Lactobacillus acidophilus is an important strain of bacteria that works with your gut to digest food and absorb nutrients. If you have diarrhea or constipation, you may want to look into acidophilus tablets, commonly sold in supplement form. In your body, acidophilus feeds on the soluble fiber, pectin. Taking acidophilus with pectin helps the microorganism survive and grow in your gut, where it can provide optimal benefits to your digestive system.
Acidophilus is a "probiotic," meaning it promotes life in the gut. This microorganism is normally found in your small intestines, where it helps break down food components. After antibiotic treatment, periods of prolonged diarrhea, your body stores of this bacteria may be significantly reduced. This can cause gastrointestinal upset, gas, bloating and even yeast infections and mild nutrient deficiencies. Restoring bacteria in the gut is essential to promote regularity and help your body function at its best.
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Pectin is soluble fiber, often considered a "prebiotic." Prebiotics in the diet help feed probiotics and encourage growth. Without something to feed on, bacteria in the gut cannot survive. Although abundant in certain foods, acidophilus supplements that also contain pectin help by providing the necessary nutrients that support colonization of the gut. It definitely makes sense to take these two components together for better results.
Both pectin and acidophilus can be found as part of certain foods. Acidophilus is often used in the process of yogurt making. Check your yogurt label for "live active cultures" to see if it contains probiotics like acidophilus. Kefir is a Middle Eastern yogurt drink that tends to be high in probiotics as well. Fermented soy products like miso and tempeh are other common food sources of this beneficial microorganism.
Pectin is naturally found in the cell walls of plants. Therefore, many plant-based foods contain pectin, including apples, peas, carrots, beans, potatoes, citrus fruits and whole grains. Check the soluble fiber content on a food label to see if a food item contains pectin or similar prebiotic fibers.
Specific dosages for acidophilus and pectin have not yet been determined; however, most probiotics are considered safe for the general population when taken according to the label instructions. Always discuss your decision to start a supplement with your doctor. If you experience severe gastrointestinal distress, talk to your doctor to find out if probiotics would be helpful to try. Sometimes eliminating certain trigger foods from your diet can relieve these symptoms. Rather than starting a supplement, you can always try to include more food sources of pectin and acidophilus in your diet, since they tend to be found in generally healthy food choices.