Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Acidophilus is one of the bacteria that make our digestion work. As a lacotbacillus, it creates the ideal environment for other bacteria that are beneficial to our bodies. To further support your digestion and also to prevent infections, you can take Acidophilus as a dietary supplement.

In our acidophilus test 2021 we show you what you should look for when choosing and taking the preparations. In addition, we present some of our favourite preparations and answer the most important questions about acidophilus.




The most important

  • Acidophilus is a lactic acid bacterium that resides in the human intestine and aids digestion. By producing lactic acid, it creates the ideal environment for other bacteria that are important for digestion.
  • Acidophilus can be taken as a food supplement in the form of capsules or powder. Taking it in addition can prevent intestinal problems and has other beneficial effects, such as fighting fungi.
  • Acidophilus is classified as safe. This means that it has few proven side effects and is therefore well tolerated by most people. Consultation with your doctor about dosage and duration of use is still advisable.

The Best Acidophilus: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for Acidophilus

To help you decide which Acidophilus product is right for you, we have listed some criteria that may be relevant to you.

By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you do not give your body anything it does not need. Therefore, always look for high quality and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer's certificates.

When buying acidophilus, you can pay attention to various aspects, such as:

Dosage form

Acidophilus can be taken as a capsule. This makes the bacterium easy to dose. The capsules also contain fillers and a capsule shell. These are usually made of cellulose and are unimportant for the effect. Taking it in capsules is the most common form of intake.

You can also take Acidophilus as a powder. You can dissolve the powder in water and simply drink it.

Natural sources of lactic acid bacteria are kefir and yoghurt with a high bacterial content.

The most natural form of administration of acidophilus is certainly in the form of dairy products. The main sources of lactic acid bacteria are kefir and yoghurt with a high bacterial content. However, this is often very low in commercially available yoghurt products and thus has little effect on the body.

When buying yoghurt, you should therefore explicitly pay attention to this. Probiotic yoghurt is said to be particularly good for digestion. Of course, acidophilus in this form cannot be dosed exactly. You should be aware that the bacteria in yoghurt are generally not in high doses and have hardly any detectable effect.

Dosage

Dosage depends on age. Young children should get less acidophilus than adults. It is easy to dose in the form of powder or by the number of tablets you take. For most capsules, up to two capsules per day are recommended for optimal dosage.

The dosage of the preparations is given in CFU, i.e. colony forming units.

The dosage of the preparations is given in CFU (colony forming units). Capsules usually have a daily dosage of up to 10 billion CFU. Whether you need such a high dosage depends on your symptoms

Intended use

Acidophilus can be used for various applications. The best-known use is in the intestines. Acidophilus is supposed to stimulate digestion and thus reduce digestive problems or even help you lose weight. As Acidophilus is important for the growth of other bacteria in the intestine and is thus an important factor for a healthy intestinal flora.

Another area of application is in the fight against fungi. Fungi are fought by the low ph-value, i.e. the acid. Acidophilus occurs naturally in the vagina and prevents the formation of fungi and the colonisation of other pathogens there. It is partly responsible for the optimal conditions in the vagina. Here, acidophilus can help against fungal formation.

Acidophilus or other acid bacteria is also used for athlete's foot and other types of fungus on the body. For this, an external application is needed.

Purpose of use mode of action
fungi killing fungi by creating an acidic environment
digestion stimulating digestion as probiotics

Other lactic acid bacteria

Many preparations contain not only acidophilus, but also numerous other lactic acid bacteria or other beneficial bacteria. In this way, you can get more benefits from taking the supplements in many cases. The benefits of the different intestinal bacteria are combined in this way.

Of course, before choosing your supplement, you should think about the benefits you hope to gain and which bacteria you really need. In general, most of the so-called probiotics mainly have advantages because they positively influence the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying Acidophilus

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of Acidophilus and to bring you closer to the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information for you in the following sections.

What is Acidophilus and how does it work?

Acidophilus is short for Lactobacillus acidophilus. It is a homofermennative lactic acid bacterium that occurs naturally in the human intestine and vagina. Acidophilus is used in the production of sour milk products, such as yoghurt or kefir, in combination with other sour milk bacteria.

As Lactobactillus, Acidophilus belongs to the so-called probiotics. Probiotics are living microorganisms that are used as a food supplement. They improve the microbial balance, i.e. they ensure that important bacteria are balanced in the body and thus have a positive effect on health. (1)

Acidophilus is said to have the following effects:

  • Support digestion
  • Fight fungal infections
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Prevent cancer
  • Lower cholestorone levels

Support digestion

By producing lactic acid, Acidophilus creates the basis for other intestinal bacteria and thus helps to maintain healthy digestion. Especially when taking antibiotics, Adicophilus as well as other intestinal bacteria can help prevent unwanted digestive side effects such as diarrhoea.

Acidophilus preparations can therefore be taken to prevent diarrhoea.

However, Acidophilus cannot be seen as a therapy for all possible diarrhoeal diseases; effects have only been proven for individual diseases. (2)

Weight loss is also said to be one of the effects that Acidophilus and other lactobacilli trigger. However, science is divided on this point. Whether taking lactobacilli actually helps with weight loss depends on the combination of bacilli and other factors and cannot be confirmed unequivocally. In the case of acidophilus, studies even confirm a contrary effect. (3)

Fighting fungal infections

Acidophilus can also be used to fight fungi. For example, taking acidophilus can help with the so-called candida fungi in the intestines and vagina. Simply eating yoghurt with acidophilus and other lactic acid bacteria on a regular basis can have a positive effect against this type of fungus.

Taking acidophilus can also be useful in preventing such infections. The likelihood of a fungal infection actually breaking out is lower with regular intake of Acidophilus. (4)

Acidophilus is also often used to treat athlete's foot. The powder is to be sprinkled on the corresponding areas.

There it is supposed to create an acidic climate that kills the fungus. Whether this really helps against athlete's foot, however, has hardly been scientifically proven so far. Studies usually focus exclusively on the combination of several treatment measures. Thus, they are not very informative about whether acidophilus actually plays a decisive role in combating fungus. (5)

Strengthening the immune system

Acidophilus is often advertised as strengthening the immune system. However, this assumption is only partly true. A positive effect in healthy people over the normally functioning immune defence has not been proven so far. Only an improved response of the immune system to individual pathogens has been proven so far. Acidophilus, as well as other probiotics, could have an effect on short-term or permanent disorders. This, too, is currently only insufficiently proven. (2)

Cancer prevention

It could be proven that Acidophilus and also other lactic acid bacteria can significantly reduce mutagenicity, i.e. the mutagenic effect of urine and stool. Of course, this is not a sure precaution against cancer, it merely shows that an anti-cancer potential can be seen for cancers in the gastrointestinal tract. (6)

Lowering cholerstoron levels

In addition, acidophilus is said to be able to lower cholesterol levels. This has already been proven in some scientific studies. (2)

What are the side effects of Acidophilus?

Acidophilus is classified as safe. This means that side effects are usually rather mild. Even at higher doses, hardly any side effects have been observed. However, there may be isolated mild side effects, such as flatulence, increased thirst, gas formation or constipation. (7)

Aphilus usually has hardly any or only very mild side effects.

Problems can arise especially with pre-existing intestinal diseases or immune deficiencies. In this case, you should discuss the intake with your doctor.

Also, if you are currently taking other medications, especially antibiotics, you should ask your doctor about possible interactions. (1)

When and for whom is it useful to take Acidophilus?

Taking Acidophilus is particularly useful after antibiotic therapy. As the antibiotic can also kill useful bacteria, it may be useful to take these in addition. The use of antibiotics can otherwise lead to diarrhoea or other digestive problems.

As a probiotic, Acidophilus is ideally suited for this purpose. Acidophilus has the function of maintaining a certain pH value in the intestine, which is important for other bacteria. Acidophilus can be taken in order not to disturb this. (8)

Taking Acidophilus can also be useful for any other digestive problems, as it promotes bacterial growth in the intestines and thus creates a healthy intestinal flora. This helps digestion. Another reason to take Acidophilus is if you suffer from internal fungal infections in the mouth, intestines or vagina.

However, for healthy people, taking Acidophilus in addition has little effect. Taking it may have a preventive effect, but it will not improve an already healthy intestinal flora.

What foods contain acidophilus?

Acidophilus is used in the production of the following foods:

  • Yoghurt
  • Kefir
  • Soured milk and sour milk

Lactic acid bacteria are traditionally used to make yoghurt and kefir. Acidophilus is popular for this because it produces a particularly mild yoghurt. In commercially available yoghurt products, however, the concentration of lactic acid bacteria is usually very low and has little effect on health.

Acidophilus -1

Acidophilus is used to make yoghurt.
(Image source: Sara Cervera / unsplash)

However, there are some dairy products that advertise an increased concentration of lactic acid bacteria strains. Such probiotic products may well support the effects mentioned above.

What are the different forms of Acidophilus?

Acidophilus is available in various forms for different areas of application. We will explain which forms help against which complaints in the following. In general, there are two types of application:

Dosage form Purpose
For oral use For all internal complaints
For external use For everything that is visible from the outside

For ingestion

When you use Acidophilus to combat intestinal complaints or internal fungi, you take it orally in the form of capsules or powder. This way it goes directly into the digestive tract where it is needed.

Acidophilus -2

Acidophilus is usually taken in the form of capsules.
(Image source: freestocks / unsplash)

Usually, substances are added to the capsule that prevent the bacteria from already dissolving in the stomach acid and ensure that they actually reach the intestines. The Acidophilus capsule form is the most commonly used and brings the most benefits.

For external use

Externally, Acidophilus is only used in one special case: for applications against fungi on the skin, such as athlete's foot, Acidophilus is not ingested but applied directly locally to the fungus, usually as a powder.

Acidophilus can also be introduced directly into the vagnina to build up a healthy vaginal flora. For this purpose, vaginal suppositories or gels are used, which transport the lactic acids. However, oral administration can also help against the formation of fungus.

How should Acidophilus be dosed?

The optimal dosage for you depends very much on the purpose of the application. In general, a dosage of 100 million to 10 billion CFU probiotics is recommended by the Federal Institute for Consumer Health Protection and Veterinary Medicine (BgVV200). CFU here means colony-forming units.

In any case, you should pay attention to the instructions in the package leaflet and to the instructions from your doctor to find the right dosage for you.

How long should I use Acidophilus?

Even at high doses, hardly any side effects have been observed, so even prolonged use is associated with only minor side effects. It should therefore not be a problem to use Acidophilus for several weeks. You can discuss the individual case with your doctor and you will find corresponding information in the package leaflet. (9)

However, if you have a healthy digestive system and no symptoms, you should ask yourself whether taking Acidophilus for a longer period of time will be of any benefit to you.

What are the alternatives to Acidophilus?

Acidophilus is not the only lactic acid bacteria. Other bacteria can also have similar effects. Often, preparations contain different lactic acid bacteria to optimise the effect. Besides the lactobacilli, which include acidophilus, there are bifidus bacteria. These also helped with digestion and at the same time strengthen the immune system by fighting harmful bacteria.

Instead of taking the bacteria in capsules or powder, you can also use foods such as kefir or yoghurt. This way you can include acidophilus in your daily routine diet. Some herbs can also contribute to the growth of bacteria in the intestines and are therefore an alternative to acidophilus. However, they can also work best in combination with acidophilus. (10)

Image source: serezniy/ 123rf.com

References (10)

1. Mayo Clinic (2017): Acidophilus
Source

2. Hammer et al (2003): Probiotika und Präbiotika: Grundlagen, Einsatz und Wirkungen beim gesunden und kranken Menschen
Source

3. Crovesy et al (2017): Effect of Lactobacillus on body weight and body fat in overweight subjects: a systematic review of randomized controlled clinical trials
Source

4. Hilton et al (1992): Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis
Source

5. Nagelpilz: Öle und Säuren als Pilzkiller?
Source

6. Mital et al (1995): Anticarcinogenic, hypocholesterolemic, and antagonistic activities of Lactobacillus acidophilus
Source

7. Satish et al (2018): Brain fogginess, gas and bloating: a link between SIBO, probiotics and metabolic acidosis
Source

8. Gao et al (2010): Dose-response efficacy of a proprietary probiotic formula of Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285 and Lactobacillus casei LBC80R for antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea prophylaxis in adult patients
Source

9. Doron et al(2015: )Risk and Safety of Probiotics
Source

10. Prakasita et al (2019): Combinations of herbs and probiotics as an alternative growth promoter: An in vitro study
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Mayo Clinic (2017): Acidophilus
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Hammer et al (2003): Probiotika und Präbiotika: Grundlagen, Einsatz und Wirkungen beim gesunden und kranken Menschen
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Crovesy et al (2017): Effect of Lactobacillus on body weight and body fat in overweight subjects: a systematic review of randomized controlled clinical trials
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Hilton et al (1992): Ingestion of yogurt containing Lactobacillus acidophilus as prophylaxis for candidal vaginitis
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Nagelpilz: Öle und Säuren als Pilzkiller?
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Mital et al (1995): Anticarcinogenic, hypocholesterolemic, and antagonistic activities of Lactobacillus acidophilus
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Satish et al (2018): Brain fogginess, gas and bloating: a link between SIBO, probiotics and metabolic acidosis
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Gao et al (2010): Dose-response efficacy of a proprietary probiotic formula of Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285 and Lactobacillus casei LBC80R for antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea prophylaxis in adult patients
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Doron et al(2015: )Risk and Safety of Probiotics
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Prakasita et al (2019): Combinations of herbs and probiotics as an alternative growth promoter: An in vitro study
Go to source
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