Lactobacillus acidophilus - it's a mouthful to be sure, but this particular probiotic and its other helpful associates in the tiny microscopic world of beneficial "germs" have become buzzwords in the mainstream media because they can fight infection and enhance your immunity.
Lactobacillus acidophilus, also known as L. acidophilus, is a beneficial bacteria that you definitely want living inside your small intestine.
It is very acid-resistant and tolerates bile quite effectively. Besides nestling into the mucosal lining of your small intestine, you'll also want L. acidophilus "colonizing" and protecting the lining of your vagina and cervix, (if you have them) and your urethra. In these places acidophilus will work to produce lactic and other organic acids inhibiting the adherence and multiplication of pathogenic microbes.
It competes against or "antagonizes" an array of pathogens including Escherichia coli (E. coli, the cause of "Montezuma's Revenge"), Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella (common causes of food poisoning), Candida albicans (yeast infections and syndromes), and other pathogens such as Shigella, Clostridium, Listeria, and Helicobacter species.
THE ALLURE OF L. ACIDOPHILUS
Like the billions of other beneficial microorganisms in your digestive tract, L. acidophilus helps you digest food, produces vitamins and facilitates digestion.
Even though there are many other kinds of probiotics in your intestines, lactobacillus acidophilus plays an especially important role. It is key to your digestion of dairy products and produces vitamin K, which is essential to proper blood clotting and bone formation and repair.
Here's a quick summary of what L. acidophilus can do in your body:
- Produces lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the sugar in milk. (People who are lactose intolerant don't produce this enzyme.)
- Prevents and treats diarrhea.
- Reduces overgrowth of pathogens in your digestive tract.
- Relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn's disease, and gut dysbiosis.
- Decreases frequency of vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections.
- Increases your immune response.
- May treat respiratory infections like sinusitis and bronchitis.