Probiotic Breakdown: What Are The Benefits Of Lactobacillus Acidophilus?

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a type of beneficial bacteria commonly found in the digestive tract. This bacteria plays an important role in your microbiome having a long list of benefits for human health, including aiding digestion, boosting the immune system, and fighting harmful bacteria. In this article, we will explore the many benefits of lactobacillus acidophilus and how it can improve overall health and well-being. 

What Does Lactobacillus Acidophilus Do?

Breaking down lactose and helping with bloating, gas and constipation

One of the primary benefits of Lactobacillus acidophilus is its ability to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk and other dairy products. This makes it particularly useful for people who are mildly lactose intolerant, as it can help them digest dairy more easily.

But, it’s not just with dairy, Lactobacillus acidophilus helps to break down food in the gut, period. It also produces enzymes that aid in the absorption of nutrients. This can help prevent digestive discomfort such as bloating, gas, and constipation, and is once again, particularly useful for people with a dairy sensitivity.

Lactobacillus And The Immune System

Lactobacillus acidophilus can help enhance the immune system in several ways. Firstly, it stimulates the production of white blood cells, [1] which are responsible for fighting off infections and foreign invaders. Secondly, it helps regulate the balance of gut bacteria,[2] which is crucial for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is linked to a stronger immune system [3], as it helps prevent harmful bacteria from taking over and causing infections. Lactobacillus acidophilus has also been shown to increase the production of antibodies in the body. Antibodies are proteins that identify and neutralize harmful pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria. By increasing the production of antibodies, Lactobacillus acidophilus can help the body fight off infections more effectively. [4]

And to top it off this probiotic bacterium produces lactic acid, which creates an acidic environment in the gut and vaginal tract that is hostile to pathogenic microorganisms. It also produces hydrogen peroxide, which has antimicrobial properties that further inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

What has lactobacillus been specifically shown to target.

Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to prevent several types of infections, including urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, and respiratory tract infections. It does this by forming a protective barrier on the surface of the mucous membranes in the gut, respiratory tract, and reproductive system, preventing harmful microorganisms from attaching and colonizing. In addition to preventing infections, lactobacillus acidophilus also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut and vaginal tract, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus crispatus. [5] These bacteria help to maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the body, which is essential for optimal immune function and overall health, particularly for women due to it’s ability to assist with the vaginal tract and yeast infections.

Lactobacillus acidophilus may reduce inflammation

Chronic inflammation in the gut can lead to a range of digestive problems, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut, which may help prevent or manage these conditions. [6]

Studies have shown that Lactobacillus acidophilus can help to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are molecules that contribute to inflammation in the body. By reducing the production of these cytokines, Lactobacillus acidophilus can help to alleviate inflammation and related symptoms. [7]

Reduces the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Antibiotics can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut, leading to diarrhea, even a one week course takes the stomach 6 months to restore your healthy microbiome. As such taking Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements after a course of antibiotics may help restore the balance of bacteria in the gut [8] and reduce the risk of diarrhea and is recommended in many countries such as the UK.

It May Help You Lose Weight

Some studies have shown that Lactobacillus acidophilus can help to reduce body weight and body fat. In one study, researchers found that supplementing with Lactobacillus acidophilus for 12 weeks resulted in significant reductions in body fat mass [8] and body weight in overweight and obese adults. This effect was seen even without any changes to diet or exercise habits. [9] Another study found that supplementing with Lactobacillus acidophilus for 6 months resulted in significant reductions in body weight, BMI, and waist circumference in overweight and obese individuals. This effect was seen even in individuals who did not make any changes to their diet or exercise habits. [10] The mechanism behind the weight management benefits of Lactobacillus acidophilus is not yet fully understood. However, it is believed that the bacteria may help to reduce inflammation in the gut, improve insulin sensitivity, [11] and increase the production of certain hormones that are involved in appetite regulation. That said, the jury is still out on this one and more research needs to be done before we draw any conclusions.

Lactobacillus acidophilus and the prevention of allergies

Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a harmless substance, such as pollen, dust, or certain foods. The immune system produces antibodies and histamine, which can cause symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and swelling. Lactobacillus acidophilus has been shown to modulate the immune system, which can help prevent allergies. A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology [12] found that supplementing with Lactobacillus acidophilus during pregnancy and breastfeeding reduced the risk of eczema in infants. Eczema is a common allergic skin condition that can be triggered by a variety of factors, including food allergies. Another study published in the Journal of Pediatrics [13] found that supplementing with Lactobacillus acidophilus and another probiotic bacterium called Bifidobacterium lactis reduced the risk of allergic rhinitis (hay fever) in children. The study found that the probiotics reduced the severity of symptoms and the need for medication. Lactobacillus acidophilus may also have a role in preventing food allergies. A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology [14] found that supplementing with Lactobacillus acidophilus and another probiotic bacterium called Bifidobacterium animalis reduced the risk of peanut allergy in infants. The study found that the probiotics increased the production of a type of immune cell called regulatory T cells, which can help prevent the immune system from overreacting to allergens.

Lactobacillus acidophilus and its role in women's health Because Lactobacillus Acidophilus urinary tract, and female reproductive system. This probiotic bacterium is well-known for its beneficial effects on women's health. Lactobacillus acidophilus is important for maintain the natural balance of the vaginal microbiome. As it produces lactic acid, which helps to maintain the acidic environment of the vagina. This acidic environment is important for preventing the growth of harmful bacteria, yeast infections, and other vaginal infections. [15] So how does Lactobacillus acidophilus work?

Essentially, Lactobacillus acidophilus works in six key ways:

  • By producing lactic acid, which creates an acidic environment in the gut that is inhospitable to harmful bacteria.
  • It also produces enzymes that help break down food and promote the growth of other healthy bacteria in the gut.
  • It encourages the production of antibodies.
  • It produces hydrogen peroxide, which has antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
  • It reduces swelling by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
  • It improves insulin sensitivity.It helps break down lactose to prevent gas and bloating

Benefits Of Lactobacillus Conclusion

In conclusion, the benefits of lactobacillus acidophilus shouldn’t be understated. This probiotic strain has been shown to improve digestion, boost immunity, and play a significant role in women’s health. With it seeming to be effective in treating and preventing a variety of conditions, including vaginal infections, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. Overall, incorporating lactobacillus acidophilus into one's diet through sources such as yogurt, kefir, and supplements can provide a range of health benefits and promote overall well-being.

 References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692339/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9668099/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6314516/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2967272/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24935380/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7400428/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3318281/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692339/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8540110/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7465252/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20815975/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29248229/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4613798/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15653517/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7023241/


 

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