Generic: lactobacillus acidophilus
a probiotic - treats Vaginal candidiasis, Asthma, H. pylori infection, Irritable bowel syndrome, Bacterial vaginosis, Immunomodulation, Lactose intolerance, Diarrhea prevention, Necrotizing enterocolitis prevention in infants, Intestinal inflammation, High cholesterol, Intestinal blockage, Breast cancer, Premature birth prevention, Diarrhea treatment, Leaky gut syndrome, Hepatic encephalopathy, Colitis, Atopic dermatitis, and Allergic disorders
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Lactose sensitive people may develop abdominal discomfort from dairy products containing Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Side Effects and Warnings
Studies report few side effects from Lactobacillus acidophilus when used at recommended doses. The most common complaint is abdominal discomfort or gas, which usually resolves with continued use. Some experts recommend limiting the daily dose of living Lactobacillus acidophilus organisms to reduce the risk of abdominal discomfort. Some women have reported burning of the vagina after using Lactobacillus acidophilus vaginal tablets.
There are rare reports of infections of heart valves with Lactobacillus acidophilus, and the risk may be greater in people with artificial heart valves. People with severely weakened immune systems (due to disease or drugs like cancer chemotherapy and organ transplant immunosuppressants) may develop serious infections or bacteria in the blood from taking Lactobacillus acidophilus. Therefore, Lactobacillus acidophilus should be avoided in such individuals. People with intestinal damage or recent bowel surgery should avoid taking lactobacilli.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
There is not enough scientific study available to establish safety during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women should use Lactobacillus acidophilus cautiously and under medical supervision, if at all. A small number of pregnant women have taken part in studies investigating Lactobacillus acidophilus vaginal tablets and a culture of Lactobacillus acidophilus with no negative effects reported. Further research is necessary.
Interactions with Drugs
Some experts believe that Lactobacillus acidophilus taken by mouth should be used two to three hours after antibiotic doses, to prevent killing the Lactobacillus acidophilus. It has also been suggested that lactobacilli are damaged by alcohol and should not be taken at the same time. Scientific research is limited in these areas.
In theory, Lactobacillus acidophilus taken by mouth might not survive the acidic environment of the stomach. Some experts have suggested that antacids should be taken 30 to 60 minutes before taking lactobacilli. However, this has not been well studied in humans.
In theory, Lactobacillus acidophilus may prolong the effects of some drugs, including birth control pills, the contraceptive vaginal ring, or benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium®). Based on laboratory experiments, Lactobacillus acidophilus may reduce the effectiveness of sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®), a drug used for inflammatory bowel disease.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Fructo- oligosaccharides (FOS, also called "prebiotics") are non- digestible sugar chains that are nutrients for lactobacilli. Some experts believe that FOS, taken by mouth, may help the growth of lactobacilli. Natural food sources of FOS include banana, Jerusalem artichoke, onion, asparagus, and garlic.
Lactobacillus casei, Saccharomyces boulardi, or other probiotics may add to the effects of Lactobacillus acidophilus.