Lactobacillus acidophilus

When the term ‘probiotic’ is mentioned, most people think of Lactobacillus acidophilus, as this is believed to be the most commonly known species of bacteria. The species is typically found in the intestine, vagina and urinary tract, as it is exceptionally good at adhering to the mucosal cells in these areas. Lactobacillus acidophilus belongs to a group of gram-positive non-sporulating (non-spore-forming), anaerobic, rod-shaped bacterium. These bacteria typically ferment glucose, with the primary end products of the fermentation being lactic acid, acetic acid and H2O2. All of these substances entering their environment make it more acidic and less favourable for the growth of harmful bacteria, which prefer a more alkaline environment. This action aids the survival of the Lactobacillus acidophilusbacteria, but also benefits their host by discouraging pathogens.

Because they use sugars as their preferred substrate for fermentation, the gastro-intestinal tract in humans makes a perfect home for Lactobacillus acidophilus, as sugars are available there in abundance. This species is known to break down lactose, the primary sugar found in milk and dairy products; this action offers another useful benefit to their hosts as many people are intolerant to lactoseLactobacillus acidophilus is also found in fermented dairy product such as yoghurts, and it is actually the bacteria which gives the yoghurt its classic tangy flavour.

As some properties & benefits of probiotics may be strain-specific, this database provides even more detailed information at strain level. Read more about the strains that we have included from this genus below.

Lactobacillus acidophilus strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-05, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM®Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell-52.

Lactobacillus casei strains: Lactobacillus casei ShirotaLactobacillus casei DN-114001.

Lactobacillus plantarum strains: Lactobacillus plantarum LP299v.

Lactobacillus reuteri strains: Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14®.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus strains: Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG®, Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1® and Lactobacillus rhamnosus Rosell-11.

Lactobacillus paracasei strains: Lactobacillus paracasei CASEI 431®.

For more insights and professional updates on probiotics, please visit the Probiotic Professionals pages. 


Bull M. et al., (2013), ‘The life history of Lactobacillus acidophilus as a probiotic: a tale of revisionary taxonomy, misidentification and commercial success’. FEMS Microbiol. Lett., 349:77–87.
Lee Y. and Salminen S., (2009), Handbook of Probiotic and Prebiotics. 2nd edition, Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Reid G., (1999), ‘The Scientific Basis for Probiotic Strains of Lactobacillus’. Appl. Environ. Microbiol,. 65:93763-3766.

Information on this species was gathered by Joanna Scott-Lutyens BA (hons), DipION, Nutritional Therapist; and Kerry Beeson, BSc (Nut.Med) Nutritional Therapist.