The role of acidophilus in the digestive tract

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a commensal bacterium - it lives in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other animals without causing disease. The bacteria metabolize lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products. The bacteria are often found in yogurts to aid in dairy consumption and are present in alternative milk products to alleviate lactose intolerance. Too little acidophilus can result in impaired digestion. After antibiotic therapy, some patients are administered acidophilus supplements to replace the bacteria and prevent opportunistic bacterial infections like Clostridium difficile.

The supplements are used for other disorders as well. Read more about the role of Lactobacillus acidophilus in the human digestive system.

Please note that though acidophilus is considered a probiotic, there is some risk of too much bacteria in the digestive tract and it is recommended that any supplementation outside of food consumption be done under the direction of a doctor.

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