Lactobacillus (Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L.casei, L. rhamnosus.) is used in the following conditions:
- Prevention and treatment of diarrhea caused by rotavirus infection in children, traveler’s diarrhea in adults and diarrhea associated with hospitalization, antibiotic treatments and cancer chemotherapy.
- Irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis.
- As a combination with other medications in the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infections that cause stomach ulcers.
- Infections of vagina caused by bacteria (bacterial vaginosis) or yeast.
- Prevention and treatment of skin diseases in infants and children who are allergic to cow’s milk.
- Prevention of lung infections in children aged between 1 to 6 years.
- Treatment of high cholesterol, sugar intolerance.
- Boost to immune system.
How it works
Lactobacillus is a family of useful bacteria found naturally in the mouth, intestine and vagina. Products containing lactobacillus are used as ‘probiotics’ that help restore the levels of these good bacteria. It provides health benefits by assisting break down of food and absorption of nutrients; also stimulating the body’s immune response. It also produces substances that suppress or kill harmful bacteria and creates an unfavorable environment for the growth of disease causing bacteria.
Common side effects
Flatulence, Abdominal bloating
- 2 variant(s)
- Do consult your doctor before taking lactobacillus: If you have intestinal damage or severe intestinal infection, If you have high fever, do not use lactobacillus products for more than 2 days unless directed by your doctor.
- Do consult your doctor before taking lactobacillus, if you have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections/AIDS or on medications to prevent rejection of organ transplant. In rare cases, lactobacillus has caused infections in people with poor immunity.
- Do consult your doctor before taking lactobacillus if you have short bowel syndrome (part of small intestine is missing due to birth defect or has been surgically removed). These patients are more likely to develop lactobacillus infections.
- Products containing lactobacillus should be taken at least 2 hours before or after antibiotics.
- Use of lactobacillus in children aged below 3 years should be under the supervision of a doctor.
- Do consult your doctor before taking lactobacillus if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
- Do consult your doctor before taking lactobacillus if you are breastfeeding.
Frequently asked questions
Q. Is lactobacillus/Lactobacillus acidophilus vegan/ dairy free?
Some products of lactobacillus/Lactobacillus acidophilus contain dairy products and may not be suitable for vegans. Please refer to package insert of the prescribed brand before use.
Q. Is lactobacillus good or bad/pathogenic?
Lactobacillus is a group of ‘good’ bacteria that provide several health benefits. It is not among the disease causing (pathogenic) bacteria.
Q. Is lactobacillus and Lactobacillus acidophilus same?
Lactobacillus acidophilus is a species of lactobacillus bacteria. Their role as a probiotic in the maintenance of good health is the same.
Q. Is lactobacillus gram negative?
Lactobacillus is a gram positive bacteria.
Q. Is lactobacillus motile?
Certain species or strains of lactobacillus are motile.
Q. Is Lactobacillus acidophilus good for yeast infections/can I take Lactobacillus acidophilus for yeast infections?
Yes. Lactobacillus has been regarded beneficial in the treatment of yeast infections of the vagina.
Q. Can I take Lactobacillus acidophilus for bad breath?
The benefits of Lactobacillus acidophilus in improving bad breath have not been established.
Q. How long can I take acidophilus for?
The duration of treatment with lactobacillus/Lactobacillus acidophilus depends upon the condition being treated and is decided by the doctor.
Q. Can you take lactobacillus with antibiotics?
Concomitant use of lactobacillus with antibiotics can lower its effectiveness. Products containing lactobacillus should be taken at least 2 hours before or after antibiotics.
Q. Does lactobacillus cause/produce gas?
Yes. Gas and bloating is a side effect of lactobacillus. In most cases these mild side effects subside with continued use.
Q. Does lactobacillus cause UTI?
Lactobacillus is not known to cause urinary tract infections (UTI).
Q. Does Lactobacillus casei contain casein?
Lactobacillus casei is one of the species of lactobacillus and is used a probiotic. Some products of lactobacillus contain dairy products and may contain casein. Please refer to package insert of the prescribed brand before use.
Q. Does lactobacillus create CO2/produce alcohol?
Yes. Lactobacillus may produce carbon dioxide gas and alcohol as a part of its normal cellular process (metabolism).
Q. Does Lactobacillus acidophilus need to be refrigerated?
Dairy based Lactobacillus acidophilus products may need refrigeration. Please refer to package insert of the prescribed brand for instructions.