Difference Between Acidophilus and Probiotic

The main difference between acidophilus and Probiotic is that acidophilus is a type of probiotics that lives in the elementary tract of animals whereas probiotic is a good bacterium that protects the body against disease-causing bacteria. Furthermore, acidophilus is a type of Lactobacillus species while probiotics are contained in a variety of fermented food such as cheese and yogurt.

Acidophilus and probiotic are two types of beneficial bacteria that live in symbiotic relationships in the elementary tract of animals. Animals provide these bacteria a place to live in their elementary tract while the bacteria fight with disease-causing bacteria.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Acidophilus
     – Definition, Facts, Importance
2. What is Probiotic
     – Definition, Types, Conditions
3. What are the Similarities Between Acidophilus and Probiotic
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Acidophilus and Probiotic
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Acidophilus, Elementary Tract Health, Lactobacillus, Probiotic

Difference Between Acidophilus and Probiotic - Comparison Summary

What is Acidophilus

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a bacterium that naturally occurs in the mouth, intestine, and vagina. Hence, it is a rod-shaped, gram-positive bacteria. Also, acidophilus is a part of normal flora in the body. Since it is a part of normal flora, acidophilus prevents the overgrowth of potentially harmful bacteria in the body. The acidic environment (below pH 5) made by the acidophilus serves as a potential barrier for the growth of other bacteria. Acidophilus is chiefly found in the active cultures of milk such as yogurt as well as other fermented food.

Difference Between Acidophilus and Probiotic

Figure 1: Lactobacillus acidophilus

As acidophilus maintains the normal balance of beneficial bacteria, it is considered as a type of probiotic. Generally, antibiotics decimate the normal flora as its side effect. Therefore, healthcare professionals usually recommend probiotics along with antibiotics.

What is Probiotic

A probiotic is a good bacterium that stimulates the growth of the beneficial bacteria in the body such as intestinal flora. The intestinal flora lives in a mutualistic relationship, facilitating the digestion of dietary fiber by fermenting it. Some yeasts may also serve as probiotics.

Types of Probiotics

  1. Lactobacillus – The most common type of probiotic found in yogurt and other fermented food. It is used to treat diarrhea and is beneficial to those with lactose intolerance.
  2. Bifidobacterium –  Can be found in dairy products and help to treat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  3. Saccharomyces boulardii – A type of yeast that acts as a probiotic, which fights diarrhea and other digestive problems
    Main Difference - Acidophilus and Probiotic

    Figure 2: Probiotic Mechanism of Action

Probiotics induce the movement of the elementary tract by affecting the nerves. Some other conditions for which probiotics are recommended are;

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Infectious diarrhea caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites
  • Antibiotic-related diarrhea
  • Skin conditions, like eczema
  • Urinary and vaginal health
  • Preventing allergies and colds
  • Oral health

Similarities Between Acidophilus and Probiotic

  • Acidophilus and probiotics are good bacteria that live in the elementary tract of animals.
  • Both maintain a symbiotic relationship with animals in which both parties are benefitted.
  • They inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacteria.
  • Both can be consumed with fermented food such as yogurt and cheese.
  • They can be obtained as capsules of dietary supplements.

Difference Between Acidophilus and Probiotic


Acidophilus is a bacterium used in the making of yogurt and to supplement the intestinal flora whereas Probiotic is a substance that stimulates the growth of microorganisms with beneficial properties. Further, acidophilus is a type of probiotic, which is a good bacteria in the elementary tract of animals.


The source of Acidophilus are yogurt, miso, and tempeh while the source of Probiotic are cultured milk products like yogurt, cheese, and kefir, fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut, and probiotic drinks like water kefir and coconut kefir.


Acidophilus prevents traveler’s diarrhea and bacterial vaginosis while probiotic can relieve diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, skin conditions such as eczema


Acidophilus is a species of Lactobacillus, which is a type of probiotic. Probiotics are the good bacteria that help to keep the health of the elementary tract. Therefore, the main difference between acidophilus and probiotic is the function of each type of bacteria in the body.


1. “Definition of Lactobacillus Acidophilus.” MedicineNet, 
2. “What Are Probiotics?” WebMD, 

Image Courtesy:

1.  200110 LactobacillusAcidophilus” By Bob Blaylock – Own work () via
2. “Probiotic” By Rachelshoemaker – Own work () via

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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