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Acidophilus vs. Probiotics: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 4, 2023
Acidophilus is a specific type of bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus, beneficial for gut health. Probiotics is a broad category of live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed.

Key Differences

Acidophilus, specifically Lactobacillus acidophilus, is a type of beneficial bacteria that resides in the gut. Probiotics, on the other hand, encompass a wider range of beneficial microorganisms, including various strains of bacteria and yeast.
Acidophilus is known for its role in improving gut health and aiding digestion. Probiotics, as a larger group, contribute to overall gut health, immune function, and can even impact mental health.
Acidophilus is commonly found in fermented foods like yogurt and dietary supplements. Probiotics include a variety of strains, each with unique benefits, found in a broader range of fermented foods and supplements.
The effectiveness of acidophilus is specific to certain health conditions, such as diarrhea and lactose intolerance. Probiotics, depending on their strains, have been studied for a wider spectrum of health benefits, including irritable bowel syndrome and allergy prevention.
Acidophilus primarily focuses on gut health, while the benefits of probiotics extend to overall wellness, including skin health, mental well-being, and preventing infections.

Comparison Chart


Specific bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus)
Broad group of beneficial microorganisms

Primary Benefits

Gut health, digestion
Gut health, immune function, mental health

Common Sources

Yogurt, supplements
Various fermented foods, supplements


Specific to certain health conditions
Wide range of health benefits

Scope of Benefits

Mainly gut health
Overall wellness, including skin and mental health

Acidophilus and Probiotics Definitions


A type of beneficial gut bacteria.
Acidophilus in yogurt helps maintain a healthy gut.


Probiotics improve nutrient absorption and digestion.
Probiotics aid in breaking down food more efficiently.


A bacteria strain used in fermenting dairy products.
Acidophilus is a key ingredient in making certain yogurts.


Microbes that help maintain a healthy balance of gut flora.
Taking probiotics can help restore gut flora after antibiotics.


Lactobacillus acidophilus, known for aiding digestion.
Acidophilus supplements can improve digestive health.


Beneficial bacteria and yeasts in certain foods and supplements.
She includes probiotics in her diet for better immunity.


A probiotic bacterium beneficial for intestinal health.
She takes acidophilus to balance her intestinal flora.


Live microorganisms that promote gut health.
Probiotics in kefir can enhance your digestive system.


A microorganism that helps in lactose breakdown.
Acidophilus can alleviate lactose intolerance symptoms.


Live cultures used to ferment foods and offer health benefits.
Sauerkraut is rich in probiotics for gut health.


Growing well in an acid medium
Acidophilic bacteria.


Plural of probiotic


Easily stained with acid dyes
An acidophilic cell.


Lactobacillus acidophilus, one of the bacteria commonly used in fermenting yogurt


Where can you find acidophilus?

Acidophilus is commonly found in fermented dairy products like yogurt and in dietary supplements.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that, when consumed, provide health benefits, particularly for digestive health.

Can acidophilus cure digestive diseases?

While acidophilus can aid in digestion, it's not a cure for digestive diseases but can be a supportive therapy.

What types of microorganisms are in probiotics?

Probiotics include various strains of bacteria and yeast, each with different health benefits.

Can everyone consume probiotics?

Most people can safely consume probiotics, but those with certain health conditions should consult a doctor first.

What is acidophilus?

Acidophilus is a beneficial bacteria, specifically Lactobacillus acidophilus, that aids in gut health.

Can acidophilus help with lactose intolerance?

Yes, acidophilus can help break down lactose and alleviate symptoms of lactose intolerance.

How does acidophilus improve gut health?

Acidophilus helps maintain a healthy balance of gut flora, aiding digestion and nutrient absorption.

Can probiotics help with skin conditions?

Some studies suggest that probiotics can benefit skin health by reducing inflammation and allergic reactions.

How do probiotics affect the immune system?

Probiotics can strengthen the immune system by promoting a healthy gut microbiome.

Do probiotics have side effects?

Probiotics are usually safe, but some may experience mild digestive upset initially.

Do probiotics only affect gut health?

While probiotics primarily support gut health, they can also impact immune function, mental health, and overall wellness.

Are all yogurts sources of acidophilus?

Not all yogurts contain acidophilus; it's important to check the label for specific probiotic strains.

Is acidophilus effective in pill form?

Yes, acidophilus in pill form can be effective, especially if it's a high-quality supplement with live cultures.

How long does it take for acidophilus to work?

The effects of acidophilus can vary, but some people may notice improvements in digestion within a few days to weeks.

Should acidophilus be taken with food?

Acidophilus can be taken with or without food, but some find it more comfortable to take it with meals.

Are probiotics safe for children?

Probiotics are generally safe for children, but it's advisable to consult a pediatrician before use.

Can acidophilus help with antibiotic-related diarrhea?

Yes, acidophilus can help restore gut flora balance disrupted by antibiotics, reducing diarrhea.

What are common benefits of probiotics?

Common benefits include improved digestion, enhanced immune function, and better nutrient absorption.

Can probiotics help with mental health?

Emerging research suggests a link between gut health and mental well-being, indicating potential benefits of probiotics.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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