Lactobacillus Acidophilus Can Be Found In Numerous Products

November 12, 2012

Lactobacillus Acidophilus Can Be Found In Numerous Products

Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most commonly known species of the genus Lactobacillus, and can be used as a living organism or a probiotic.

When it comes to the fermentation of various foods like fruits, vegetables and dairy products, lactobacillus acidophilus and many other lactic acid bacteria are necessary for the process. After all, fermentation takes place when bacteria cause carbohydrates and sugars to break down and produce lactic acid, carbon dioxide and alcohol. It’s these by-products that are responsible for the fermented foods’ unique taste, which also help in their preservation and boost in palatability.

New research, however, suggests alternative ways to using the lactic acid bacteria especially the L.acidophilus species. According to research, this species can be used as either a living organism or a probiotic, which, if ingested, can provide you with numerous health benefits besides the basic nutrition you already get. However, additional research is needed into what other benefits it provides besides the following:

  • Reduced vaginal yeast infections occurrences

  • Reduced gastrointestinal dysfunction

  • Improvement of immune function

Lactobacillus Acidophilus: A Look At The Lactic Acid Bacteria Family

When it comes to the lactic acid bacteria family, there are eight key genera to them:

  • Bifidobacterium

  • Carnobacterium

  • Enterococcus

  • Lactobacillus

  • Lactococcus

  • Leuconosto

  • Sporolactobacillus

  • Streptococcus

These can all be divided into species, subspecies, strains and variants. Each one has their own characteristics but are typically chained cocci bacteria that generate lactic acid, which is the key product for fermentative metabolism.

Now, lactic acid bacteria utilize lactose for their key source of carbon to generate energy. They then use that energy to move lactose through the cell membrane. For some species, the lactose is changed into acetic acid, carbon dioxide and ethanol. Any lactic acid bacteria that generates lactic acid as its end product is known as homofermentative. The end fermentation process will change the texture and taste of food.

A Look At The Lactobacillus Genus

There are several genus of Lactobacillus in the various environments available. These species are:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus

  • Lactobacillus fermentum

  • Lactobacillus plantarunm

  • Lactobacillus brevis

  • Lactobacillus caesi

  • Lactobacillus leichmanii

  • Lactobacillus mintus

These species can reside in extremely high acid areas with a pH of 4-5 or less. This is much lower than the other lactic acid bacteria pH, and for that reason, Lactobacillus is responsible for the last fermentation stages in various products.

A Look At The Species: Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Lactobacillus acidophilus is generally the most known species in Lactobacillus, as it’s naturally seen in the GI tracts, vagina and mouth of both animals and humans. It’s also seen in freeze dried capsules and tablets and some dairy products. Lactobacillus acidophilus is characterized by its rod-shaped motile bacteria that can grow with or without oxygen.

Where Can You Find Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Many products in the dairy industry use Lactobacillus acidophilus such as yogurt and sweet acidophilus milk, which is typically consumed by individuals who are lactose intolerant, a condition that affects roughly 75 percent of the population on Earth.

Lactobacillus acidophilus can also be found in supplemental form in most grocery and health stores around the world. According to the health industry, it’s a probiotic organism that can help the body restore its health and fight diseases.

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