Lactobacillus acidophilus

Lactobacillus acidophilus

name = "Lactobacillus acidophilus"

image_width = 240px
image_caption = "L. acidophilus" bacteria near vaginal squamous epithelial cells)
regnum = Bacteria
divisio = Firmicutes
classis = Bacilli
ordo = Lactobacillales
familia = Lactobacillaceae
genus = "Lactobacillus"
species = "L. acidophilus"
binomial = "Lactobacillus acidophilus"
binomial_authority = (Moro 1900)
Hansen & Mocquot 1970

"Lactobacillus acidophilus" is one species in the genus "Lactobacillus". It is sometimes used commercially together with "Streptococcus salivarius" and "Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus" in the production of acidophilus-type yogurt.

"Lactobacillus acidophilus" gets its name from "lacto-" meaning milk, "-bacillus" meaning rod-like in shape, and "acidophilus" meaning acid-loving. This bacterium thrives in more acidic environments than most related microorganisms (pH 4-5 or lower) and grows best at 30 degrees Celsius. "L. acidophilus" occurs naturally in the human and animal gastrointestinal tract, mouth, and vagina. [cite web
title = Bacteria Genomes - LACTOBACILLUS ACIDOPHILUS
publisher = European Bioinformatics Institute
url =
accessdate = 2007-08-22
] "L. acidophilus" ferments lactose into lactic acid, like many (but not all) lactic acid bacteria. Certain related species (known as heterofermentive) also produce ethanol, carbon dioxide, and acetic acid this way. "L. acidophilus" itself (a homofermentative microorganism) produces only lactic acid. Like many bacteria, "L. acidophilus" can be killed by excess heat, moisture, or direct sunlight.

Some strains of "L. acidophilus" may be considered a probiotic or "friendly" bacteria.cite journal |author=Ljungh A, Wadström T |title=Lactic acid bacteria as probiotics |journal=Curr Issues Intest Microbiol |volume=7 |issue=2 |pages=73–89 |year=2006 |pmid=16875422] These types of healthy bacteria inhabit the intestines and vagina and protect against some unhealthy organisms. The breakdown of nutrients by "L. acidophilus" produces lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and other byproducts that make the environment hostile for undesired organisms. "L. acidophilus" also tends to consume the nutrients many other microorganisms depend on, thus outcompeting possibly harmful bacteria in the digestive tract. During digestion, "L. acidophilus" also assists in the production of niacin, folic acid, and pyridoxine. "L. acidophilus" can assist in bile deconjugation, separating amino acids from bile acids, which can then be recycled by the body.cite journal |author=Gilliland S, Speck M |title=Deconjugation of bile acids by intestinal lactobacilli |journal=Appl Environ Microbiol |volume=33 |issue=1 |pages=15–8 |year=1977 |url= |pmid=13710]

Some research has indicated "L. acidophilus" may provide additional health benefits, including improved gastrointestinal function, a boosted immune system, and a decrease in the frequency of vaginal yeast infections. Some people report "L. acidophilus" provides relief from indigestion and diarrhea.cite journal |author=de Roos N, Katan M |title=Effects of probiotic bacteria on diarrhea, lipid metabolism, and carcinogenesis: a review of papers published between 1988 and 1998 |journal=Am J Clin Nutr |volume=71 |issue=2 |pages=405–11 |year=2000 |url= |pmid=10648252] A University of Nebraska [ study] found that feed supplemented with "L. acidophilus" and fed to cattle resulted in a 61% reduction of "Escherichia coli ". Research has indicated "L. acidophilus" may be helpful reducing serum cholesterol levels.cite journal |author=Anderson J, Gilliland S |title=Effect of fermented milk (yogurt) containing Lactobacillus acidophilus L1 on serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic humans |journal=J Am Coll Nutr |volume=18 |issue=1 |pages=43–50 |year=1999 |url= |pmid=10067658]

"L. acidophilus" is part of the normal vaginal flora.cite journal |author=Forsum U, Holst E, Larsson P, Vasquez A, Jakobsson T, Mattsby-Baltzer I |title=Bacterial vaginosis--a microbiological and immunological enigma |journal=APMIS |volume=113 |issue=2 |pages=81–90 |year=2005 |pmid=15723682 |doi=10.1111/j.1600-0463.2005.apm1130201.x] The acid produced by "L. acidophilus" in the vagina helps to control the growth of the fungus "Candida albicans", helping to prevent vaginal yeast infections. The same beneficial effect has been observed in cases of oral or gastrointestinal Candidiasis infections. Certain spermicides and contraceptive creams can kill "L. acidophilus" in the vagina, clearing the path to possible yeast infections.

Antibiotics taken orally will also kill beneficial bacteria, including "L. acidophilus". After a therapy that includes antibiotics, patients are occasionally instructed to take an "L. acidophilus" treatment in order to recolonize the gastrointestinal tract. To that effect, "L. acidophilus" is often sold in health stores in pill or powder form as a nutritional supplement. A part of the claims in favor of such treatment refer to attaining a better digestion thanks to a recovered normal intestinal flora, the ensuing reduction of constipation, while others indicate a link between "L. acidophilus" and a possible decrease in the incidence of certain diseases, including yeast infections in the upper digestive tract (especially those caused by "Candida albicans"), other gastrointestinal disorders, and a weakened immune system. However, despite popular belief, most researchers agree that the present knowledge on the nutritional benefits of taking "L. acidophilus" supplements is inconsistent and inconclusive, and that further study is needed before substantiating many of these claims.


External links

* [ Article on health benefits of Lactobacillus acidophilus at MedlinePlus]
* [ Article on Lactobacillus Acidophilus at University of Maryland Medical Center website]
* [ Acidophilus and Other Probiotics]
* [ Lactobacillus acidophilus] from the U. of Wisconsin
* [ Lactobacillus Genome Project]
* [ Global analysis of carbohydrate utilization by Lactobacillus acidophilus using cDNA microarrays]

* [ Safety and protective effect of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei used as probiotic agent in vivo]

* [ Probiotics and the gastrointestinal tract: Where are we in 2005?]
* [ Opportunities for Probiotic Dairy Products]

* [ Probiotics and Gastrointestinal Disorders]

* [ Can the amount of Helicobacter pylori in the stomach be kept low through probiotic intake?]

* [ Probiotics in Health and Disease]

* [ The role of Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus as probiotics in controlling infantile watery diarrhea]
* [ Do probiotics reduce adult lactose intolerance? A systematic review]
* [ Review of Scientific Evidence for Efficacy of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 as a Probiotic strain]
* [ Acidophilus milk and its method of production]

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