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What is an Acidophilus Supplement?

B. Miller
B. Miller

An acidophilus supplement is a type of dietary supplement typically found in capsule form. The term "acidophilus" refers to a grouping of probiotics, or helpful bacteria in the body. These probiotics include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, among others.

These probiotics, found naturally in the body, help to keep the bacteria levels in the body in balance and aid in digestion. The bacteria is naturally found in the mouth, intestinal tract, and genital area. Acidophilus is often found in yogurt, milk, sauerkraut, and other fermented foods. Many people take an acidophilus supplement for various health reasons, and it is often recommended by doctors.

Sauerkraut is a natural source of acidophilus.
Sauerkraut is a natural source of acidophilus.

Some take an acidophilus supplement to aid in their digestion, and to help prevent upset stomach and diarrhea. The healthy bacteria helps to break down food more easily. Those with weakened immune systems often take the supplement in order to prevent infection and strengthen the immune system overall.

In addition, it is often recommended that women who frequently suffer from yeast infections take an acidophilus supplement. The yeast infection is caused by a fungus known as Candida albicans, and the acidophilus is able to kill the fungus and prevent the overgrowth of bacteria. Keep in mind that acidophilus does not only need to be taken when a yeast infection occurs, but may be used every day to prevent them from recurring.

Acidophilus capsules aid in digestion.
Acidophilus capsules aid in digestion.

Another instance when it is a good idea to take acidophilus is when taking antibiotics. Antibiotics kill all the bacteria in the body, including the beneficial bacteria found in the mouth, intestine, and genital area. This is why people who take antibiotics often suffer from diarrhea, stomach upset, and yeast infections, which are known as Thrush when they occur in the mouth. It is often recommended that those who are on antibiotics should take an acidophilus capsule three to four times per day.

Yogurt can be eaten in lieu of an acidophilus supplement.
Yogurt can be eaten in lieu of an acidophilus supplement.

When selecting an acidophilus supplement, keep in mind that most need to be refrigerated; this is because they are made up of live bacteria cultures. If you are taking them while traveling, choose ones that do not need to be refrigerated. Supplements should generally have two to three billion cells per capsule; less expensive versions may have fewer, but they may not be as effective. Taking an acidophilus supplement regularly can be a great way to improve health, boost the immune system, and prevent yeast infections.

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Discussion Comments


If you want the benefits of taking an acidophilus supplement but don't like to take it every day, you don't have to. My doctor told me that as long as you get acidophilus in your diet from food or a supplement several times a week, you will get the benefits of it.

You can also try taking your supplement mixed in food, which will make it more pleasant to take. Apple sauce and pudding are the best kinds of foods to mix acidophilus in.


If you don't like the idea of taking an acidophilus supplement, find a yogurt that you like that also contains this beneficial bacteria. Many brands, especially Greek varieties, have acidophilus in the ingredients.

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    • Sauerkraut is a natural source of acidophilus.
      By: Dani Vincek
      Sauerkraut is a natural source of acidophilus.
    • Acidophilus capsules aid in digestion.
      By: womue
      Acidophilus capsules aid in digestion.
    • Yogurt can be eaten in lieu of an acidophilus supplement.
      By: Anton Maltsev
      Yogurt can be eaten in lieu of an acidophilus supplement.