Acidophilus is a bacteria that occurs naturally in the body. It helps maintain healthy levels of acidity in the body, which prevents the growth of harmful bacteria that can lead to infections.
As a probiotic species, it also aids in maintaining proper digestion.
Although acidophilus occurs naturally in the body, many people choose to boost its quantity by taking supplements or eating probiotic foods like yogurt.
Today, we’ll take a look at the uses and precautions that should be taken when supplying the body with extra acidophilus.
Yeast infections actually occur as a result of the amount of yeast being produced exceeding that which the natural quantity of acidophilus in the body is able to combat.
According to researchers at Michigan State University, supplements work to combat this by producing hydrogen peroxide in the area, which kills the yeast.
Many women find success by applying probiotic yogurt directly to the vagina. For that method, be sure to use plain, unflavored yogurt with zero sugar. Apply the yogurt twice per day until you notice the yeast infection has cleared for more than one day.
Individuals suffering from lactose intolerance have found acidophilus supplements helpful for getting the body to properly digest lactose.
This connection was drawn by researchers more than 20 years ago.
For this purpose, supplements work by breaking lactose down into fatty acids that can be absorbed by the colon.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that the probiotic properties of acidophilus also work to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as abdominal pain, gas and constipation.
It does this by correcting bacterial imbalances in the colon and digestive tract.
If you plan on taking acidophilus to correct symptoms of IBS, it is important to note that symptoms such as diarrhea and gas may increase for a few days while the body adjusts to the probiotics.
Before you begin using any supplement, it is important to see your doctor and inquire about potential interactions with any other medications you may be taking.
Be sure that you follow the dosage instructions for the supplement you choose. Taking too much can result in gas and indigestion that will typically clear up within a few days.
Supplement vs. Yogurt
Supplements are generally considered to be a more reliable and controllable way of supplying the body with acidophilus. If you are planning on taking acidophilus to fight a particular condition such as IBS, speak with your doctor to determine which form is best for you.