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Purpose of Probiotic Acidophilus- What Are the Essential Vital Health Benefits

Updated on April 18, 2011

The typical North American diet is deficient in many nutrients including probiotics. The most important nutrient to supplement with such a diet is probiotics. Probiotic acidopholis replenishes intestinal bacteria which is essential to health and long life. The potential benefits include prevention of colon cancer, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholestoral, managing lactose intolerance, improving Immune function, preventing Infections, reducing inflammation, improving mineral absorption, preventing harmful bacteria growth under stress, irritable bowel syndrome and colitis.

Probiotic acidophilus is a dietary supplement containing potentially beneficial bacteria or yeasts. The most common type of microbe is lactic acid bacteria (LAB). The purpose of probiotic bacterial cultures is to assist the intestinal flora and microbes to repopulate. Some doctors and many nutritionist have recommended probiotics as a treatment after taking antibiotics or as part of the treatment for candidiasis.

Studies show that probiotics strengthen the immune system to treat allergies, excessive alcohol intake, stress, exposure to toxic substances, and other diseases. Probiotics are not a replacement but a needed addition to most diets. Foods high in dietary fiber should be eaten in adequate quantities because they support healthy intestinal flora.

The benefits of probiotic acidophilus include the following:

Lactose Intolerance - Although probiotic acidophilus is not specifically targeted for this purpose, certain active strains may help lactose intolerant people tolerate more lactose than normal.

Cholestorol - Studies have shown the effectiveness of probiotic acidophilus in lowering serum cholesterol levels. Some tests have shown that dairy foods fermented with specific probiotics can reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

Blood Pressure - Several small studies have shown that drinking milk fermented with different strains of probiotics can reduce blood pressure.

Immune Function and Infections - Probiotic acidophilus are believed to have several beneficial effects on the immune system. They protect against bacteria and viruses and evidence suggests they may improve immune function. Clinical trials have shown that probiotics may decrease the respiratory tract infections and tooth decay in children. It has been effective in the treatment and prevention of diarrhea, and in decreasing the severity and length of rotavirus infections in children and travelers' diarrhea in adults.

Inflammation - Probiotic foods and supplements have been found to reduce inflammation. Studies show that they can prevent reoccurrences of inflammatory bowel disease in adults, and decrease milk allergies and the risk of atopic eczema in children.

Mineral Absorption - It is believed that probiotics may help correct the inability to absorb trace minerals from whole grains, nuts, and legumes.

Harmful Bacterial Growth Under Stress - a study was conducted to see the effects of stress on intestinal bacteria. It revealed that when intestinal bacteria was replenished by probiotics, harmful bacteria was unable to latch on to the intestines.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Colitis - In a recent study probiotics were found to improve some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In another study they were found to be effective in reducing IBS symptoms. They were also effective in treating ulcerative colitis.

The best probiotic supplements combine a number of beneficial bacteria with yeast. Supplements should contain Saccharomyces, lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria organisms in the billions. Some products feature every probiotic organism known, or say they have bacteria in the zillions per dose. Too many active organisms may not have the desired health effects.

There is no research that says that more is better. The right balance is considered to be more effective than quantity. Keeping the intestinal flora healthy is crucial for healthy living. A high fiber diet is important to maintain healthy bacteria in our intestines. In most cases people consuming the typical North American diet do not get enough probiotic acidophilus and supplementation is necessary.


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      Lost in Georgia 5 years ago

      I have been battling bad breath. I read that by eating yogurt for 6 weeks helps. I do not really care for yogurt so I also read that taking a probiotic was also good. Honestly, I would rather take a pill instead of eating the yogurt daily. I also have high blood pressure. I am taking atenolol-chlorthal. My question is: Will these two medicines together cause me more harm than good? Also am I taking the right probiotic? It is called Probiotic Acidophilus digestive health.

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      Techwriter 6 years ago

      I used to get very sick, and would be pneumonia every winter. If there was a flu or cold going around... I got it. Plus I've had IBS for years. 6 years ago, while taking antibiotics for pneumonia, my uncle (self-taught naturopath) told me to take probiotics to repopulate my digestive system with good bacteria. I did, and I noticed my IBS systems almost completely disappeared. So I kept taking it, and guess what? I have not been sick in 6 years. I may get a bit stuffy, or a tickle in my throat, but then it goes away. No vaccines, and no colds or flu, or pneumonia in 6 years. This article says they "may improve immune function" but as far as I'm concerned, they absolutely do. My husband's taking them now too (we take a high quality supplement) because he hated getting sick, when I never did. This is one of the best natural health initiatives I have ever tried.

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      Health Store 7 years ago

      if I am not mistaken acidophilus found in milk is a probiotics right!? anyway I have heard of this from a friend, I must admit I am a bit skeptical about this but I have heard a lot of people saying this works for them I have tried various other supplements and what not I guess there is no harm on trying this as well I have been hearing promising reviews so I cant wait to have a go at it myself, Best Regards to everyone and kudos to you steve very informative post

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      Nishit 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the info. It make's interesting reading!

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      Grace 8 years ago

      I'm suffering with Ulcertive Colitis. I saw GNC sells Acidophilus supplement. Do you recommend any special Acidophilus product?

      Thank you


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      Stacy 8 years ago

      Thanks Steve - this is really helpful!

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment Stacy!

      Acidophilus works well with both spirulina and L-glutamine. Some woman have used a combination of spirulina and acidophilus in preparation for birth. Others, who are recovering for irritable bowel syndrome use L-glutamine to help repair stomach lining and acidophilus to restore intestinal flora.

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      Stacy 8 years ago

      Is there any evidence that they work in combination with spirulina and / or L-Glutamine?

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      Health Conscious 9 years ago from South Florida - USA

      Great hub Steve -

      It is amazing to learn just how important these fine little bugs really are. They are your own private little army - protecting and repairing - Seems only logical to make sure they are a very large and powerful army.

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      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 9 years ago from Manila

      Great hub. Very informative. Thank you for sharing this to us.

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 9 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks pjdscott! No, they are naturopathic. The best food source is yogurt. A quality health store will carry yogurt with good quantities of the different strains of the most important bacterias.

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      pjdscott 9 years ago from Durham, UK

      Extremely interesting - I presume probiotics are not homeopathic?

    • sixtyorso profile image

      Clive Fagan 9 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you for giving us the low down on probiotics. My dearly beloved has always sworn by them and takes them on a regular basis. She is an IBS sufferer so perhaps this is how she discovered the benefits of probiotics.