You might have heard about 'probiotics'. These are live bacteria that are normally present in the vagina and the gastrointestinal tract. They are beneficial to the human body in a number of ways. There are 400 different types of probiotics; and Lactobacillus acidophilus, more commonly known as acidophilus, is one of them.
The Marvels of Acidophilus
• Taking acidophilus on a regular basis reduces the occurrence of vaginal infections caused by yeasts such as Candida albicans.
• Acidophilus, being able to check the overgrowth of disease-causing bacteria, boosts your immune system.
• It brings down the chances of urinary tract infections.
• Acidophilus helps in the production of a number of chemicals that aid in the process of digestion.
• It aids the digestion of dairy products by producing lactase. People suffering from lactose intolerance may derive benefits from acidophilus.
• It helps in treating various digestive problems such as indigestion, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
• It assists your body in fighting cancer. The exact reason is not yet known; however, it is believed that acidophilus assists by preventing the harmful bacteria from producing cancer-causing substances.
• Acidophilus absorbs cholesterol in the intestine. This, in turn, prevents the cholesterol from reaching the arteries and causing damage. Thus, lowering blood cholesterol level is one of the other important acidophilus health benefits.
• It assists in the processing of nutrients and directing non-nutrient substances along the intestinal tract. This further helps in the proper elimination of stools.
• Some studies have suggested that it aids in the treatment of diseases like diabetes, asthma, diaper rash, etc. However, it is yet to be scientifically proven.
• It assists in the manufacture of a number of vitamins in the intestine. Some of them are vitamin K, vitamin B12, vitamin B1 and folic acid.
• As it increases the production of vitamin K, it aids in blood clotting and formation of bones.
• Acidophilus eases the condition of diarrhea and food poisoning. This is because, it replenishes the loss of beneficial microorganisms that get flushed out from the intestine during diarrhea.
• Acidophilus maintains a healthy balance between useful and harmful bacteria. It does it by producing acids and other substances that kill unwanted bacteria, and thus check their overgrowth.
- You will find acidophilus in dairy products like yogurt, cottage cheese, kefir and fermented foods such as sauerkraut.
- Its supplements are available over the counter in the form of capsules, liquids, powder and tablets.
- You may find acidophilus drinks in medicine shops and grocery stores.
- Acidophilus milk is also available in the market. This is a type of milk that has been fermented with Lactobacillus acidophilus. It has a distinctive tangy flavor and is slightly callous to look at. The acidophilus milk benefits are the same as that of the bacteria.
Directions for Use
- Take it at least half an hour before eating.
- Take it daily as recommended for a couple of weeks to experience the desired health benefits.
- Do not take it if you are on any kind of antibiotic as it may interfere with the effects of antibiotics.
Once ingested, acidophilus colonizes in the small intestine and vagina of the body. They sustain themselves if not destroyed by antibiotics and other factors. Acidophilus supplement benefits you in the same manner as when obtained from natural sources.
In the large intestine of our body, the bacterial strain - bifidus is also found. Its health benefits are numerous and essential for life. These include helping in the digestion of foods, assisting in the liberation of nutrients from the digested foods and preventing the absorption of unwanted materials into the bloodstream. If you wish to derive the health benefits of acidophilus along with that of bifidus, you should go for Acidophilus bifidus supplements. Their benefits will definitely improve your overall health and provide long-term resistance against diseases.
As a word of caution, note that its intake may produce certain side effects such as abdominal pain and digestive issues. If you are experiencing such issues, then stop using acidophilus and consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Though the benefits are many, it is not yet approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for usage. Also, its intake is not recommendable if your immune system is weak or you have excessive intestinal bacteria. Therefore, without the advice of a medical practitioner, you should avoid its usage.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.