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Home :: Acidophilus

Acidophilus Supplement - Uses And Side Effects

A bacterium, Lactobacillus acidophilus is used for various skin problems and for intestinal and other internal disorders. It's usually sold as concentrated, dried, viable cultures. Many dairy products, especially milk and yogurts, contain some acidophilus cultures. However, some have questionable L acidophilus levels. Such products also may contain other bacteria of dubious benefit and may vary widely in potency and stability.

Organic compounds produced by Acidophilus include acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and lactic acid. These chemical elements are responsible for increasing the acidity of the intestine and for fighting disease causing bacteria. Acidophilus is also involved in the production of B vitamins such as folic acid and niacin during the digestive process

Common doses of Acidophilus

Acidophilus comes in various doses, in cultures ranging from 500 million to 4 billion viable organisms of L. acidophilus, including:

  • capsules
  • suppositories
  • granules
  • tablets
  • powders
  • milk
  • softgels
  • yogurt

Doses are based on the number of live organisms in a commercial acidophilus culture. Some experts recommend the following dose:

  • For most reported uses, 1 to 10 billion viable organisms taken daily in three or four equal doses.

Uses of acidophilus supplement

  • Acne
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Canker sores
  • Diarrhea (especially when caused by antibiotic use)
  • Diverticulitis
  • Fever blisters
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Stomach ulcers caused by the bacterium helicobacter pylori
  • To lower cholesterol
  • Vaginal yeast infections

Side effects of Acidophilus

Call your health care practitioner if you experience intestinal gas when taking acidophilus. However, keep in mind that this side effect usually subsides with continued use.


Combining acidophilus products with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking.

Important points to remember

  • Know that if you're lactose-sensitive, you may have trouble tolerating dairy products that contain acidophilus cultures.
  • Remember that acidophilus products aren't effective unless they're manufactured, packaged, and stored properly. Some manufacturers require refrigeration of their products.
  • Be aware that some dairy sources of acidophilus, particularly yogurt and milk, may not contain viable cultures. Also, some dairy products may be unreliable culture sources because of dramatic temperature swings during transport.
  • Know that the Food and Drug Administration doesn't consider acidophilus products safe and effective in treating diarrhea.

What the research shows

Scientific studies on people haven't shown that acidophilus is effective in treating diarrhea or vaginal infections. However, the quality of the acidophilus cultures used in these studies varied, which may have influenced the results. Medical experts say acidophilus products can't be evaluated properly until they're standardized.

Other names for Acidophilus

Other names for acidophilus include acidophilus milk, lactobacillus acidophilus, probiotics, and yogurt.

Products containing acidophilus are sold under such names as Bacid, DDSAcidophilus, Florajen Acidophilus Extra Strength, Kyo-Dophilus, Lactinex, MoreDophilus, Probiata, Pro-Bionate, and Superdophilus.

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