Acidophilus is a bacteria found in the normal
intestinal flora. It is in a category of supplements called Probiotics.
What are probiotics?
The digestive tract maintains a balance
between healthy and potentially harmful bacteria. Healthy
micro-organisms, also called microflora, are found in the digestive
tract and have a protective role in our bodies.
When we grow older, use antibiotics or corticosteroids, eat meat, travel,
or have digestive disorders, the quantity of healthy microflora in our gut declines, and
it is harder to protect us from disease.
In addition to its protective role, microflora helps to process vitamins, nutrients and
digestive enzymes, like the lactase needed to
digest lactose in milk and dairy products like ice cream, cheese and milk.
Acidophilus also helps in the elimination of heavy metals and other harmful ingested
substances in our food, such as from the metal lining of drink boxes and
Besides the digestive tract, microflora reside in other areas where mucous
membranes are exposed to the environment, such as the skin, respiratory
tract, genitals and urinary tract.
There are billions of live bacteria in the digestive tract, and about 1,000 billion on the
surface of our skin. The number of cells in the body is around 10,000 billion, meaning
that we have more bacteria in our body than we have cells. In the large
intestine, there are at least five hundred different types of bacteria.
Probiotics, the supplement form of micro-organisms, have been used for years to increase the
number of protective microflora and to
prevent and treat many health conditions. The most familiar form of is yogurt.
Two strains of healthy bacteria, Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, are
found in yogurt, cheese, and other fermented foods. Daily ingestion of foods
containing these bacteria have been suggested to provide health benefits
including improved digestion and alleviation of constipation, better absorption of
minerals, reduced blood cholesterol levels and possible protection from tumors.
Many strains of bacteria have been used in supplements. The most
common strains are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei,
Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum and the yeast
Saccharomyces boulardii. Of the beneficial variety, the Lactobacillus
species is most prominent in the small intestine, whereas Bifidobacteria
is found in the large intestine.
Vegetarians frequently have a better balance of “good bacteria” to
“bad bacteria” compared to non-vegetarians who tend to have larger
numbers of bad bacteria such as Bacteroides.
How do they work in the digestive system?
Beneficial strains such as Lactobacillus species and Bifiobacteria help prevent the harmful strains such as E.coli and Bacteroides from growing to
a level where they can cause disease. This is accomplished by by creating
organic acid and hydrogen peroxide, by
crowding out other bacteria, by substrate competition, when they compete with
harmful bacteria for nutrients needed for growth, and by bacteriocin
production, which is the production of compounds that have a deadly effect
on harmful bacteria.
Probiotics can be used when the intestinal microflora has been disturbed and digestive tract
problems appear. Along with improving digestion and preventing gas, bloating, and bad breath,
probiotics are useful when using some antibiotics.
While antibiotics are effective at killing the unwanted bacteria, they also kill
many strains of good bacteria - including Acidophilus. Patients taking antibiotics become susceptible
to colonization and infection by harmful digestive tract bacteria that can
cause diarrhea. Probiotics can be used to restock the protective bacteria, and reduce the
frequency of abdominal cramps and
Probiotics in combination with antibiotics can help repopulate a healthy microbial population.
Immune System - Bifidobacterium has been shown to enhance the function of
the immune system. Natural cellular immune functions are known to decline
as we age, leaving great potential for immune enhancement. Research shows
that supplementing Bifidobacterium Lacis enhances the production of immune
system cells known to be active against viral infections. Learn
More About Probiotics.
ACIDOPHILUS - IN STOCK
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