Are Lactobacillus Acidophilus Vegan

Are Lactobacillus Acidophilus Vegan?

One of the beneficial bacteria for gut health and the immune system is called Lactobacillus Acidophilus. But have you ever wondered if it's compatible with the increasingly popular vegan diet?

Let's find the potential benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus for vegans, address any concerns, and discover vegan foods containing Lactobacillus Acidophilus.

Some highly effective techniques to include this probiotic can also be revealed to be able to infuse this beneficial bacteria into your diet easily.

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What Is Vegan?

what is vegan

Veganism refers to a philosophy and lifestyle that avoids animal products whenever possible, including a plant-based diet and minimizing animal-derived materials.

Diet: Vegans follow a plant-based diet, excluding all animal products from their meals. Instead of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy products (milk, cheese,...), they focus on whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds to meet their nutritional needs.

Lifestyle: It goes beyond just food. Vegans may also avoid animal-derived materials like leather, fur, wool, and silk in clothing, shoes, and accessories. They also seek cruelty-free cosmetics and personal care products that haven't been tested on animals. Additionally, some vegans avoid zoos, aquariums, and other entertainment activities that exploit animals.

Benefits: There are many potential benefits associated with a vegan diet and lifestyle, including [1]:

  • Improved Health: Studies have shown that well-planned vegan diets can help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and obesity.
  • Weight Management: Vegan diets tend to be lower in calories and fat, potentially aiding in weight loss or maintenance.
  • Environmental Benefits: Animal agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. Choosing a vegan lifestyle can help reduce these negative environmental impacts.
  • Helping Animals: Veganism can be a way to advocate against animal exploitation in the food industry and other sectors.

What Is Lactobacillus Acidophilus?

lactobacillus acidophilus

Lactobacillus Acidophilus (often abbreviated as L. acidophilus) is a beneficial bacteria commonly found in the digestive system, urinary tract, and other body parts. L. acidophilus is used as a probiotic to promote the growth of good bacteria and treat certain conditions.

L. acidophilus can be introduced into the body through capsules, tablets, powders, and vaginal suppositories. Additionally, L. acidophilus is found in some dairy products like yogurt and is also added to various other foods.

Are Lactobacillus Acidophilus Vegan?

As a bacteria, L. Acidophilus isn't an animal product, so it can be considered vegan. Although the culturing process for some probiotics might involve milk, the final product doesn't contain any milk.

Additionally, L. Acidophillus can be fermented in vegan foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso paste.

Vegans can prioritize products labeled "dairy-free" or "vegan" to ensure they align with their dietary restrictions.

Benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus As a Vegan Diet

Benefits for Gut Health

L. acidophilus helps maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut, promoting optimal digestion and nutrient absorption. It also produces lactic acid, which supports the growth of good bacterial strains.

Additionally, L. acidophilus can improve digestion and reduce diarrhea, constipation, and simulatedgastrointestinal digestion [2] [3].

Boost Immune System

L. Acidophilus helps strengthen the immune system by stimulating the production of immune cells. Several studies suggest that L. acidophilus can enhance immune function.

Furthermore, L. acidophilus can stimulate the innate mucosal immune system and adhere to the intestinal mucosa. It is a potential candidate for developing antigen-specific responses for mucosal and systemic immunomodulation [4].

Supports Vaginal Health

One of the primary beneficial bacteria in the vagina is known to be present. L. Acidophilus helps maintain a balanced pH level and prevents yeast infections.

The probiotic bacteria has been shown to produce bacteriocins through fermentation, inhibiting the growth of pathogenic organisms in the genital tract.

Studies suggest that oral administration of a probiotic formula containing L. acidophilus helps restore vaginal microbiota, reduce recurrence rates, and prevent infections [5].

Enhanced Nutrient Absorption

L. Acidophilus may help improve the absorption of vitamins and minerals from food, including fatty acids, especially calcium and iron, by maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria in the gut [7] [8]. This is particularly important for vegans who may need more of these nutrients from their diet.

What Friendly-Vegan Foods Contains Lactobacillus Acidophilus?

Fermented Vegetables contains lactobacillus acidophilus

You may not know that Lactobacillus Acidophilus is an excellent probiotic in many vegan yogurt and fermented food products. If you're looking to boost your gut health, be sure to check out these tasty options.

Vegan Milk: Vegan Milk is made from plant-based milk like soy, almond, or coconut milk. These yogurts are often supplemented with Lactobacillus Acidophilus and other beneficial bacteria.

Fermented Vegetables: Fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi, and miso are good sources of Lactobacillus Acidophilus. These foods are fermented using bacteria, including Lactobacillus Acidophilus, to convert sugar into lactic acid.

Tempeh: Tempeh is a food made from fermented soybeans. It is a great source of protein and also contains Lactobacillus Acidophilus.

Dietary Supplements: Nowadays, many people also turn to supplementing Lactobacillus Acidophilus with functional food products due to its convenience and ease of use.

In addition, some functional food brands today also combine Lactobacillus Acidophilus with other probiotics such as Lactobacillus Gasseri, Plantarum, Reuteri, Rhamnosus, and Crispatus.

This helps provide comprehensive probiotics for the body, supports increased product effectiveness, and supplements many other benefits.

Misleading You May Not Know about Lactobacillus And Vegan Diet

Misleading about lactobacillus and vegan diet

Some people may have some misconceptions about Lactobacillus and the vegan diet:

Lactobacillus Is Not Suitable for Vegans

Lactobacillus is a bacteria, not an animal. Therefore, Lactobacillus is perfectly compatible with a vegan diet if it is fermented from plants.

Many probiotic products like fermented vegan milk or soy milk are specially designed for vegans and contain beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus Acidophilus [6].

Vegans Do Not Need to Supplement with Lactobacillus

While it is true that some nutrients are more available in animal products, a well-planned vegan diet can provide all the nutrients your body needs.

This includes protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins, which can be obtained from fortified foods or supplements. Lactobacillus can help improve the absorption of these nutrients, so supplementation with Lactobacillus can benefit vegans.

A Vegan Diet Lacks Probiotics

Some people believe that a vegan diet lacks probiotics because many probiotic-rich foods are dairy-based, which is not vegan-friendly.

However, there are many vegan sources of probiotics, including fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, and some sourdough breads, that can provide all the probiotic benefits for vegans.

Vegans should consider consuming plant-based probiotic foods to ensure their vegan diet is complete.

How to Incorporate Lactobacillus Acidophilus Into Your Vegan Diet Lifestyle?

how to incorporate lactobacillus acidophilus into vegan diet

If you are following a vegan diet and want to incorporate Lactobacillus Acidophilus optimally, you can consider some ways below:

Consume fermented vegan foods: Fermented vegan foods containing Lactobacillus Acidophilus, as mentioned above, provide probiotics and add unique flavors to meals.

Incorporate into meals: To take advantage of the benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus in a vegan diet, you can easily integrate this bacteria into your daily menu creatively and deliciously.

You can make vegan products like almond yogurt, kimchi, or sauerkraut at home to take advantage of the probiotic benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus naturally.

Consider using functional foods: You can buy probiotic capsules or powders that are labeled as containing Lactobacillus Acidophilus. This is a convenient way to ensure a regular intake of beneficial bacteria every day.

You can consume different types of fermented vegan foods to benefit from probiotic strains other than Lactobacillus Acidophilus.

Store properly: Because Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a live bacteria, fermented foods and functional foods are stored according to the instructions on the packaging, which usually require cold storage to maintain their effectiveness.

Other Alternatives of Lactobacillus Acidophilus for Vegan Diet

Though Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a popular probiotic, many other beneficial probiotic strains can be incorporated into a vegan diet from food sources or some supplements:

  • Bifidobacteria: In vegan yogurt alternatives like those containing Lactobacillus Acidophilus [9]. Additionally, tempeh and some varieties of sauerkraut may also contain Bifidobacteria strains.
  • Saccharomyces Boulardii: This unique probiotic strain offers benefits similar to L. Acidophilus [9]. It has been researched in beer fermentation called "non-alcoholic beer." It can be found in some non-dairy kefirs or as a standalone supplement [10].
  • Other Lactobacillus strains are L. rhamnosus and L. plantarum [9]. Kimchi and other fermented vegetables are rich sources of Lactobacillus Plantarum, another strain known to support digestion and immune function.
  • Vegan Probiotic Supplements: Many vegan-friendly probiotic supplements are available on the market.

Conclusion

Lactobacillus acidophilus can be a beneficial addition to a vegan diet. This beneficial bacteria supports gut health, immune function, and nutrient absorption and can be from in many vegan sources of L. Acidophilus exist, like sauerkraut, kimchi, and vegan milk.

Vegans can easily incorporate L. Acidophilus into their diets through homemade fermented foods or supplements labeled as vegan. By embracing these options, vegans can optimize their health without compromising dietary principles.

References:

[1] Marrone, Giulia, et al. “Vegan Diet Health Benefits in Metabolic Syndrome.” Nutrients, vol. 13, no. 3, 2 Mar. 2021, p. 817, res.mdpi.com/nutrients/nutrients-13-00817/article_deploy/nutrients-13-00817.pdf, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13030817.
[2] Ringel-Kulka, Tamar, et al. “Probiotic Bacteria Lactobacillus Acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium Lactis Bi-07 versus Placebo for the Symptoms of Bloating in Patients with Functional Bowel Disorders: A Double-Blind Study.” Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, vol. 45, no. 6, 1 July 2011, pp. 518–525, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21436726/, https://doi.org/10.1097/MCG.0b013e31820ca4d6.
[3] Angélica Andrade Lopes, Laênia, et al. “Microencapsulation of Lactobacillus Acidophilus La-05 and Incorporation in Vegan Milks: Physicochemical Characteristics and Survival during Storage, Exposure to Stress Conditions, and Simulated Gastrointestinal Digestion.” Food Research International, vol. 135, Sept. 2020, p. 109295, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2020.109295.
[4] Zhao, Wei, et al. “The Immune Regulatory Role of Lactobacillus Acidophilus: An Updated Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.” Food Bioscience, vol. 36, Aug. 2020, p. 100656, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fbio.2020.100656.
[5] Chee, Wallace Jeng Yang, et al. “Vaginal Microbiota and the Potential of Lactobacillus Derivatives in Maintaining Vaginal Health.” Microbial Cell Factories, vol. 19, no. 203, 2020, www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Vaginal-microbiota-and-the-potential-of-derivatives-Chee-Chew/de7d53ff1953264323f5fd27288fc80bc00113c8, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12934-020-01464-4.
[6] ---. “Microencapsulation of Lactobacillus Acidophilus La-05 and Incorporation in Vegan Milks: Physicochemical Characteristics and Survival during Storage, Exposure to Stress Conditions, and Simulated Gastrointestinal Digestion.” Food Research International, vol. 135, Sept. 2020, p. 109295, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2020.109295.
[7] Zhou, Junhua, et al. “Lactobacillus Acidophilus (LA) Fermenting Astragalus Polysaccharides (APS) Improves Calcium Absorption and Osteoporosis by Altering Gut Microbiota.” Foods, vol. 12, no. 2, 1 Jan. 2023, p. 275, www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/12/2/275, https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12020275. Accessed 11 Apr. 2024.
[8] Silva, Márcia R., et al. “Growth of Preschool Children Was Improved When Fed an Iron-Fortified Fermented Milk Beverage Supplemented with Lactobacillus Acidophilus.” Nutrition Research, vol. 28, no. 4, Apr. 2008, pp. 226–232, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2008.02.002. Accessed 18 Nov. 2021.
[9] “Vegan Probiotic Products: A Modern Tendency or the Newest Challenge in Functional Foods.” Food Research International, vol. 140, 1 Feb. 2021, p. 110033, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996920310589, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2020.110033.
[10] Senkarcinova, Bara, et al. “Probiotic Alcohol-Free Beer Made with Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Var. Boulardii.” LWT, vol. 100, Feb. 2019, pp. 362–367, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2018.10.082. Accessed 9 Mar. 2020.
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Author

Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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