Acidophilus (lactobacillus acidophilus) is a bacteria naturally found in your digestive system, urinary tract and other parts of your body. Acidophilus may be used as a probiotic to promote the growth of good bacteria in your body. Acidophilus may also help treat a variety of medical conditions such as digestive issues, yeast infections and eczema.
Acidophilus is a bacteria naturally found in your body. Your mouth, stomach, intestines, lungs, vagina and urinary tract all contain acidophilus. Your body uses acidophilus to break down food and absorb nutrients.
Acidophilus is considered a “good” bacteria. Your body needs good bacteria to support your immune system and digestive system. Acidophilus helps maintain an acidic environment in your body. Your body needs this type of environment to help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. You need good bacteria to help balance out the bad bacteria.
Certain health conditions can cause problems with your ability to balance bacteria in your body. Using acidophilus as a probiotic may help restore this balance. Acidophilus is a type of probiotic found in many foods. You can also take it as a dietary supplement called lactobacillus acidophilus.
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Probiotics are a type of good bacteria. They match or are very similar to the bacteria naturally found in your body. Probiotics are a combination of live bacteria and yeast. They help keep your body healthy and functioning properly. These good bacteria work to fight off bad bacteria in your body. It helps restore the balance within your body.
Researchers are still studying the benefits of acidophilus probiotics. They aren’t exactly sure how effective acidophilus may be. But there are many potential benefits of acidophilus. Acidophilus may be used to promote the growth of good bacteria in your body. Acidophilus may also help treat various health conditions. It may also help manage the side effects of certain medications.
Acidophilus may be used to alleviate symptoms of different health conditions. Acidophilus may help treat:
Other potential uses of acidophilus include relieving the symptoms of:
Before taking acidophilus, you should speak with your healthcare provider. They can tell you about the benefits and potential side effects. If you decide to take acidophilus, don’t take more than the recommended amount. Use it as directed by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
Many foods and drinks contain acidophilus probiotics. The labels of certain foods may be marked with the phrase “live active cultures.” Some labels will include the full name of the bacteria. Foods and drinks that may contain acidophilus include:
Acidophilus is also available as a dietary supplement. You can take acidophilus pills, capsules and tablets. It’s also available in powders, wafers and liquid form.
Only use one type of acidophilus at a time. You may get too much if you use more than one form at a time. You should store acidophilus in a sealed container away from moisture, light and heat.
You should work with your healthcare provider to determine the correct amount of acidophilus to take. If you’re taking acidophilus as a supplement, you can take between 50 million and 100 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per day. A CFU is a measurement used in microbiology. It approximates the number of bacteria or fungal cells in a pill. You can take this dosage for up to six months.
Your child can take between 100 million and 50 billion CFUs per day for up to three months.
Research on acidophilus used as a probiotic shows that it’s generally considered safe. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved acidophilus to treat any health conditions. The FDA hasn’t studied acidophilus to determine its safety or effectiveness. You shouldn’t use acidophilus in place of any prescription medications. If your provider recommended the use of acidophilus, they have determined the benefits outweigh any risks.
Acidophilus is generally considered safe to use. But it does have some potential minor side effects. These side effects include:
If you develop signs of a serious allergic reaction, call 911 or go to your nearest ER. Signs of an allergic reaction may include:
While rare, serious infections can occur. If you have any of the following conditions, you should speak with your healthcare provider before taking acidophilus.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Acidophilus can be used as a probiotic to restore the natural balance of this good bacteria in your body. If you’re interested in adding acidophilus to your diet, talk with your healthcare provider. Your provider can help you determine if taking acidophilus is the right move for you. They may suggest giving it a try to see if it helps with your health. Your healthcare provider can help you figure out how much to take and when to take it. Make sure you have a conversation with your provider before starting any supplements.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/05/2022.
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