When Should I Take Acidophilus?

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a bacteria that, along with other bacteria like L. bulgaricus and L. bifidus, aids in digestion. While certain people who lack sufficient amounts of acidophilus may take supplements to regulate digestion, others swear by acidophilus supplements for a range of diverse conditions including bad breath, yeast infections and even cancer prevention. Since acidophilus is not approved by the FDA for treatment or prevention of any conditions, you should discuss the risks and potential benefits of acidophilus with your doctor before use.

  1. Digestion

    • Acidophilus's natural occurrence in the human body and the role it plays in digestion lead some doctors to believe that acidophilus supplements may aid in healthy digestion. If you have digestion problems or wish to improve your overall digestive functions, consider an increase in acidophilus from a pill or food with added acidophilus. While you may have reservations about acidophilus supplements because the FDA has not approved them, you can buy several food products that contain acidophilus cultures. Popular products with added acidophilus bacteria include yogurt, cheese and carrots.

      Although scientific research on the positive digestive benefits of acidophilus is scant, anecdotal evidence suggests that acidophilus may help with digestive disturbances like diarrhea, constipation and colitis.

    Yeast Infections

    • Acidophilus is naturally found in the vagina and helps to protect against candida organism buildup. When vaginal acidophilus levels decrease, the resulting prevalence of candida may lead to a yeast infection. Oral acidophilus supplements may help to clear up yeast infections. In addition, according to the Mother Nature herbal medicine website, a two- to four-week course of acidophilus pills may help decrease your chances of developing future yeast infections. Remember, although the FDA has not approved acidophilus to treat or prevent yeast infections, that does not necessarily mean that acidophilus does not work for yeast infections. Discuss acidophilus pills and/or foods that contain acidophilus with your doctor to decide whether or not it will help your yeast infection.

    Antibiotics

    • People who take antibiotics for infections may suffer decreased levels of L. acidophilus. While antibiotics rid the body of bad bacteria, they may also kill helpful bacteria in the process. As your natural acidophilus levels decrease, your chances of yeast infection, digestive infections and other health problems may increase. Thus, after a course of antibiotics, consider acidophilus supplements or yogurt with active acidophilus cultures to reintroduce acidophilus into the body and maintain sufficient acidophilus levels in the intestines and/or vagina. When your doctor prescribes you antibiotics, talk to him about the appropriate amount of acidophilus to take and whether you should take an acidophilus capsule or eat foods with added acidophilus, like yogurt or cheese.

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