Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the conditions of the vaginal tract change and allow bad bacteria to overgrow and crowd out the naturally occurring beneficial bacteria that are normally there. Bacterial infections such as bacterial vaginosis may be treatable with probiotics, such as acidophilus. You should talk to a doctor about using probiotics for treating bacterial vaginosis before attempting to treat yourself.
Acidophilus is a type of bacteria belonging to the group Lactobacillus, one of the friendly bacteria, or probiotics. Its full name is Lactobacillus acidophilus, or L. acidophilus. According to recent studies, it is the most commonly used probiotic. Probiotics like L. acidophilus work in the body to fend off unfriendly bacteria that can cause disease.
How does L. Acidophilus work?
The use of L. acidophilus to fight bacterial vaginosis is based off the observation that when a bacterial vaginosis infection takes hold, natural lactobacillus in the vaginal tract becomes depleted. Probiotic L. acidophilus also lets off hydrogen peroxide, which is believed to alter the pH of the vaginal tract, making it less hospitable to the invading bacteria.
Small clinical studies have found that this probiotic is helpful for treating BV. Additional larger medical studies are needed to definitively determine the effectiveness of L. acidophilus against bacterial vaginosis.
L. acidophilus can be purchased as live active cultures or dried cultures. Freeze-dried L. acidophilus comes in granules, powder, tablet or capsule form. A liquid version containing live cultures is also available. Probiotics, including L. acidophilus, are often added to yogurt.
How should you take L. Acidophilus?
Lactobacillus acidophilus and other probiotics are found in some fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, soy products, and pickles. You can also buy probiotic supplements in liquid, tablet, or powder form.
Eating yogurt is often recommended for people who are lactose intolerant. This is because yogurt has less lactose than milk and other dairy products. Lactobacillus acidophilus is one of the probiotics in yogurt that’s responsible for “pre-digesting” the lactose, which makes it easier to digest.
How is L. Acidophilus manufactured?
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a bacteria that exists naturally in the body, primarily in the intestines and the vagina. Lactobacillus acidophilus has been used as a probiotic, or “friendly bacteria.”
Lactobacillus acidophilus is available in capsule and tablet form, or as a vaginal suppository. Powder or liquid forms may also be available. Some dairy products, especially yogurt, also contain lactobacillus acidophilus.
Who should not take L. Acidophilus ?
Talk to your doctor before taking lactobacillus acidophilus if you have any other medical conditions, allergies, or if you take other medicines or herbal/health supplements. Under certain conditions, it may be dangerous for you to take lactobacillus acidophilus. Do not take lactobacillus acidophilus without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Lactobacillus acidophilus is generally considered safe for most people. Gas, upset stomach, and diarrhea are potential side effects in some people (not on antibiotic therapy) who take more than 1 – 2 billion L. acidophilus cells daily.