Lactobacillus acidophilus is a type of "friendly" bacteria that assists in the digestion of proteins, a process in which lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, enzymes, B vitamins, and antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms are produced. Acidophilus has antifungal properties, helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels, aids digestion, and enhances the absorption of nutrients.
The flora in the healthy colon should consist of at least 85 percent lactobacilli and 15 percent coliform bacteria. However, the typical colon bacteria count today is the reverse. This can result in gas, bloating, intestinal and systemic toxicity, constipation, and malabsorption of nutrients, and is conducive to an overgrowth of candida. Taking an acidophilus supplement helps to combat all of these problems by returning the intestinal flora to a healthier balance. In addition, acidophilus may help to detoxify harmful substances.
There are many good acidophilus supplements available. Acidophilus products come in tablet, capsule, and powdered forms. We recommend using the powdered form. Natren markets quality products that contain very high numbers of organisms. Nondairy formulas are best for people who are allergic to dairy products, and they work well against candida. Probiata from Wakunaga of America is a milk-free product that remains stable at high temperatures. Other good nondairy acidophilus supplements include Primadophilus from Nature's Way, Neo-Flora from New Chapter, and Flora from Da Vinci Labs. In general, we believe it is not advisable to buy a product containing a combination of different strains of lactobacilli, as one organism may be antagonistic to another. A single-strain product with a count of at least 1 billion organisms per gram is often better than a combination.
Acidophilus can die at high temperatures. Whatever product you choose, keep it in a cool, dry place--refrigerate but do not freeze it. Take acidophilus on an empty stomach in the morning and one hour before each meal. If you are taking antibiotics, do not take the antibiotics and acidophilus simultaneously.