Australia's #1 Natural Health Site

Search 2930 Articles

Acidophilus Explained

Acidophilus Explained

More people are turning to natural products for the prevention and treatment of diseases. For many years, some cultures have been using live foods to promote good digestion. The common denominator among these dishes is acidophilus which is naturally produced in the process of fermentation.

Acidophilus refers to a number of bacteria that are generally useful in the proper digestion of food. These bacteria include L. acidophilus, L. casei and L. bulgaricus.

While acidophilus may be found naturally in the body, you may also get it from live food sources such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and other fermented food products.

How acidophilus works

Acidophilus feeds on sugars, harmful bacteria, parasites and other micro-organisms in the digestive system. When acidophilus comes into contact with sugars, it breaks down sugars and converts them into lactic acid. The presence of lactic acid lowers the pH level of the intestine making it too acidic for harmful micro-organisms to thrive in. Thus, acidophilus not only attacks bad bacteria, but it also prevents them from growing in your intestine.

Why acidophilus is good for your digestive system

Your body relies on the proper function of the digestive system. When digestion and elimination are disturbed, a list of health problems may affect your body. Constipation, diarrhea, low energy levels, obesity, parasitic infection and bowel cancer are just a few of the conditions that can develop from a poor digestive system.

Acidophilus helps by pre-digesting food so that it is easily dissolved by the gastric juices and digestive enzymes found in your intestine. That way, food is broken down into nutrients that are easily absorbed by your body. For this reason, even without a stomach disorder, acidophilus is generally recommended for maintaining good health.

Improper food preparation and poor hygiene practices may also cause diarrhea by introducing harmful bacteria such as salmonella in your gut. When diarrhea strikes, it is a sign that there are more bad bacteria than good bacteria in your intestine. As a result, your body reacts to the presence of bacteria by pushing these out of your intestine in frequent and successive watery stools. When uncontrolled, a severe diarrhea attack may lead to dehydration as your body is unable to retain food or fluid long enough to be absorbed in your intestines. Aside from oral rehydration, another option is to take acidophilus to counter the bad bacteria. For some, this treatment works gently and almost immediately to stop diarrhea.

On the other hand, constipation is characterized by infrequent bowel movement, hard stools and difficulty in elimination. Constipation may be due to a number of factors, one of which is the accumulation of toxins and waste in your colon. A clogged colon inhibits the movement of intestinal muscles which are responsible for pushing out feces. While consuming plenty of fibre and fluids may help in promoting regular bowel movement, acidophilus boosts elimination by feeding on impacted waste material that may constrict the passage of feces, making it easier for fibre and other excrement to leave the colon.

Topic: Digestion

Featured Articles