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Acidophilus, bifidobacteria, and others are all species of bacteria classified as probiotics, or “friendly” intestinal bacteria. Acidophilus and other intestinal bacteria are essential to health and survival.
There are many different species of probiotic bacteria, each with a unique job to do. Most benefit either the digestive process, by helping breakdown food and liberate the nutrients in it; or the immune system, by preventing unwanted material from being absorbed into the blood stream.The complex and interdependent roles of probiotic bacteria are the reason many of the best products combine one or more species in a single product for better results. For example, acidophilus, which predominates in the small intestine, is often combined with bifidus, which predominates on the large intestine. This combination is commonly referred to as Acidophilus bifidus. Lactobacillus acidophilus, or L. acidophilus, is the probiotic species found in cultured dairy products such as yogurt and cottage cheese. Primadophilus is a well-known blend containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
Probiotics like acidophilus are used to maintain good overall health and to support digestive and immune health when problems arise in those systems. Digestive complaints such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), flatulence, diarrhea, Candida overgrowth, vaginal yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and bad breath are all situations in which probiotics have been used.When prescribed antibiotic therapy, which kills friendly bacteria as well as harmful species, probiotics are especially valuable in repopulating the digestive tract with healthy bacteria, easing unwanted side effects like diarrhea or yeast infections.
Dosages vary based upon reason for use; probiotics have extremely low toxicity and can be used liberally. Check the expiration date, and store all probiotics in the refrigerator, as freezing or hot temperatures may harm the live cultures. Probiotics are commonly available in powder, liquid, tablet and capsule form.
Although helpful for alleviating flatulence, acidophilus may cause excess gas for the first few days while the body adjusts to the introduction of new bacteria. Symptoms should improve after a few days. Those taking insulin, should consult a physician before taking a probiotic or any supplement.