Lactobacillus acidophilus is known as the good bacterium that soothes any digestive problems. But these beneficial bugs are more than just digestive aids as they could also enhance your health in many ways. Truly, there are many benefits of Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Listed below are the other benefits of Lactobacillus acidophilus or the use of probiotics, according to various researches.
Benefits of Lactobacillus acidophilus
1. Keeping a healthy heart
Probiotics have been discovered to be good to your heart. Researchers in Canada discovered that people who regularly ate the yoghurt that contains a strain of Lactobacillus acidophilus managed to lower their LDL or bad cholesterol levels by 9% in over one month.
If you’re having issues lowering or regulating your blood cholesterol level, then consider eating probiotics every day. In a scientific review, scientists found that probiotics can reduce total cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels.
But to see the good results, though, you need to take it every day for a longer period. One of the reasons it is effective in lowering your cholesterol is that it binds with cholesterol in the intestines.
As a result, your body can’t absorb cholesterol. It just gets rid of it. It also helps in producing bile acids, which are useful in metabolizing fats and cholesterol.
Furthermore, it produces short-chain fatty acids that can prevent the liver from forming into cholesterol.
Blood Pressure Regulation
Another way Lactobacillus acidophilus is good for the heart is that it regulates your blood pressure. Your risk of hypertension tends to go higher as you get older.
But high blood pressure is a risk factor for a cardiovascular problem. However, when you eat bacterial L. acidophilus regularly, it can help in lowering that risk as it regulates blood pressure level.
However, it is only seen if your blood pressure is originally high. Furthermore, you must take it with various types of probiotics. In that case, if you simply have a slight elevation in your BP, then eating probiotics will not be too beneficial.
Then again, eating it every day for a longer period can help you maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
Apart from regulating your blood pressure, Lactobacillus acidophilus may also help in reducing your blood triglycerides. It is a type of fat that can also contribute to increasing your risk of having heart disease.
You may need to eat it for 12 weeks to see a significant reduction in your blood triglycerides.
When your immune system is activated to fight an infection, inflammation can occur. It’s not a bad thing. However, inflammation also arises after eating a bad diet. If you have an unhealthy lifestyle or you smoke, then inflammation can occur.
Unfortunately, inflammation contributes to an increased risk of heart disease. Taking Lactobacillus acidophilus may help in reducing those inflammatory chemicals and fibrinogen.
Fibrinogen helps in the formation of blood clots. But it may also increase plaques in the heart causing cardiovascular issues.
Your liver produces CRP, which is also involved in inflammation.
By taking L. acidophilus regularly, it can help in reducing inflammation in your body.
However, you should not rely on taking probiotics just for the purpose of reducing your risk of heart problems. Keep in mind that your overall lifestyle will still play a major role in achieving a healthy heart.
That said, along with taking regular probiotics, you also need to practice eating a healthy diet. You need to up your green veggies and avoid those sugary foods. Make sure that you drink a lot of water every day to prevent inflammation.
Most of all, you need to stay active. Exercise every day, even if you don’t feel like moving. Staying active will help you reduce inflammation, which is a huge contributor to cardiovascular problems.
2. Lactobacillus acidophilus Can Clean Your Teeth and Gums
Apart from lowering the LDL, probiotics can also reduce strains of bacteria that can cause diseases in the gums and cavities. Thanks to Lactobacillus reuteria and bifidobacterium.
L. acidophilus and other probiotics are not only useful in restoring your healthy gut and maintaining a healthy heart but they are also beneficial in your periodontal health. Yes, you read it correctly. They have the potential to protect your teeth and gums.
When you consume them regularly, they can help in lowering your risk of suffering from gum disease and other health issues.
In a study, researchers found that probiotics could manage gum disease and cavities. They could restore good bacteria in the mouth.
In another study, it found that they also improved oral health as they can lower oral pathogens. But researchers are still investigating further on this matter.
What Strains of Bacteria?
Besides Lactobacillus acidophilus, researchers said that other probiotic strains can reduce plaque. Keep in mind that plaque is the main culprit of gum disease and cavities.
In addition to alleviating gum disease and cavities, they can also help in treating bad breath or halitosis.
Should You Take Probiotic Supplements?
Probiotic supplements are beneficial as they contain more than one strain of bacteria. It means that they don’t only contain Lactobacillus acidophilus but other types of probiotics. In that case, they can help in boosting your oral and overall health.
Regarding the dosage, there is no recommended dosage for the supplements. However, independent research suggested that probiotics supplements could have an estimated 1 billion colony forming units each serving. You should be covered when you take one to two tablets of probiotic supplements.
Apart from taking probiotic supplements, you may also consider consuming probiotic-rich foods. Examples would include kefir, kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, aged cheeses, and non-dairy yogurts.
Prebiotics are also good. They are food components that can encourage probiotic growth in your gut. They enhance calcium absorption while boosting your gastrointestinal health.
Practice Good Dental Hygiene
Just because probiotics are good for your dental health, doesn’t mean that you will no longer practice dental hygiene. You should still brush your teeth at least twice a day. If you could brush after every meal, then that would be better.
Use a soft-bristled brush. If you wish to be an eco-friendly person, make sure to opt for a bamboo toothbrush as an alternative to the plastic brush. You’re not only helping your oral health but you’re also helping the environment.
After brushing, make sure that you floss. Flossing at least once a day is necessary. If you’re still not getting the benefits of flossing, perhaps, you’re flossing wrong. Watch this video to learn more about the proper way to floss.
The right flossing technique is vital to ensure that food debris won’t get stuck between your teeth. It can cause cavities.
See your dentist regularly. This is necessary for professional dental cleanings or checkups.
Then, make sure that you replace your brush every three months. That’s why you must only use an eco-friendly brush so that you can safely throw your brush away. Bamboo toothbrush deteriorates faster.
Most of all, you must limit your sugar intake. Avoid those sugary drinks and food.
3. Reducing anxiety levels
According to the British Journal of Nutrition research, people who are taking supplements that contain certain strains of lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium longum are less stressed than those individuals who aren’t taking any.
Anxiety is normal. However, if your emotions are too severe, it can be debilitating. If you’re too anxious all the time, it could be that your gut is unhealthy.
There’s a link between anxiety and your gut health. In several studies, they showed that people who suffered from anxiety also experienced gastrointestinal disorders, like diarrhea, bloating, and IBS.
In that case, when you restore your gut health, you may lower your anxiety levels. One of the ways to obtain a healthy gut is to eat probiotics containing Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Probiotics aren’t just useful in boosting your mood but they’re also beneficial in various aspects of your mental health.
For instance, probiotics are known to increase tryptophan, which is a precursor of serotonin. If you don’t know what serotonin is, it’s a hormone that boosts your mood. That’s why it’s called the happy hormone.
If you lack this hormone, then your mood will get worse.
Tryptophan is also known to regulate your sleep and help you relax. Thus, if you feel down, it could be that your tryptophan is low. Increasing it a little can help in boosting your mood.
Lowers Inflammation and Anxiety
Several studies showed a link between inflammation and anxiety levels.
When feeling anxious, it’s not easy to know where it’s coming from. You can easily assume that it has something to do with your imbalanced hormones or life in general.
However, your anxiety may be the result of inflammation. Your everyday habits have something to do with your body’s inflammation.
A high level of inflammation can lead to increased anxiety.
Because of the link between these two, it’s possible that when you’re depressed, it could be that you have an inflammatory disease. In that case, depression is a type of inflammatory condition.
In addition to Lactobacillus acidophilus, other strains can also be useful in treating anxiety. L. rhamnosus is known to reduce corticosterone. It is a hormone that is linked to stress.
Furthermore, some probiotics are said to have natural anti-depressant properties.
In that case, probiotics, per se, can be good for your brain health. They can reduce your anxiety levels.
In addition to probiotics, you should also consider eating foods that are known to improve your gut. They would include miso, Korean kimchi, and other dairy products. Dark chocolate is also known to reduce anxiety.
If you can’t take probiotics from foods, then you may choose to use probiotic supplements. However, you must ensure that you have only taken them as directed by the manufacturer.
Regarding their safety, probiotics are safe. There are side effects but they are rare. For example, you may experience stomach upset that can last for three days. If you get the hang of it, then the gastrointestinal upset will be gone.
But don’t just depend on Lactobacillus acidophilus to treat your anxiety levels. Make sure that you also get enough sleep. Keep in mind that the lack of sleep can increase body inflammation.
You should also improve your sedentary lifestyle. This kind of lifestyle can increase body inflammation, thereby, increasing your anxiety levels.
4. Lowering the frequency of coughs and colds
Probiotics are also beneficial in reducing the number of infections in the upper respiratory tract. Furthermore, they can also reduce your risk of suffering from a bad cold.
Probiotics, when you’re having colds, may help. The bacteria offer natural immune-boosting action. The micronutrients in the probiotic product can increase antibody production and other chemicals that can fight infection.
When you choose to take probiotics to treat colds, you must also take multivitamins and minerals to reduce the duration of your condition. Your flu episodes will only last two days compared to a week if you only take multivitamins and minerals.
The reason for this is the effect of the vitamins and minerals and probiotics on the T-lymphocytes that reflate immune responses.
Taking supplements that contain probiotics, vitamins, and minerals could reduce the severity of common colds. Furthermore, if you’re taking the combination supplement, then you’re less likely to get cold and develop flu symptoms.
When you take them, the activity of your immune cells will increase. It only suggests that combining probiotics, vitamins, and minerals can trigger cellular immunity.
It all boils down to improving your immune system.
These days, it’s easy to find probiotic food. You can also make it at home.
Source of probiotics would include sauerkraut, pickles, carrots, and kimchi. For fermented fruits, you can have green papaya and chutneys. Yogurt, sour cream, and kefir are also good sources of probiotics.
If you opt for buttermilk with live cultures, make sure to choose the plain one. Don’t buy a product with added sugar.
To incorporate probiotics in your meals, you may choose to add it to your scrambled eggs. For instance, prepare scrambled eggs and add fermented kimchi or fermented salsa.
Then, instead of drinking juice, you may opt for beet kvass. If you like smoothies, you may add unsweetened yogurt or kefir to your protein smoothie.
For your lunch, choose to eat fermented pickles and add chicken salad or egg. Or you may serve your salad with a side of fermented beets. You may also choose to top your tacos with fermented jalapeño.
When choosing a probiotic supplement, you should consider the following factors:
Number of Strains
More than 1,000 strains of good bacteria are present in the gut. If you want to purchase the best probiotic product, choose to have a probiotic with Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria.
The L strains are vital for your small intestines while B strains are great for your large intestines.
Since each person has different strains of bacteria, you must get a variety of strains. For best results, choose a supplement that can cover all the bases with up to 10 different strains.
If you are taking a supplement, make sure that you choose the delayed-release capsules. They are enteric-coated. It means that they remain intact throughout the stomach. They will only start dissolving while they’re in the intestines where they are needed most.
You should also choose a supplement that can guarantee its potency at expiry. It means that the benefits remain at full strength up to their expiration date.
Most of all, choose a probiotic with a high culture count. Choose to get a dose of 50 billion a day to enhance your immunity.