Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus) is a probiotic bacterium that is found naturally in the mouth, intestines, and in the vagina. This probiotic helps to guard against infections and diseases in the body, and it has even been used during chemotherapy treatment.1
L. acidophilus fights molds, parasites, and yeasts
Ochratoxin A is the name of a dangerous mold that contaminates a variety of common foods. L. acidophilus binds to this dangerous substance and eliminates a large portion from the body. This probiotic also helps to fight off parasites in the body. When L. acidophilus digests food, it naturally produces lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. These two substances create an acidic, unfriendly environment that will kill harmful parasites and pathogens and help to prevent additional parasites from growing.
L. acidophilus also produces natural factors that prevent overgrowth of yeasts.2 It is beneficial for women in particular, as millions of women suffer from various kinds of yeast and urinary tract infections. L. acidophilus has been shown to cause up to a threefold decrease in the frequency of vaginal yeast infections and a reduction in the frequency of Candida colonization in the vagina.3
L. acidophilus has other important benefits
L. acidophilus is important because of its ability to fight off molds and yeasts, but it also provides other important benefits, like aiding in nutrient absorption, providing digestive functions, and its ability to treat acute diarrhea in children and adults.4 Many probiotic bacteria assist in the production of key enzymes that increase the rate of vitamin absorption in the body. L. acidophilus helps the body to more effectively absorb vitamin K, B vitamins, calcium, fatty acids, and lactose (a sugar found in dairy products).
In the case of lactose, L. acidophilus functions much like other probiotics (like B. bifidum and L. rhamnosus) that help lactose intolerant individuals. These people produce little or no lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in the body. People can have lactase deficiencies for a number of reasons, like damage to the lining of the gut, or a simple genetic deficiency. L. acidophilus encourages the growth of organisms in the digestive tract that serve a similar function to lactase which provides lactase deficient individuals with a means to break down lactose and digest dairy products more effectively.
L. acidophilus is an essential component of a healthy gut because of its capabilities in fighting off molds, yeasts, and parasites. It also provides several other health benefits relating to digestion and nutrient absorption. Look for this strain when you’re shopping for your next probiotic supplement.
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