Numerous studies have shown that acidophilus can be effective in treating vaginal infections caused by bacteria. More research is needed to determine its effectiveness in treating vaginal infections caused by yeast.
Lactobacillus acidophilus has not been shown to be effective in preventing or treating diarrhea in travellers or in people taking antibiotics, and more research still needs to be done before a firm conclusion can be made. However, Lactobacillus GG, a different type of lactobacillus, may be useful in reducing the number of days a person has severe diarrhea.
Acidophilus has not been shown to improve symptoms related to lactose intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, or irritable bowel syndrome. People who have intestinal damage or who have recently had bowel surgery should also avoid taking lactobacilli.
Acidophilus is usually well tolerated by adults. The most common side effects of oral supplements are intestinal gas and bloating. People who are lactose sensitive or intolerant may develop abdominalabdominalrelating to the stomach and intestines discomfort when taking dairy sources of acidophilus.
Lactobacilli are bacteria that can cause an infection in people with a weakened immune system, such as people with HIV/AIDS or cancer, as well as people who are taking medications that suppress the immune system or who are receiving chemotherapy. If any of these apply to you, talk to your health care professional first before taking any type of acidophilus supplements.
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should discuss the use of acidophilus supplements, other than that found in yogurt, with their health care professional.
If symptoms of digestive upset occur, worsen, or persist for more than 3 days, you should discontinue the use of acidophilus and consult a health care professional.
Acidophilus should not be taken at the same time as antibiotics – they should be taken at least 2 hours apart.
There may be an interaction between lactobacillus acidophilus and any of the following. If you are taking any of these, talk to your doctor before taking any acidophilus supplements.
- birth control pills and contraceptive vaginal rings
- benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam, lorazepam)
- other probiotics (e.g., lactobacillus casei, saccharomyces boulardii)
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health product you may be taking.