We have spoken about acidophilus a lot recently on the blog, so if you are up to date, you’ll have a better understanding of what it is and how it works. Don’t worry if you are still scratching your head and feeling a bit confused about what acidophilus is, I’ll briefly run through its benefits before diving into answering the question, “who should not take acidophilus?”
What is acidophilus?
Acidophilus, also known as lactobacillus acidophilus, is a naturally occurring bacteria found in the mouth, gut, intestines, and vagina. It is often formulated into various probiotic supplements due to the fact it is a high performing strain of probiotics which provides several benefits.
- Many take acidophilus supplements to help treat vaginal inflammations, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV)
- If you have just completed a course of antibiotics, you’ll find one of the side effects is diarrhoea, acidophilus is able to counteract this and reduce the frequency.
- Many expectant mothers are known for taking acidophilus to prevent the occurrence of eczema in their babies. However, these are only to be taken after you’ve consulted with a doctor and given all clear.
- Lung infections can be treated with acidophilus, even those suffered by children too.
There are more examples of how effective acidophilus is and what it’s good for in our dedicated blog post.
Who should not take probiotics?
There are some conditions and disorders that mean you shouldn’t take probiotic supplements. Some examples are as follows.
- Those who suffer from pancreatitis
- Anyone who has or has recently had a weakened immunity
- Patients who have open wounds post-surgery and are recovering in ICU
- Those who have had dark blood in their stools, also known as melaena
- Anyone who has any other serious medical conditions
The reason you need to be careful with probiotics when suffering from any of the mentioned conditions is since there is limited amount of research. By this I mean the effects of probiotics on patients with these concerns are not completely known and the risk is too high, especially without a consultation from a doctor or medical professional.
Does acidophilus interfere with other medications?
There are no known side effects of acidophilus interfering with other medications, however there are some factors to bear in mind when using probiotics whilst taking medication.
- If you are currently taking antibiotics, it is recommended to taking probiotics at least 1-2 hours after your medication. This in fact has been considered the best way of counteracting the imbalance to the gut’s flora caused by powerful antibiotics wiping out all bacteria, good and bad. Alternatively, you can always wait for your course to finish before introducing probiotics into your daily routine.
- If you are taking immunosuppressant medication, it is vital you consult with your doctor before taking any form of probiotic supplement.
There are some examples of the medications that require some consideration before taking probiotics. Many experts suggest that taking acidophilus too soon can prolong the medical condition and result in the live cultures found in the probiotics to create contraindication which can be quite harmful for some patients.
Can you take acidophilus with blood pressure medication?
Yes, you can, but only after checking with your doctor you are safe to do so. This is due to the contraindication I have mentioned in the previous section of this blog. Remember if you ever have any doubts, the best option is to not take any supplements, no matter how natural they are and seek the advice of a medical professional.
What are the side effects of taking acidophilus?
There are some side effects that are a common occurrence and rarely last longer than a week or so, these are,
- Excess gas
- Frequent bowel movements
- Mild stomach cramping
These are simply signs of the body adjusting to the live cultures found in acidophilus working at rebalancing the gut’s microbiome. There are also some more severe side effects that if occur require immediate medical attention, these are.
- Developing a cough
- Difficulty swallowing
- Tightness of the chest
- Trouble breathing
- Puffiness around the eyes, lips, and tongue
- Feeling weak and excessively tired
Is lactobacillus acidophilus harmful or helpful?
Lactobacillus acidophilus is safe to consume and is a naturally occurring bacteria found in the gut, intestines, and vagina. It is harbouring an impressive amount of health benefits and is found in many supplements, as well as probiotic enriched yoghurts and other fermented food and drink. You will also find it is one of the probiotics that can either be taken on its own or in blend of other supplements with little to no side effects. If you find you do suffer from side effects, they are usually very mild and clear up once the gut has settled.
The only times lactobacillus acidophilus can be considered harmful is when it’s used incorrectly or when advised not to use whilst suffering from specific medical concerns, these have already been covered in the previous section of this blog post.
Can you be allergic to acidophilus?
Not really, having an allergic reaction to acidophilus is considered very rare. But if you find you are suffering from dizziness, fatigue, swollen eyes, face, or tongue. Then you must stop taking the product and consult a doctor.
If you follow a vegan diet, it may be important to you to understand that acidophilus is often derived from dairy products. This form is often found in probiotics that are readily available, having said that, there are some products available that are vegan friendly and would be clearly labelled to avoid confusion.
There you have a little more information about who should not take acidophilus, remember that not everyone is the same, and you may often find that one product that works for your friend, may not work as effectively for you. Don’t forget you can come and ask us any of your health questions over on our Instagram, you’ll find one of our experts in the direct messages, looking forward to seeing you there!