If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Acidophilus pills are a convenient way of delivering bacteria supplements in to your bowel and in an easy to use form.
The bacterium is scientifically known as Lactobacillus acidophilus and can be found in many health food products including yoghurt's and other health supplements.
It is an inert bacterium, a natural micro-organism used to promote a healthy bowel.
It can be found naturally in the human gut where it ferments sugar in to lactic acid or lactate.
The bacteria is found in the small bowel where it cohabitates with trillions of bacteria needed to aid digestion
As this bacterium is benign and naturally occurring, it has been used to promote bowel health in many digestive conditions including IBS.
It has also been used in people that have developed vaginal thrush as a consequence of antibiotic therapy, when the bacteria in the small bowel have been displaced or destroyed.
It can also be used in SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth to aid bacterial replacement when there is overgrowth of the so called bad bacteria that can result in symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea and bloating.
The pills are a convenient way of delivering the bacterium to the bowel, getting to the site where they can provide maximal effect.
Studies of acidophilus in humans have been limited and variable in outcome. A study by Ki Cha et al (BJ Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Mar;46(3):220-7.) concluded that a Lactobacillus mixture provided “adequate relief” of IBS symptoms as well as an improvement in the stool consistency in patients suffering from diarrhea predominant IBS.
This was thought to occur through stabilization of the intestinal microenvironment. Another study by Zeng et al (Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Oct 15;28(8):994-1002) showed some short term improvement with the intestinal lining “barrier” function.
The most compelling evidence comes from anecdotal reports by sufferers which provide individual proof of benefit in treating their IBS-D.
If you would like to try this lactobacillus you can do so here. I would also be interested in your comments about this probiotic treatment, so if you have tried this therapy, please submit your thoughts below.
Provide as much detail as possible to help other sufferers decide whether these pills might help their symptoms too.