Lactobacillus acidophilus is a probiotic bacterium. Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria that have positive health benefits when ingested, ranging from digestive regulation to vitamin production and reduction of cancer risk. Today, probiotics such as acidophilus are available in a variety of products. Acidophilus naturally occurs in some foods, and is added along with other probiotics in other foods and supplements. Learn about the best acidophilus products so that you know what to eat to increase probiotic intake for your health.
Many health food stores and vitamin shops carry probiotic supplements that include the acidophilus bacteria. Supplements are most often available in capsule or tablet form. Tasteless, colorless, powdered probiotic supplements are also common, and can be mixed into a beverage or sprinkled onto food for ingestion. Many probiotic supplements are blended or formulated for specific benefits. Probiotic blends that feature acidophilus as the main ingredient will naturally improve digestive health, prevent and alleviate vaginal yeast infections, improve vitamin and folic acid production and even help lower cholesterol.
Yogurt is the main source of acidophilus, where the live bacterium naturally occurs in the milk-fermenting process. All yogurts contain acidophilus and other live cultures, but some manufacturers fortify their yogurt with additional probiotics, including acidophilus, for additional health benefits. Some brands offer classic yogurt with added probiotics, while other brands offer yogurt shakes or frozen treats that contain additional acidophilus and other probiotics.
Other Fermented Foods
Like yogurt, acidophilus naturally occurs in other fermented food products. Acidophilus is present in fermented milk and milk alternatives such as fermented soy beverages. Miso and tofu are two other soy products that naturally contain acidophilus. Sauerkraut and pickles are other common, fermented foods that also contain the acidophilus bacterium. Cheeses containing live cultures also contain acidophilus.
In addition to their other health benefits, certain juices also contain healthy amounts of the acidophilus probiotic. Like yogurt, acidophilus naturally occurs in some juices, while it is added to other juice blends and brands. Fermented apple juice, including some ciders, naturally contains acidophilus. Several brands of all-natural fruit juice blends and health shakes that have acidophilus and other probiotics added are also widely available in health food stores and supermarkets across the country.
Because some types of alcohol are made through fermentation, certain alcoholic beverages also contain acidophilus. Beers that are brewed through malt or barley fermentation naturally contain acidophilus, as do cider-based alcoholic beverages. Because wine is made from fermented grapes, this popular alcoholic beverage is a good source of acidophilus as well.