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July 30, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(5):374. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690050040015

The extreme views originally formulated by the French microbiologist Metchnikoff with regard to the beneficent rôle of lactic acid producing bacteria in the alimentary canal are no longer seriously considered. Furthermore, there is general agreement among critical bacteriologists that Bacillus bulgaricus, to which Metchnikoff attributed the unique efficacy of prolonging life by promoting more wholesome microbial conditions throughout the intestinal tract, cannot be made to grow there by administration of living cultures of the organism. On the other hand, it seems to be fairly well established that the somewhat related Bacillus acidophilus is more easily adapted to intestinal growth by implantation. Consequently, efforts to secure therapeutic advantages through administration of lactic acid producing bacteria have of late been directed to this species. It is nonputrefactive and apparently harmless in nature. Whether and, if so, to what extent the administration of cultures of Bacillus acidophilus is actually efficacious in correcting disorders