Take Probiotics to Fight Off Yeast and Bacteria Infections


Probiotics are very beneficial for women. They are generally known for promoting gut health, but they can also help improve vaginal health. Women frequently encounter yeast infections in vaginal tissue and urinary tract bacterial infections. According to one report, there are more than 300 million cases of urinary tract infetions, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast vaginitis worldwide every year1. But, studies reveal that restoring healthy probiotic flora significantly helps protect against these types of infections.

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Yogurt has long been used as a remedy for infections of the vagina and now scientific studies confirm that yogurt probiotics as well as probiotic supplements can help reduce bacterial vaginosis (BV) and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC)2

The vagina is home to over 50 species of bacteria, just like the digestive tract, which has over 400 different types of bacteria.   The underlying problem becomes a balance of good and bad bacteria because when there are no friendly bacteria the pathogens can cause a wide range of diseases and infections.  Luckily, bacterial strains from probiotics helps build up good bacteria for optimal health.

Also, the pH of vagina is normally kept at 4.2. However, several factors - such as birth control pills, antiobiotics, use of tampons, spermicidal contraceptives, menopause, menstruation, pregnancy and sexual intercourse – can cause normal vaginal pH to rise or drop. The rise of pH creates bacterial overgrowth and therefore causes BV. If the pH drops from overgrowth of fungus commonly known as Candida Albicans it causes yeast infections.   

By taking probiotics, you can promote the health of vagina, digestive tract and urinary tract as well. The good bacteria from probiotics will ensure that harmful bacteria do not flourish. 

Your body has naturally occurring “friendly” bacteria especially from that produce natural disinfectants which help maintain an optimal pH and healthy balance of microorganisms in the vagina by excluding harmful bacteria and other pathogens.  

Numerous factors may upset the delicate balance of friendly microflora. These include antibiotic therapy, dietary changes, cigarette smoking, sexual activity, and high stress levels. Regardless of the cause, such factors may lead to overgrowth of pathogens causing yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.

Fortunately, scientists have identifies specific species of bacteria that are effective at protecting vaginal and intestinal microflora and preventing overgrowth from unfriendly species of yeast and bacteria.

Clinical studies have shown that bacteria of the genus when consumed orally everyday are effective at establishing and maintain healthy vaginal microflora. A recent randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study found that women with high numbers of Lactobacilli in the vagina were far less likely to harbor yeast2.

Two species of in particular, (GR-1) and (RC-14), have been shown to be especially adept at colonizing the vaginal environment and fighting off attempts by unwelcome bacteria and fungi. In 2001, research conducted at the University of Western Ontario demonstrated the ability of these specific strains of to “restore and maintain a normal urogenital flora” in women after just 28 days of daily oral use3.

There is strong evidence that the beneficial bacteria, GR-1 and RC-14, prevent against vaginal disorders. For optimal female health benefits, health care practitioners suggest supplementing with over 10 billion colony-forming units (cfu) of the strains each day.

References:

  1. Reid G. Probiotic agents to protect the urogenital tract against infection. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Feb;73(2 Suppl):437S-43S.
  2. Ronnqvist PD, Forsgren-Brusk UB, Grahn-Hakansson EE. Lactobacilli in the female genital tract in relation to other genital microbes and vaginal pH. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2006;85(6):726-35.
  3. Reid G, Beuerman D, Heinemann C, Bruce AW. Probiotic Lactobacillus dose required to restore and maintain a normal vaginal flora. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2001 Dec;32(1):37-41.


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