Acidophile . It is usually bacteria and other very simple organisms that are capable of growing under conditions of too low a pH for most life forms. Thus, they are part of the family of extremophile organisms, that is, they live in extreme conditions.

Acidophilic plants prefer shady and humid areas, since these are the best conditions for their growth; In addition, for the same purpose, organic fertilizers can be provided to the land, but the doses applied of these must be quite reduced.


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  • 1 Concepts according to science
  • 2 In the diet
    • 1 Natural sources
  • 3 Hyperacidophile
  • 4 Arches
  • 5 Other organisms
  • 6 Adaptation mechanisms
  • 7 Uses
  • 8 Source

Concepts according to science

In cytology , apply to cell corpuscles, organelles, and their parts when they have an affinity for acid dyes. Opposes basophil . In botany , it is applied to vegetables and communities that require acidic reaction for their development. Exclusive acidophiles will be vegetables that live only in an acid medium; preferred acidophiles, which are simply favored when the pH falls below the neutral point.

In the diet

In dietetics, acidophilus is the generic name given to a certain group of probiotics, usually added to milk or in capsules, which contain one or more of the following bacteria that aid digestion:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (A)
  • Lactobacillus casei (C)
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum (B)
  • Streptococcus thermophilus

Only L. acidophilus is a true acidophilus, although many manufacturers use that generic name to describe a series of bacterial preparations that include L. acidophilus. Dietary acidophiles can be found naturally in yogurts and other foods.

Natural sources

Other acidophiles found in natural sources are bacteria:

  • Acidithiobacillus
  • Acetobacter
  • Acidobacterium


They are those beings that inhabit natural places such as underwater volcanic crevices, hot springs and other places, usually humid and very acidic, where the pH is extremely low (usually less than pH 2.0).


They are extremophiles, commonly thermophilic (thermoacidophilic). The most extreme case known is Picrophilus, a Thermoplasmata, with an optimal pH of 0.7, being able to grow at -0.06 and die at pH values ​​greater than 4.0. Some groups of hyperacidophilic archaea are:

  • Sulpholobals
  • Thermoplasmatales
  • Acidylobals

Other organisms

A wide variety of organisms can be found in hyperacidic media. In the Rio Tinto (southern Spain ), with a pH between 1.7 and 2.5, a rich endemism has been found composed of chemosynthetic archaea, heterotrophic bacteria, unicellular algae such as diatoms, protists , fungi , yeasts and rotifers , among others.

Adaptation mechanisms

Acidophilic organisms have to adapt to a medium with a high concentration of protons. To do this, they must ensure that their proteins are not denatured.2 For this, all the proteins they synthesize have a high molecular weight, so that more bonds between amino acids are formed .

In this way, the secondary structure is much more stable, making it difficult to break the bonds that maintain it and making the protein remain functional despite being in an environment of high concentration of protons . On the other hand, acidophilic microorganisms also have a series of proton pumps that are dedicated to expelling them outdoors, maintaining a pH close to neutrality inside the bacteria.

However, microorganisms have been found in mines rich in sulfuric acid that did not have a cell wall , and were therefore more exposed to these high concentrations of protons without apparent protection.


The use of acidophiles for specific conditions demonstrate the following:

  • Bacterial vaginosis. The use of oral acidophiles, and the use of vaginal ovules with acidophiles or the application of yogurt with acidophiles in the vagina, have been shown to be effective for the treatment of this type of vaginal inflammation.
  • Infections in the lungs. Acidophiles may play a role in reducing the number and severity of respiratory infections experienced by children.
  • Certain types of diarrhea. When taken with antibiotics, a combination of acidophiles and other specific forms of lactobacilli could reduce diarrhea, bloating, and cramps caused by a bacteria capable of causing symptoms ranging from diarrhea to inflammation of the colon that can put your life (C. difficile infection).

Probiotic preparations may also reduce the presence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea and C. difficile infection in people who are hospitalized.

  • The use of oral acidophiles during pregnancy, in breastfeeding mothers, and in infants appears to reduce the manifestations of eczema (atopic dermatitis) in infants and young children.


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