Lactobacillus acidophilus has "extraordinary" benefits for your health, write Sarah Wernick, Ph.D., and Gary Huffnagle, Ph.D., in their book, "The Probiotics Revolution." L. acidophilus is one of many strains of friendly bacteria known as probiotics and by far the most commonly used, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. If you incorporate L. acidophilus into your daily life, you may discover some of these benefits for yourself. Like all health supplements, probiotics do have occasional negative side effects and should only be taken under the supervision of your doctor.
L. acidophilus can help prevent and reduce the severity of diarrhea that arises from eating spoiled food, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It may also help with infectious diarrhea caused by various viruses and bacteria like E. coli and the astrovirus.
Vaginal Infection Reduction
The National Institutes of Health report that L. acidophilus is an effective treatment for bacterial infections of the vaginal area. Though L. acidophilus is usually taken orally, it's often inserted in tablet form into the afflicted area of the body when treating infections of this kind.
When you take antibiotics, the medications kill all the bacteria in your digestive tract, including the friendly bacteria. L. acidophilus supplements can help rebalance the digestive tract by repopulating it and may help with common antibiotic side effects like cramping and flatulence, according to a report in "The Journal of Otolaryngoloy."
Lactose Digestion Assistance
If you are lactose intolerant, L. acidophilus may help reduce the discomfort and symptoms that come with eating dairy by helping you digest it, notes the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
L. acidophilus may help lower levels of low-density lipoprotein, also known as "bad" cholesterol, suggests the National Institutes of Health, while also reducing overall levels of cholesterol in the blood stream.
Rudimentary research shows that L. acidophilus may help allergy-afflicted individuals react less strongly to pollen, according to a randomized placebo-controlled study published in the September 2005 issue of the journal "Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry." The National Institutes of Health warn that additional research is needed to better understand the probiotic's efficacy for allergies.