One of the widely used bacterial (probiotic) supplements, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which translates to “acid-loving milk bacterium” in Latin. This is one of the many useful bacteria which aid in digestion and immunity systems of the body. As has been suggested in the name, these bacteria contain lactose content and are hence are also used in the making of special types of acidophilus yogurts and other dairy products. Traces of this L. Acidophilus do exist naturally in the mouth, gastric and intestinal tracts and the vagina in women.
As mentioned earlier, L. Acidophilus are beneficial bacteria which are primarily helpful for efficient metabolism management. Besides this, other benefits of this probiotic are:
- It generates lactase, a particular enzyme which breaks down sugar in the milk
- It avoids or otherwise treats diarrhea
- It cuts the excessive growth of pathogens in the digestive tract
- It is useful to provide relief in diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gut Dysbiosis and Crohn’s disease
- It helps in reducing the yeast infections in the vagina and urinary tract
- It, very importantly, strengthens the body’s immune system
L. Acidophilus therefore are pretty beneficial probiotic supplements for your body. Since the proportion of these bacteria naturally present in the body is insufficient, one can take external supplements and special yogurts that contain these. Also, certain modern fermented foods, especially processed, are a reliable way to obtain L. Acidophilus, such as:
- Young coconut kefir
- Raw cultured vegetables
- Essential duo culture starters
- Vitality SuperGreen
Types of Lactobacillus
Lactobacillus is of various types, each having its own characteristics and applications. There are seven prominent types in this:
- Lactobacillus Rhamnosus – This type or species, besides in intestinal tracts, is also incorporated externally in yogurts and other dairy products. This species of bacteria is widely used in medical research and treatment as it facilitates metabolism and is also useful to treat various problems. Though it is a beneficial bacterium, certain results have found it to be pathogenic in nature, i.e. it may cause disease in its host. Its patented form, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG, is claimed to be useful in treating diarrhea, respiratory infections, Atopic Dermatitis, urogenital tract and anxiety.
- Lactobacillus Bulgaricus – This species of bacteria is used for making special type of probiotic yogurts. It basically produces lactic acid, which is used to preserve milk. It is therefore suggested to people with lactose intolerance, as their digestive systems do not have the enzymes to break down lactose to simpler forms of sugar. As per a research by Ilya Metchnikoff, consumption of milk fermented with this species of bacterium has helped increase lifespan of individuals in many rural areas of Europe, Bulgaria and Russia.
- Lactobacillus Reuteri – This violet-stained bacterium are naturally found in the guts of birds and mammals. This species was first discovered in early 1980s. This species is beneficial to both humans and animals due to its basic nature of colonizing in the intestines and hence assisting digestion and strengthening the immunity system. It has also been used to improve dental and general health of both animals and humans.
- Lactobacillus Plantarum – This species is found in many fermented food products, certain plants and also in the saliva. The bacterium from this species is used in producing cultured food products such as pickles, olives, sausages, fish, certain types of cheese, and predominantly for the making of probiotic supplements. Besides, these are also used in bio-chemistry and therapeutics studies.
- Lactobacillus Casei – Basically found in the human intestine and mouth, this species is used on a wide scale for producing dairy products, treating severe and mild diarrhea, and as a commercial probiotic. The probiotic form is basically beneficial to maintain a healthy digestive system.
- Lactobacillus Sporogenes – Also called as Bacillus coagulans, this species is known for producing lactic acid which helps in preservation of milk. It is suggested by a large number of dieticians as an effective probiotic. This species is a nonpathogenic species and does not normally occupy the human body. These are said to be more beneficial than most other lactobacillus bacteria as they can tolerate higher temperatures, are easy to manufacture and are relatively affordable. They also have longer shelf-life. Furthermore, these are more tolerant towards the digestive juices in the intestines, hence countering them and aiding the digestive process.
- Lactobacillus Gasseri – This is also a type of lactic acid-producing bacteria, and is found in the gastrointestinal tract of the human body. However, unlike other bacteria, this is known as a pathogenic species which has been known to cause Fournier’s gangrene, a genital condition. It is applied in the fermentation of different food products and also in biotechnological research.