If you're looking for milk free acidophilus then it is important to understand the difference between dairy free and lactose free probiotics because they could be called by either of those terms and yet there are important differences.
Lactose free products are NOT the same as dairy free products. If an acidophilus supplement is called lactose free it means it does not contain any milk sugar, but it may contain isolated, lactose-free milk protein - so it would NOT be dairy free.
Differences that can effect your health.
A dairy free probiotic means it does not contain either lactose (milk sugars) or milk proteins.
So really - the term "milk-free' does not really define your needs sufficiently. You need to know if you require dairy free or lactose free.
Dairy free is a more encompassing state than simply one not containing lactose.
To add to the confusion, people can have either a cow's milk allergy or a cow's milk intolerance - again two different conditions.
The former is the more serious of the two with sypmtoms ranging from nausea, vomitting and/or diarrhea to a life threatening full body anaphylaxis reaction. An intolerance usually shows only as a gastro intestinal reaction, commonly diarrhea but also constipation.
You may be wondering just how milk gets into your acidophilus supplement - at first glance they appear to be two unlikely partners.
The problem occurs because in order to grow the probiotic, it needs to be given a food. Just like you and me, it can't grow without regular meals. And the number one growing medium for probiotics is milk.
However, all is not lost. Probiotics can be grown on other culture mediums such organic soy paste or garbanzo, more commonly know as chickpeas. This is how probiotic supplemnts without any trace of milk can be produced.
This growth medium can in itself be of value as it contains all the beneficial metabolic byproducts such as vitamins, enzymes, and antimicrobial substances such as acidophilin and hydrogen peroxide.
The Natren brand -see Healthy Trinity below - pride themselves on including these beneficial byproducts in their supplements. They're a little more pricey than some but good.
Best known probiotic containing milk free acidophilus is Acidophilus Pearls a small dairy free acidophilus capsule with great reviews on Amazon.
Or try Pure Encapsulations Probiotics-5 (dairy-free) - 60 capsules. This is a dairy free probiotic supplement containing 2 billion cfu of Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1, Lactobacillus rhamnosus 32, Bifidobacterium bifidum 02, B longum 05, and Bifidobacterium lactis 04 for a total of 10 billion cfu.
A good, but more expensive option is Healthy Trinity - Dairy Free which contains 5 billion cfu of both L acidophilus NAS and L bulgaricus 51, and 20 billion cfu of B bifidum Malyoth.
Soy yogurts can be a source of milk-free acidophilus depending on just which bacteria are used
Turtle Mountain's So Delicous dairy free milk does not contain probiotics although they are dairy and lactose free. However the So Delicous soy yogurts and coconut milk yogurts do contain live cultures but they do not contain L. acidophilus. Shame because they sound delicous!
One reason to consider going dairy free is that it is likely to improve your situation if you are constipated. Yes, really! Dairy free means avoiding the proteins in cow's milk. When a small study group of constipated children did this, half of them improved considerably and a small number did not become constipated again when milk was reintroduced. So if you suffer from constipation and have ever wondered if the cow's milk you consume could be at the bottom of it - or even if you didn't wonder - then try a cow's milk free diet including milk free acidophilus.
This study was of interest because one of the signs of an intolerance to cow's milk is diarrhea. But is some people it can cause the oppposite.