Many acidophilus - or probiotic - preparations do not contain these 'friendly' bacteria despite the claims on the label.
Researchers at the Royal Free Hospital in London tested 13 brands of acidophilus, and discovered that only two actually contained the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus. The other 11 either contained no acidophilus, or were less than 10 per cent acidophilus, or also contained other bacterial species.
Acidophilus are supposed to be 'friendly' intestinal lactic bacteria, hence the claims on the packages tested that the tablets '. . . maintain a healthy digestion'. The study did not specify brands that failed the acidophilus test (BMJ, January 6, 1996).