Lactobacillus acidophilus (LA) is a little bacteria with a big name. It is found in plentiful quantities in all our Tibico Drinks generated by our unique anaerobic fermentation process and comes with equally big health benefits. Not only are there substantial benefits for children and adults, acidophilus is readily available in common foods that are easy to obtain or even make yourself, and carries minimal risk of side effects.
What Is Lactobacillus Acidophilus?
Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of a family of probiotics; that is, a bacteria which naturally occurs in the body. LA is also found in a number of fermented foods including yogurt, sauerkraut, and kefir, as well as in over-the-counter supplements.
You’ve probably heard of bacteria described as good or bad. So-called good bacteria are essential for your health, particularly for digestion and a robust immune response to pathogens. In fact, most bacteria are essential to life. While comparatively few kinds are harmful, the ones that are cause serious health conditions such as salmonella (food poisoning), e coli, and bacterial pneumonia among others.
Probiotics are the good kind of bacteria, and there is also evidence that lactobacillus acidophilus specifically can help prevent or treat a variety of common health conditions.
If you or someone you care about suffers from any of the following health issues, here’s how lactobacillus acidophilus may help ease or even prevent them.
1. Lower Your Risk Of Heart Disease By Reducing Cholesterol
When your cholesterol is 240 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or greater, you’re at significant risk for heart disease, which is the number one cause of death for both women and men.
Because high cholesterol is one of the primary risk factors for heart disease, it makes sense to use whatever means you can to reduce your level. Recent studies show that LA is effective at reducing total cholesterol as well as LDL (the “bad” kind). Although probiotics in general help, LA has been shown to be one the most beneficial of them.
2. Boost Your Immunity
When your immune system is deficient, you’re at risk for opportunistic diseases such as the Norwalk virus and pneumonia that you wouldn’t otherwise get.
Acidophilus has been shown to strengthen the immune system and support it to respond in a balanced and healthy way to pathogens in the body. By eating LA-rich food or taking supplements, you can help your immune system to protect you.
3. Good For Your Gut Health
In the last several years a lot of research has emerged which shows how vital a healthy gut is to your overall well-being. Poor gut health results in inflammation in the body which in turn is a risk factor for other conditions such as cancer, food intolerances, and dementia. And we sometimes compromise our gut health by eating processed food and taking antibiotics, for example.
Your gut contains trillions of bacteria and other microbes in what’s called the microbiome, a complex part of your body that’s still only marginally understood. But one thing we do know for certain: your health is more likely to flourish when your gut is healthy. Because lactobacillus acidophilus naturally occurs in your body, eating foods or taking supplements which contain it is strongly promotes a healthy gut.
4. Prevent Or Reduce Diarrhea
Although we normally think of diarrhea as more of an embarrassment than a serious illness, diarrhea is actually the second-leading cause of death in children 5 and under.
As well, the the elderly are also susceptible to dying from the complications of chronic diarrhea, the most severe of which is dehydration that leads to loss of electrolytes and essential nutrients.
Be aware that a bout of acute (short-term) diarrhea may indicate that you have an underlying medical condition of some kind. Once you use LA to help ease the symptoms, be sure to have a medical professional check out what’s going on with you.
5. Improve Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
If you know anyone with IBS, you know how utterly disruptive it can be to daily life. Even when you’re on prescription medication, you can still suffer sudden attacks of diarrhea or significant abdominal cramping which causes you to have to dash for the bathroom. In fact, one of my friends with IBS plans all of her outings around accessible bathrooms, which she’s scoped out in advance just in case her IBS strikes.
By taking acidophilus to boost the healthy bacteria in your bowels, you may ease your IBS symptoms and lessen the chances of experiencing a sudden attack of cramping or diarrhea.
(By the way, you can rest easy that IBS doesn’t increase your risk of colon cancer nor does it damage bowel tissue.)
6. Treat Or Prevent Vaginal Infections
There are two general types of vaginal infections called bacterial vaginitis and a yeast infection. As the names imply, one caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a vaginal yeast infection is caused by fungus. Either bacterial vaginitis or a yeast infection is unpleasant and disrupts daily life
While neither type are deadly, they have highly unpleasant symptoms such as itching and burning, and foul-smelling vaginal discharge that are embarrassing. As well, if you’re trying to get pregnant, research shows that a healthy vagina provides a favorable environment for the sperm’s journey to your egg so a vaginal infection may slow down your ability to conceive.
7. Promote Weight Loss
Let’s face it, most of us want to lose weight either to look good or feel better about ourselves – or both. But since being overweight also increases risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer, do yourself an enormous favor and try lactobacillus acidophilus to help get your weight down.
You’ll feel better about yourself and support your health in one easy step.
8. Prevent Or Reduce Cold And Flu Symptoms
Wouldn’t it be great if, instead of getting a bug that’s currently going around, you didn’t get sick at all? You wouldn’t be sidelined by the cold or flu for days, throwing your life out of whack. Not to mention you’d feel good and be able to meet your family and work commitments.
Even if you did get sick, imagine at least reducing the impact of your cold or flu so you get could back to your regular life quicker.
9. Prevent Or Reduce Allergy Symptoms
LA, by supporting a healthy immune system, can prevent or reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. An allergy is caused by an overactive immune response to a common substance; that’s what causes your itchy, watery eyes, itchy throat, and persistent sinus congestion in response to pollen, for example. A healthier immune system wouldn’t respond so strongly – or at all – to an allergen.
If you dislike constantly taking antihistamines during allergy season, do yourself a favor and try taking acidophilus instead. It’s much easier on your body than over-the-counter medications.
10. Improve Iron And Folate (B12) Levels
If you’re low on either the vitamin folate (also known as B12) or iron, you’re susceptible to two specific kinds of anemia, meaning your body doesn’t make sufficient red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s tissues. Both low folate (B12) anemia and low iron anemia compromise your health and can be serious if untreated. Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of anemia, and having sufficient folate levels is essential if you’re pregnant.
Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to improve red blood cell and hemoglobin levels, support weight gain among children who are dangerously underweight because of anemia, and increase iron levels among people who are obese.
11. Prevent Or Reduce Symptoms Of Eczema
Eczema results in rough, red, inflamed patches of skin on the body, which sometimes blister or bleed. It’s caused in part by a hyper immune response similar to the one that causes allergies, as mentioned above, but also likely by an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in the gut. People who suffer from eczema often also develop mental health conditions such as depression because of their self-consciousness about their appearance.
Because, as mentioned, acidophilus supports both a healthy gut and immune system, taking it can help ease or prevent your eczema and potentially support your mental health too.