Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)

According to expert opinion, taking 1 x 109 living L. acidophilus cells by mouth in divided doses daily is an adequate dose for most people. Higher amounts may lead to mild stomach problems, while smaller amounts may not be enough. Most formulations base dosage on the number of living organisms, but dry weight has been used in some cases (e.g., 1.5 grams of L. acidophilus).

L. acidophilus supplements taken with antibiotics may kill L. acidophilus.

To treat hay fever, 100 milliliters of heat-treated fermented milk containing L. acidophilus (providing 5 x 1010 cells) has been taken by mouth daily for 6-8 weeks.

To treat type 2 diabetes, capsules containing one gram of Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM have been taken by mouth daily for four weeks.

To prevent traveler's diarrhea, 1011 colony-forming units (CFU) of Lactobacillus acidophilus has been taken by mouth daily for three weeks.

To treat hepatic encephalopathy (confused thinking due to liver disorders), a freeze-dried L. acidophilus preparation called Enpac® has been taken by mouth daily in doses of 20-90 grams (107 organisms per gram) for up to six weeks.

To treat high cholesterol, a dose of 3 x 1010 L. acidophilus organisms has been taken by mouth three times daily for six weeks. A dose of 200 grams of L. acidophilus yogurt has been taken by mouth daily for four weeks. A dose of 125 milliliters of L. acidophilus fermented milk has been taken by mouth three times daily for three weeks.

To improve immune function, clotted milk (containing 1010 CFU of L. acidophilus per 100 grams of milk product) has been taken by mouth daily for five weeks.

To treat intestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), L. acidophilus has been taken by mouth in a dose of 5 x 109 heat-killed organisms, twice daily for six weeks. A dose of 240 milliliters of L. acidophilus milk (7-9 x 106 CFU per milliliter) has been taken by mouth daily for two weeks. One capsule of L. acidophilus-SDC 2012, 2013 (2 x 109 CFU per milliliter) has been taken by mouth twice daily for four weeks.

To treat lactose intolerance, 1010 CFU of L. acidophilus and L. acidophilus fermented milk has been taken by mouth. Single 400-milliliter doses of milk containing one of four different strains of L. acidophilus (ATCC 4356, B, N1, or E) have been taken by mouth.

To prevent vaginal disorders, a vaccine containing L. acidophilus (Gynatren®) has been injected in three doses of 0.5 milliliters every two weeks (with a booster after 12 months) or every seven days together with standard treatment (tetracycline-amphotericin B suppositories, for insertion into the vagina).

To treat vaginal disorders, including bacterial and yeast infections, eight ounces or 150 milliliters of 108 CFU per milliliter of L. acidophilus yogurt have been taken by mouth daily. One to two tablets or capsules (Gynoflor® or Vivag®) (107-109 CFU per tablet or capsule) have been inserted into the vagina once or twice daily for up to three months. Preparations containing Lactobacillus acidophilus (Calagin®, SIFFRA®) have been inserted into the vagina every other day for 10 days after menstruation for three months. A yogurt douche, made by adding water to 10-15 milliliters of yogurt (108 CFU per milliliter of L. acidophilus), has been inserted into the vagina twice daily for two months.

To treat keratoconjunctivitis sicca, an eye disease, eyedrops containing a diluted Lactobacillus acidophilus saline solution (2 x 108 CFU per milliliter) have been applied to the eyes four times daily for four weeks.

Children (younger than 18 years)

Some experts suggest that 1/4 teaspoon or 1/4 capsule of commercially available supplements, taken by mouth two hours after each dose of antibiotics, may help replace "good" bacteria in the gut. Up to 1012 lyophilized heat-killed L. acidophilus cells have been taken by mouth every 12 hours for up to five days.

L. acidophilus supplements taken with antibiotics may kill L. acidophilus.

To treat allergic skin reactions, L. acidophilus (3 x 109 lyophilized cells) has been taken by mouth daily for the first six months of life. A dose of 150 milliliters of milk fermented with L-92 has been taken by mouth once daily for eight weeks. Milk components supplemented with 900 milligrams of dextrin and 100 milligrams of heat-inactivated L-92 have been taken by mouth once daily for eight weeks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that treating acute diarrhea in children involves drinking plenty of fluids and supplementing with heat-killed L. acidophilus. To treat diarrhea, Lactobacillus acidophilus in doses of 1010 colony-forming units (CFU) has been taken by mouth twice daily for five doses. Heat-killed L. acidophilus (Lacteol®) has been taken by mouth along with rehydration therapy for up to 4.5 days. Lacteol Fort® (109 lyophilized heat-killed L. acidophilus LB cells) has been taken by mouth with five milliliters of water in five doses at 12-hour intervals following rehydration therapy.

To improve immune function, L. acidophilus has been taken by mouth in doses of 3 x 109 lyophilized cells dissolved in 1-2 milliliters of water daily for the first six months of life. Acilact has also been taken by mouth.

To treat the flu, milk mixed with L. acidophilus (1 x 109 CFU) has been taken by mouth in two daily doses for six months.

To prevent necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease involving the death of intestinal tissue, L. acidophilus has been taken by mouth with formula by premature infants beginning at three weeks of life. A solution containing one gram (6 x 109 CFU) of living or killed L. acidophilus bacteria has been delivered to the stomach of newborns via a feeding tube.

To treat thrush of the mouth, 1/4 teaspoon or 1/4 capsule of L. acidophilus in water has been taken by mouth.

To treat diaper rash or yeast infection, liquid preparations of L. acidophilus have been applied directly to the skin in the diaper area.

This evidence-based monograph was prepared by The Natural Standard Research Collaboration

www.naturalstandard.com