Medical Definition of Lactobacillus acidophilus

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Lactobacillus acidophilus: This bacteria is part of the normal flora of the human and animal mouth, intestinal tract, and vagina. As normal flora, it helps to prevent overgrowth of potentially harmful bacteria by maintaining an acidic environment. Acidophilus and some related bacteria are considered to be "probiotic" because they may help the body maintain or restore its normal balance of helpful bacteria. The use of antibiotics can decimate the normal flora in the body. Some healthcare professionals recommend probiotics to counter the side effect of antibiotic use. L. acidophilus is found in milk and fermented products like yogurt with "active cultures" and in the form of supplements.

See also probiotics.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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