What is Acidophilus for?
Acidophilus is a type of bacteria. There are lots of different species of acidophilus. These are "friendly" bacteria that normally live in our digestive, urinary, and genital systems without causing disease. Acidophilus is also in some fermented foods like yogurt and in dietary supplements.
Acidophilus is used for treating and preventing diarrhea, including infectious types such as rotaviral diarrhea in children and traveler's diarrhea. It is also used to prevent and treat diarrhea associated with using antibiotics.
Some people use acidophilus for general digestion problems; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); Crohn's disease; inflammation of the colon; and infection with Helicobacter pylori, the type of bacteria that causes ulcers. Acidophilus is also used for other types of infections including urinary tract infections (UTIs), vaginal yeast infections and to prevent respiratory infections in children attending daycare centers.
Acidophilus is used for skin disorders such as fever blisters, canker sores, and acne.
It is also used for high cholesterol, lactose intolerance, Lyme disease, hives, and to boost the immune system.
Women sometimes use acidophilus suppositories to treat vaginal infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
There are concerns about the quality of some acidophilus products. Some products labeled to contain acidophilus actually contain no lactobacillus acidophilus, or they contain a different strain of lactobacillus such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Some products are contaminated with “unfriendly” bacteria.
What is Acidophilus Possibly Effective for?
Diarrhea in children caused by a certain virus (rotavirus). Children with rotaviral diarrhea who are being treated with lactobacillus seem to get over their diarrhea about a half day earlier than they would without this treatment. Larger doses of lactobacillus are more effective than smaller ones. At least 10 billion colony-forming units during the first 48 hours should be used.
• Urinary tract infections (UTIs). There is some preliminary evidence that vaginal use of some Lactobacillus species might be helpful for preventing UTIs, but not all studies have agreed.
• General digestion problems.
• High cholesterol.
• Sensitivity to milk (lactose-intolerance).
• Lyme disease.
• Fever blisters.
• Canker sores.
• Boosting the immune system.