Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Monday, December 14, 2009

All about Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Catherine Lewis, Alternative Health Journal Editor, wrote about acidophilus.

I always get flak whenever I write negatively about alternative medicine. Yet Lewis' article is a sound explanation of the uses of probiotics.

Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a homo-fermentative species in the genus Lactobacillus. Strains of this species grow naturally in the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and vagina of both humans and animals. Certain strains of Lactobacillus Acidophilus are said to have probiotics characteristics, with these strains being used in many commercial dairy products. Lactobacillus Acidophilus provides many benefits to your body including the stimulation it gives your immune system, its help with digestion, its ability to prevent infection and the way it helps manage your cholesterol levels.

Lactobacillus Acidophilus got its name from a German gastroenteritis named Ismar Isidor Boas, who founded and studied this species. The name came from “lacto” which means milk; “bacillus,” meaning rod shaped and “acidophilus” because it has acid loving properties. Because of these properties, Lactobacillus Acidophilus is also referred to as “acid-loving milk bacterium” as well as “Boas-oppler.”

Is there a "but"?

Yes, sadly. There always is.

Lewis finishes the article by saying, correctly:
Some of the best sources of L. acidophilus can be found in fermented dairy products, with the most common ones being yogurt and sweet acidophilus milk. It is also found in a number of dietary supplements. For more information on probiotic supplementation, visit the Bacteral website.

And that site is totally crackpot misinformation.

You are confronted with this banner at the top:
Toxic fecal matter in our colons is slowly killing us

“I am urging all Americans to cleanse their colons with probiotics and to take the coming health crisis seriously to fight off parasites and germs!”

There is no toxic fecal material in your colon. Cleanses and whatnot are sheer quackery. I've had four colonoscopies. That means I've had to clean out my colon of all material so that my insides would be completely visible. No toxic material ever comes out. Just normal stuff, just like every day.

What else does this site say?
Our natural barrier against viruses, germs and parasites has completely broken down and left us exposed and unprotected

That barrier is our colons. Fully 60% of our immune cells are in our intestinal tract. They’re our first line of defense against all sorts of viruses, germs, bacteria, fungi and parasites that ravage our bodies and make us ill. Thanks to food additives, pesticides, preservatives, and other chemicals, our colons are clogged up with toxic fecal waste that is leaking into our bloodstream and allowing all sorts of sicknesses to overwhelm us. They make our skin old and wrinkly. They put on 10-20 pounds of excess toxic weight….plus we compromise our immune systems…… not to mention reduced energy levels, joint discomfort, and unhealthy eyes, hair and nails.

It is an example of the bad bacteria winning the battle over the GOOD Bacteria or the Probiotics.

It’s true when they say: “Death begins in the colon.” When your bowels aren’t working, your whole body is at risk for disease and we have only a small army of Probiotics that have no chance against the enormous onslaught of germs and parasites Our Colons need to be CLEAN!

Today, the average American colon is bulging with up to 15 pounds of putrid, rotting, fecal matter. Even slender people have clogged colons. Even people who have daily bowel movements can have crusty stool parts lodged in intestinal pockets for weeks, months, even years!

I covered the nonsense that "Fully 60% of our immune cells are in our intestinal tract." before in Immune System Not in Your Gut. The rest is equally wrong.

And why does this site want you to believe this nonsense? Because it has probiotics to sell you.

Here's the simplest rule of thumb you'll ever see. If a site tries to scare you to death to sell you their products, run like hell.

That's the problem with alternative sites. Some of the information is fine. But there is seldom any discrimination. All alternatives are equal and equally fine. But they just aren't.

That's true in mainstream medicine as well, to be sure. But mainstream medicine - sometimes called allopathic medicine by the alternative community - does police itself, with strong and public arguments. The alternative community supports and defends its worst elements. That needs to end so that the best practitioners don't get tainted and ignored by the ones who are merely pushing product and trying to scare the toxic fecal matter out of you.

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Scott Florack said...


Love your blog! I find it incredibly informative.

I agree that this site is engaging in vicious fear mongering, but should we be discounting the underlining argument (probotics can improve IBS-type symptoms for many people)?

I'm asking because I am specifically interested in the overwhelming positive reviews of products such as Digestive Advantage IBS supplements, and your opinion on if they "should" work or not work.

Thanks again!

Steve Carper said...

I tried hard to separate out the knowledgable comments from the link to a crackpot site.

There's no reason to dismiss probiotics from reputable companies just because some are trying to cash in.