Alternative & Complimentary Therapies
There are claims that acidophilus aids the digestive process, helps correct constipation, diarrhea, mucous colitis and diverticulitis, reduces blood cholesterol, enhances the absorption of nutrients, sweetens bad breath, treats acne and other skin disorders, conquers harmful bacteria and certain viruses, helps alleviate candidiasis and other vaginal infections, and may even prevent cancer.
Lactic acid-producing microorganisms, such as L. acidophilus, have been called a "second immune system" because they put the brakes on growth of disease-causing bacteria, such as salmonella and shigella-caused dysentery, various types of diarrhea, and even virus-caused flu. Yogurt with acidophilus culture and acidophilus on its own has been shown to clear up yeast infections and vaginitis in children and adults. However, L. acidophilus is not present in all brands of yogurt.
Acidophilus supplements usually work quickly and effectively because they contain as many as one billion individual friendly bacteria per gram. For those who cannot use milk products, acidophilus is available from carrots, soybeans, rice starch, garbanzo beans and other sources. Health food stores carry a variety of acidophilus supplements in capsule, liquid and powder form. Some of the formulas contain bifidobacteria, another helpful bacteria, as well as vitamin C and other nutrients. Using the powder, you can make your own yogurt-type drink. For best results, acidophilus supplements should be taken on an empty stomach before breakfast and an hour before other meals.
Many who have difficulty digesting ordinary dairy products often have success with cultured milk products, such as yogurt or acidophilus milk. Acidophilus milk, cultured with the bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus, may be a digestible alternative to fresh milk.
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