Acidophilus - A Supplement That Promotes Good Bacteria
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a bacterium that naturally occurs in your stomach and intestines. In these days of overusing antibiotics, it is a bacterium that a lot of us are lacking. To get it back into your system, consider adding an acidophilus supplement to your diet.
If you choose to use a dietary supplement, you should pay close attention to any changes that occur - mentally or physically. If you see any changes (other than the desired effects), discontinue use immediately and call a pharmacist.
Now that the warnings are over, let me tell you why I personally love acidophilus as a "miracle" dietary supplement for any kind of occasional intestinal problems, bladder infections, and yeast infections.
Antibiotics can cause intestinal problems, such as diarrhea. The reason this happens is that antibiotics are not selective enough in the types of bacteria they kill. Besides killing the bad bacteria that are making you sick, they are also taking out some of the good bacteria. The good bacteria help fight the bad bacteria in your stomach and intestines. Picture a little war taking place inside your body. The good bacteria are your allies. They want you to be healthy and they try to keep you from getting sick. If they get outnumbered by bad bacteria, we will often send in antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. Antibiotics are not smart bombs. They are the bacteria equivalent of a nuclear weapon, and they kill all the bacteria, even our allies.
The biggest problem with the nuclear antibiotics is that afterward, you don't have your allies anymore. You are open to another invasion of bad bacteria. Acidophilus supplements can give you back your allies. They will help put the good bacteria into your system. This will help your body function more smoothly and help prevent another bad bacteria invasion.
In cases of bladder and yeast infections, acidophilus not only helps cure the infections, it can prevent infections from happening in the first place. You've probably heard about the live bacteria cultures in yogurt being helpful to fight yeast infections. That's what acidophilus is, and it's available to you in a convenient powder, pill, or liquid form as well.
In several small studies, treatment of yeast and bladder infections with acidophilus alone was enough to ward off the bacteria. When used as a daily supplement, it even helped women who were very susceptible to yeast or bladder infections remain infection-free.
If you've ever had to take off work, go to a doctor, get a prescription, and load your body with yet more antibiotics for a simple yeast or bladder infection, you can see the tremendous potential of being able to prevent those kinds of infections. Not to mention the personal annoyances - pain, feeling as though you constantly have to urinate, etc.
Of course, not all dietary supplements work the same on all people. Luckily, there are little-to-no side effects from supplementing your diet with acidophilus. The worst reported in most studies was a really short time period of intestinal gas that discontinued with prolonged treatment. If you want to add acidophilus to your diet, you might try buying 12 mg of the pill form. The recommended dose is 2 pills, and you should get the good bacteria back in your system pretty quickly.
You can use acidophilus for occasional constipation, diarrhea, and to prevent bacterial infection. Some people with irritable bowel syndrome even benefit, but be sure to ask your doctor if you have been diagnosed with any kind of intestinal disease.
One final warning is that acidophilus is derived from ingredients including milk. If you are lactose intolerant, ask your doctor before supplementing your diet with acidophilus.