Lactobacillus acidophilus is a bacterium that occurs naturally in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and vagina. The bacterium thrives by fermenting sugar and converting it to lactic acid in the body. Lactobacillus acidophilus displays a few probiotic traits – characteristics of an organism that is beneficial to its host (humans). Owing to this trait, strains of the bacterium are being incorporated into dairy products produced commercially. One product that contains strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus is yogurt.

Three strains of the bacterium that have been proven to have positive effects on health. They are: Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5. Here are some of the diseases that the bacterium can help prevent or cure:

Improved lactose digestion and tolerance

One of the key health benefits of using lactobacillus acidophilus is that the probiotic bacterium can help with lactose digestion in those who are lactose intolerant. Lactose tolerance can be developed by consuming fermented dairy products that contain Lactobacillus acidophilus. In addition to sweet acidophilus yogurt, you can also consume sweet acidophilus milk to improve lactose tolerance. The bacterium also helps with the digestion of lactose in those who experience lactose mal-digestion. This condition is typically characterized by cramps, discomfort and diarrhea following lactose consumption.

Bacterial vaginosis

As Lactobacillus acidophilus form protective colonies in the vagina, it helps prevent the occurrence of bacterial vaginosis. Studies indicate that the condition is caused when the probiotic bacterium’s levels drop. Consuming yogurt rich in Lactobacillus acidophilus in addition to prescribed drugs can help treat bacterial vaginosis more effectively. Another method of treating the condition is through the use of vaginal suppositories that contain Lactobacillus acidophilus.

Vaginal candidiasis

Research indicates that the bacterium can play an effective role in the reduction of yeast infections in the vagina. This is enabled by the lactic acid produced by Lactobacillus acidophilus. In addition to consuming yogurt that contains the bacterium, you can control and prevent vaginal candidiasis with the help of tablets, powders and supplements that contain it.

Other benefits

* Lactobacillus acidophilus has the ability to produce vitamin K and lactase in the body.

* It can also generate certain anti-microbial elements like acidlphin, acidolin, bacteriocin and lactodin.

* Owing to its ability to break down complex molecules of food, Lactobacillus acidophilus prevents the growth of bacteria in it. Also, the probiotic bacterium helps reduce the severity of both diarrhea and constipation too.

* Another benefit of Lactobacillus acidophilus is that it can prevent the occurrence of colon cancer.

* When used in specific amounts, the probiotic bacterium can lower the health risks associated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

* On consuming yogurt that contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, you may be able to lower the risk of acquiring coronary heart diseases by almost 10%. The bacterium achieves this by lowering the serum cholesterol levels in your system. Research indicates that dairy products enriched with Lactobacillus acidophilus have the ability to bring down the levels of low density lipoprotein – commonly referred to as bad cholesterol – in the blood.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a crucial probiotic element in your body, and its colonies can get destroyed when you consume antibiotics. To re-colonize the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract, physicians may recommend a dose of Lactobacillus acidophilus to be taken as part of the treatment.

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