Treatments - Acidophilus
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What is Lactobacillus acidophilus?

Lactobacillus acidophilus, commonly referred to simply as acidophilus, usually lives in the gastrointestinal tract. They keep the normal bacteria of the GI tract and vagina in balance and help to fend off some ‘bad’ bacteria that may cause infection and irritation. When the amount of acidophilus in the body is diminished, as can occur with a number of medications, harmful yeasts and bacteria may take over and cause illness. Normal and healthy amounts of acidophilus can also be decreased by chronic diarrhea, stress, infections, and poor diet.

What are the uses of Lactobacillus acidophilus ?
Yeast infections. Acidophilus may be used to reduce susceptibility to vaginal yeast infections. The most common yeast to cause a ‘yeast infection’ is Candida albicans. Symptoms including itching, burning, inflammation, and discharge occur due to an overgrowth of the harmful yeast. Some women are more prone to yeast infections than others. Women with elevated blood sugar, seen in patients with diabetes, tend to have more yeast infections. The thinning of the vagina seen in menopause (referred to as urogential atrophy) can also lead to chronic and uncomfortable yeast infections.

What are the recommended Preparations/Dosages?
Acidophilus can be taken by mouth. It is available as powder, liquid, tablets, or capsules, and is also present in some types of milk, yogurt, and cheeses. Frozen yogurt does not contain live yeast cultures. The yeast is also killed by pasteurization. Check product labels to see whether live organisms are present.. The potency of a given preparation is usually expressed as the number of organisms per capsule. A usual dose of acidophilus is 1-10 billion organisms, divided into three doses per day.

Some studies have suggested the use of vaginal applications of acidophilus to be effective in decreasing vaginal yeast infections. Acidophilus douches and capsules have been proposed, but more research is necessary to confirm the effectiveness when used in this manner.

What Precautions should I know about?
People who are lactose-intolerant may also not tolerate acidophilus.

What about the Side Effects?
The initial use of acidophilus may cause an increase in intestinal gas, which decreases with continued use of the product.

Are there any harmful Interactions to consider?
Taking acidophilus in conjunction with some antibiotics, including penicillin type antibiotics, can prevent the diarrhea that is sometimes caused by their use.