What You Need to Know about Acidophilus and Its Benefits
Not a lot of people have heard or know about acidophilus. To some it may sound like a newly discovered dinosaur. In actuality, it’s a bacteria that exists naturally in the human body, specifically in the intestines and the vagina.
Woah, wait a minute.
Bacteria? In your body?
Before you start panicking, you need to know that acidophilus is actually a good type of bacteria. It helps maintain an acidic environment in the body. This then prevents the growth of bacteria that can be harmful.
The Good Bacteria: Acidophilus
Acidophilus, otherwise known as Lactobacillus acidophilus, is the best probiotic available.
It is present in yogurt, kefir, miso, or tempeh. Yes, these are the “live cultures” in yogurt labels. Also, it can be found in some supplement powders, like Daily Greens.
This probiotic shields and protects our bodies from bad bacteria, thus boosting our immune system and fighting off infections.
It can also treat different yeast infections, either in the mouth and in the vagina.
The Benefits of Acidophilus
This helpful probiotic can offer you a number of benefits that’ll boost your body health and help make you feel great.
Aids in Lactase Production
People who are lactose intolerant lack an enzyme in their body that breaks down the sugar in milk. This enzyme is called lactase. Incidentally, acidophilus can help you with producing the needed lactase in your body.
Probiotics have been known to treat diarrhea, and acidophilus is one of the effective kinds to use. It can help in the absorption of electrolytes in the gastrointestinal tract, which is one way to manage diarrhea.
In children, consumption of probiotic-rich yogurt reduces episodes of diarrhea caused by antibiotics. In addition, it can help treat specific causes of diarrhea, such as Clostridium difficile infection.
Studies also show that this probiotic can relieve symptoms of irritable bowel movement, like bloating and stomach pains.
Fights Vaginal Infections
Some women may experience excessive vaginal discharge. This is usually paired with a bothersome, foul odor. This could be a sign of bacterial vaginosis.
Studies suggest that these women can use acidophilus as it can increase vaginal cell proliferation and viability. As a result, it promotes a stronger resistance to pathogens.
Women can also use this as a quick home remedy, applied either orally or locally.
Treats Respiratory Infections
Probiotics can possibly make you less sick with colds and flu. Studies show that probiotic bacteria can reduce the prescription of antibiotics. They can also shorten the duration of acute respiratory tract infections.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Acidophilus is good for your cardiovascular health as it can lower bad cholesterol levels.
These probiotics inside your body have the capacity to reduce cholesterol levels. What they do is they bind cholesterol in the small intestine. This way, no bad cholesterol can go down to your bloodstream.
May Prevent Cancer
The University of Utah Health Care website suggests that this probiotic may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
These probiotics can fight off fecal bacteria, thus decreasing certain enzymes that can speed up the formation of carcinogens in your body.
According to nutritionist Allison Tannis in her book Probiotic Rescue: How You Can Use Probiotics to Fight Cholesterol, Cancer, Superbugs, Digestive Complaints and More, some evidence shows that acidophilus decreases levels of cancer-promoting bile salts and carcinogenic substances.
Promotes Good Digestion
The food we eat is not in a form that our body can use to nourish itself. It must pass through the digestive system. There it is broken down into its constituent parts, including nutrients that are absorbed through the intestine walls and waste that then passes out the body.
Acidophilus plays a key role in converting food into nutrients. Acidophilus is resistant to bile and gastric juices, and this allows it to pass relatively intact through the gastrointestinal tract to do its job.
Suggested Dosage of Acidophilus
Some doctors don’t suggest the ingestion of probiotics as these are present in the body already.
But if you still want to get the superb benefits of acidophilus, you can always refer to your doctors for the exact dosage you’ll need or how you can take it.
For babies and infants, acidophilus can be applied as a topical treatment for diaper rash.
If you’re an adult, recommended doses will depend on your health condition. Make sure to consult your doctor before actual consumption.
Quick Facts about Acidophilus
- Over the 400 other species of bacteria in our intestines, acidophilus is the most important one.
- Everyone needs to have this good bacteria in their bodies. However, people who are nutrient-deficient will need it more. This is because it aids in the treatment of several other ailments.
- Heat and freezing will kill this probiotic. Therefore, it is best to keep foods rich with this bacteria in a cool place.
- It is best to get an acidophilus supplement that has an enteric coating. This actually helps the organisms be delivered to the intestine unharmed.
- When taking acidophilus for the first time, you might get a gaseous feeling inside your belly. This is because your body is adjusting to the bacterial shift.
- You can get this good bacteria from cultured foods such as yogurt. However, you need to check if the label states that it contains live and active cultures.
- Eating yogurt is definitely not for everyone. Another way of taking in acidophilus can be through supplementary drinks.