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Abstract

During the past 80 yr considerable attention has been sporadically directed on benefits derived from consumption of milk products containing Lactobacillus acidophilus. Most earlier work dealt with the use of fermented acidophilus milk to treat intestinal infections. More recent studies have focused on other aspects of health or nutritional benefits that might be derived from this organism. These studies have shown that consumption of milk products containing L. acidophilus has the potential for: 1) preventing or controlling intestinal infections, 2) improving lactose digestion in persons classified as lactose maldigestors, 3) helping control serum cholesterol levels, and 4) exerting anticarcinogenic activity. Based on newer knowledge of L. acidophilus, a single strain of the organism probably will not produce all these benefits at optimal levels. Careful selection of specific strains of L. acidophilus combined with proper production and handling procedures will be necessary to ensure that desired benefits are provided to consumers.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus acidophilusEnhanced Natural Killer Cell Tumoricidal ActivityBeneficial
Small
Lactobacillus acidophilusImproved Lactose DigestionBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilusReduced Intestinal InfectionsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilusReduced Serum Cholesterol LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus HA-122Controlled Serum Cholesterol LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus HA-122Improved Lactose DigestionBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus HA-122Prevention of Intestinal InfectionsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus HA-122Reduced Cancer ActivityBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus L-92Enhanced Natural Killer Cell Tumoricidal ActivityBeneficial
Small
Lactobacillus acidophilus L-92Reduced Intestinal InfectionsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus L-92Reduced Serum Cholesterol LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus MAK32L61AControlled Serum Cholesterol LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus MAK32L61AImproved Lactose DigestionBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus MAK32L61APrevention of Intestinal InfectionsBeneficial
Moderate
Lactobacillus acidophilus MAK32L61AReduced Cancer ActivityBeneficial
Moderate
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