Acidophilus vs. Probiotics

What's the Difference?

Acidophilus is a specific strain of bacteria that falls under the category of probiotics. Probiotics, on the other hand, refer to a broader group of live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Acidophilus is commonly found in yogurt and other fermented foods, and it is known for its ability to promote digestive health by maintaining a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut. Probiotics, on the other hand, encompass a wide range of strains, including acidophilus, and offer various health benefits beyond digestion, such as boosting the immune system and improving overall well-being. While Acidophilus is a type of probiotic, it is important to note that not all probiotics contain Acidophilus.


DefinitionA type of bacteria that is considered a probioticLive bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system
Common UsesImproving digestion, preventing diarrhea, treating vaginal infectionsImproving gut health, boosting the immune system, preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea
TypesLactobacillus acidophilusVarious strains including Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces
SourceFound naturally in the human body, also available in supplement formFound in certain foods (e.g., yogurt, sauerkraut) and available in supplement form
SurvivabilityCan survive in the acidic environment of the stomachSurvive passage through the digestive system to reach the intestines
Side EffectsGenerally safe, but may cause gas, bloating, or upset stomach in some individualsGenerally safe, but may cause gas, bloating, or upset stomach in some individuals
ResearchSeveral studies suggest potential benefits, but more research is neededExtensive research supports various health benefits, but more studies are ongoing

Further Detail


When it comes to maintaining a healthy gut, the importance of beneficial bacteria cannot be overstated. Two popular options for promoting gut health are Acidophilus and Probiotics. While Acidophilus is a specific strain of bacteria, probiotics encompass a broader range of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. In this article, we will explore the attributes of Acidophilus and Probiotics, highlighting their similarities and differences, and discussing their potential benefits for overall well-being.


Acidophilus, scientifically known as Lactobacillus acidophilus, is a strain of bacteria that naturally resides in the human gut. It is a lactic acid-producing bacterium that plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy balance of microorganisms in the intestines. Acidophilus is considered a probiotic, but not all probiotics are Acidophilus.

One of the key attributes of Acidophilus is its ability to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products. This makes it particularly beneficial for individuals who are lactose intolerant, as it aids in the digestion of lactose and reduces associated symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea.

Furthermore, Acidophilus has been shown to support the immune system by enhancing the production of natural antibodies and stimulating the activity of immune cells. It may also help prevent and treat certain infections, such as urinary tract infections and vaginal yeast infections, by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast in the body.

Additionally, Acidophilus has been associated with improved digestion and nutrient absorption. It helps break down complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, making them more easily digestible. This can lead to reduced digestive discomfort and improved overall gut health.

It is important to note that Acidophilus is sensitive to environmental factors such as heat and stomach acid. Therefore, it is often recommended to take Acidophilus supplements that are enteric-coated or encapsulated to ensure their survival through the digestive system and delivery to the intestines.


Probiotics, on the other hand, encompass a broader category of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that promote gut health. They include various strains such as Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces boulardii, among others. Probiotics can be found naturally in certain foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi, or taken as supplements.

One of the main attributes of probiotics is their ability to restore and maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria. They help replenish beneficial bacteria that may be depleted due to factors like antibiotic use, poor diet, or stress. By doing so, probiotics support optimal digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall gut function.

Probiotics have been extensively studied for their potential benefits beyond gut health. Research suggests that they may help alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), reduce the risk of certain gastrointestinal infections, and improve symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Furthermore, probiotics have been associated with enhanced mental health. The gut-brain axis, a bidirectional communication system between the gut and the brain, is influenced by the gut microbiota. Probiotics may positively impact this axis, potentially improving mood, reducing anxiety and depression, and even supporting cognitive function.

It is worth mentioning that not all probiotics are created equal. Different strains have varying effects on the body, and their benefits may be strain-specific. Therefore, it is important to choose probiotic supplements that contain well-researched strains and have undergone rigorous quality testing.


While Acidophilus is a specific strain of bacteria, probiotics encompass a broader range of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Both Acidophilus and probiotics offer numerous potential benefits for gut health, immune function, digestion, and overall well-being. Acidophilus, with its lactose-digesting abilities and immune-supporting properties, may be particularly beneficial for individuals with lactose intolerance or those prone to certain infections. Probiotics, on the other hand, provide a more comprehensive approach to gut health by replenishing and maintaining a diverse range of beneficial bacteria. They have been associated with improved digestion, reduced gastrointestinal symptoms, and even potential mental health benefits. Whether you choose Acidophilus or opt for a probiotic blend, incorporating these beneficial bacteria into your daily routine can be a valuable step towards optimizing your gut health and overall wellness.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.