effect in the form of an increase in flatulence (the passage of gas). Gaseous side effects can be possible with the introduction of helpful bacteria from other sources as well. The gaseous side effects are the result of methane and hydrogen that form in the digestive tract, but these gasses are necessary for the good bacteria to grow because it absorbs the gas. Once a balance is achieved between the good and bad bacteria, the problem of flatulence usually goes away.
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