L. acidophilus was discovered in the early 1900's by Ernst Moro. Dr. Moro was a pediatrician that carefully studied his child patients, taking a lot of time to research gastrointestinal disorders that would plague the infants and children. He also had a hand in the important discovery of Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is a very harmful bacteria. If not for the Austrian physician's discovery of the L. acidophilus bacterium, we would not currently understand this homo fermentative species and its positive effects that it can have towards humans and other mammals.
The L. acidophilus bacterial strain is able to create lactic acid from fermenting milk sugars (lactose). Its ability to do this helps aid in the process of the digestion of food. Since the acidity levels are increased, it can help encourage the absorption of minerals and calcium, and offer lowered pH levels that enable many bacteria and yeast pathogenic species to grow. Also, L. acidophilus produces hydrogen peroxide which can help to suppress pathogens. Growing at a temperature of about 86 F, the L. acidophilus colonies need to be large enough to help with the digestion. However, if the colonies are too small they will be unable to help us fully obtain the nutritional value of the foods we have eaten, thus causing gastrointestinal problems.
Many of us have have seen L. acidophilus along with other ingredients in the yogurts we purchase and eat from the market. By eating yogurts and other fermented dairy products you not only gain better digestion and improved nutritional value of your food, but you also have the capability to control the growth of fungus that causes yeast infections. When shopping for products that contain acidophilus it is best to look for those that contain live strains of the probiotic. It has been noted that it can help those that are lactose intolerant, which means the inability to consume and digest dairy products. In order to help those that are lactose intolerant an acidophilus supplement needs to be taken.
Many supplements come in either pill, liquid, or powder form and are easily added to a vitamin regimen, and can provide many benefits to the health of the body. Some of the benefits that have been noted from certain strains of L. acidophilus are not only better digestion and gastrointestinal function, but immunity boosting abilities and a considerable fighting capability towards E. coli in cattle. Recently, L. acidophilus along with essential fatty acid supplements has been recommended for the preventative treatment of yeast hypersensitivity syndrome, also known as systemic candidiasis. Daily usage of acidophilus has also been researched as being able to help those who suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Since only a few studies have been done in the areas of science regarding the heart, acidophilus may also have the ability to lower blood cholesterol levels as well.
From the very moment Ernst Moro isolated the L. acidophilus bacteria, the benefits and effects that it offers have spanned more than a hundred years. As it is continually researched and used in laboratory studies, acidophilus could help solve many health mysteries that occur in not only humans but animals as well.
Before taking any supplements or vitamins you should speak with a physician to ensure that they will not interfere with any medications you may be taking. It is important to to note that if you should have an extremely weakened immune system, intestinal damage, or an over growth of bacteria in your intestines then it may be best to avoid L. acidophilus.