Whats The Difference Between Acidophilus And ???

I get asked "Whats the difference between acidophilus and lactobacillus" a lot!

The Science

Family: Lactobacillaceae

Genus: Lactobacillus

Species: L. acidophilus

Obligately homofermentative (which means it ferments sugar to lactic acid)

Grows well in acidic environment (4.5 or lower, and best at 30 degrees Celsius.

Or whats the difference between acidophilus and probiotics, or bifidus or ????

Much of the confusion between all these bacteria simply comes down to their pattern of naming. Once you understand that, the rest falls into place.

Whats the difference between acidophilus and lactobacillus?

Consider family relationships.

difference between acidophilus and lactobacillus

So acidophilus is part of the Lactobacillus family and shares many common attributes with them but is a distinct species in its own right.

It is written as Lactobacillus acidophilus or more simply L acidophilus. Sometimes the strain will be added to the end of the name.

How about acidophilus and probiotics?

Probiotics are a group of bacteria which enhance our health in a clearly defined way. Some members of the Lactobacillus acidophilus family are probiotic.

But there are many beneficial bacteria that are probiotic and are not from this family. There is even a probiotic yeast - not a bacteria at all.

The probiotic family cover a diverse range of bacteria and yeasts with widely differing requirements. Some such as the Lactobacillus family exist happily in the small intestine, whilst some such as the Bifidobacterium family prefer the large intestine. Others can be found in the mouth and other areas.

Acidophilus and bifidus?

Bifidus is a member of the Bifidobacterium family of bacteria whilst acidophilus is a member of the Lactobacillus family. Some members of both these families are probiotic.