Lactobacillus acidophilus is probably the most common strain of good bacteria and the most marketed at the same time. It is only one of the hundreds of different species that are living inside the digestive system and it is primarily useful in treating bowel related problems, as well as various types of infections, depending on the agent.
This particular strain is naturally occurring through food, especially fermented dairy products, but also comes in the form of supplements, usually mixed with other strains altogether for increased efficiency.
What is more important is that strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus are effective in protecting the body against the harmful influence of the bad bacteria, especially by supporting the immune system in developing a stronger defense against them.
Lactobacillus acidophilus has been intensively researched, primarily because it is one of the most important species of probiotics that appear naturally in the digestive tract of most animals. The range of benefits includes both those that have been proven as facts and those who are still debatable and unclear. The most relevant are:
There are some other benefits related to the consumption of Lactobacillus acidophilus, including antibiotic-related diarrhea, caused by the use of strong antibiotics. These drugs are designed to destroy the intestinal flora, regardless of whether it takes out the good bacteria along the way.
Probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus are destined to replenish the digestive microbiota and restore the bacterial environment, greatly reducing the impact of stomach problems.
In general, probiotics are considered safe for human consumption, especially since they are naturally occurring in fermented foods. However, if they will end up in the blood stream instead of the digestive tract, the risk for side effects increases greatly. This is a problem that usually appears among those with ineffective immune systems or among those who suffer from diseases that lower their natural defense capacity.
Among the side effects, it has been noticed a certain gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating and gasses, but they can even degenerate into fungemia or bacteremia in some extremely rare cases when Lactobacillus acidophilus is consumed by those who are critically ill.
The most known sources are fermented foods, primarily yogurts, but it can also be found in dietary supplements, mixed with other potent probiotic strains.
Each Lactobacillus acidophilus supplement may be different because the potency of the product lies in the number of the CFUs (Colony Forming Units) per capsule. For the most part, the regular doses consist in between 1 to 10 billion CFUs per day, usually in 3 or 4 instances over a 24 hour period. This would be the regular consumption number, for healthy individuals.
The numbers differ when the data changes. In the case of treating diarrhea, the doses may go between 10 to 100 billion CFU per day in order for the effects to be meaningful, regardless whether talking about adults or children.