"Acidophilus is good for you."
Is that statement fact or fiction?
In actuality, the statement can be both fact and fiction, depending on which strain of acidophilus you choose. For instance, if you use a high-quality strain of acidophilus, then this beneficial bacteria, which occurs naturally in your gut, is good for you.
Why? Because it helps you digest your food, produces B-vitamins (very relaxing), and acts as a natural antibiotic, which keeps you healthy. Acidophilus also helps those who are lactose-intolerant, since acidophilus produces lactase, the enzyme that specifically digests lactose. Finally, superior strains of acidophilus have been shown, in peer-reviewed studies, to enhance and augment the body's natural immune functions.
Sounds pretty good, right? Right, but only if you take the RIGHT strain of acidophilus.
The Murky World of Probiotics and Acidophilus
The good news is that acidophilus can really support your health and well-being. The bad news is that there are so many acidophilus products on the market that it can be difficult to choose a product that truly performs all of the above health-supporting functions. So let's run through a short list of questions about probiotics, specifically acidophilus products. See if you can answer them!
Do all types of acidophilus products support your immune and digestive systems?
No. The truth of the matter is that some strains of acidophilus don't even make it through your digestive system alive, much less support your digestive and immune systems. Consider these facts:
- some strains of acidophilus cannot even survive human stomach fluids
- 70-80% of the products on the market don't measure up to their numerical claims (of the number of live probiotic cells)
- half the products don't have even 10% of their claimed number of live microorganisms
- some products have bacterial products not included on the labels
So even reading labels won't help you because not all labels are truthful. They may have been truthful at the time of manufacture, but not after a long shelf life.
Should you take acidophilus during antibiotic treatment?
Maybe. Certain strains of acidophilus, such as DDS-1 L. acidophilus, have been reported to highly resistant to common antibiotics like penicillin, streptomycin, and aureomycin. On the other hand, other acidophilus products can actually be harmful to you during antibiotic treatment. Because they have no live acidophilus after the manufacturing and packaging process, they don't repopulate your gut with acidophilus, and may actually help undesirable bacteria grow in your gut.
Does all acidophilus of the same name have the same benefit?
Sadly, no. Even known strains of acidophilus, like DDS-1 L. acidophilus, will not have the same properties or health benefits. This is because bacteria like L. acidophilus can be adversely affected by heat, moisture, light, or air. That's why the DDS-1 strain has to be manufactured using a specific freeze-dried process with a special stabilizer to protect the bacteria from these factors. DDS-1 L. acidophilus manufactured under these special circumstances has a special name: STABILITY DDS-1.
That means when you read labels, you have to look for not only the right strain of acidophilus, but also bacteria that has been processed under the right conditions.
Sorry to kill your buzz with all this technical information, but you, as the consumer, have every right to get an acidophilus product that does what it says on the label.
Don't you think?
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