Does Acidophilus Need to be Refrigerated?

Question: Does Acidophilus Need to be Refrigerated?

Once acidophilus is opened and refrigerated, will it still be effective if I take it on a seven-hour plane ride and it is stored at room temperature?


If you are unfamiliar with acidophilus, it is a live bacteria used in alternative medicine.

Acidophilus and other beneficial microorganisms are collectively called "probiotics" and are available in many forms, such as capsules, tablets, powder, liquid, and in foods such as yogurt and acidophilus milk.

Most acidophilus products require refrigeration to preserve the number of live bacteria in the product. Although the number of live bacteria is indicated on the label, it reflects the number of live bacteria at the time of manufacture. Improper storage is one factor that can cause a loss of bacteria. tested 26 probiotic supplements and found that 8 of the products contained less than 1% of the claimed number of live bacteria or of the expected minimum of 1 billion.

For your trip, although there may be some loss of live bacteria, storing acidophilus at room temperature for one day or less should not cause a significant enough drop in the number of live bacteria that the product becomes ineffective. However, unless the product is tested, it's impossible to know the potency of the product after room temperature storage.

Here are some additional tips that may help:

  • Store the acidophilus in pill case rather than bringing the entire bottle, so that you are only bringing what you need for the duration of your trip.
  • Once you reach your destination, put the acidophilus in the hotel room fridge if you can or if you are staying with someone, ask to store it in their fridge.
  • Another option is to purchase a product that has been independently tested. For example, is one such company that tests probiotics products. 
  • Also to consider when purchasing an acidophilus product: choose smaller quantities. The longer you keep an acidophilus product before you consume it, the greater the loss of live bacteria.


Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

Continue Reading