We all know that probiotics are friendly bacteria present in our body. There are both good and bad microbes in our body, trillions of them. Probiotics are good bacteria. Probiotics are proved to improve digestion and maintaining overall health. This is true for both men and women. Apart from digestion probiotics also help in mood disorders, improving immunity, diabetes, hormone balance, stress disorders and leaky gut syndrome. Women need a diverse dose of probiotics than men. This is attributed to anatomical differences between men and women. Unlike men, probiotics for women confer to other health factors such as the vagina and urinary tract or simply urogenital tract. Women are prone to urinary tract infections (UTI) and vaginal diseases such as cystitis, and bacterial vaginosis. Some specific strains colonize in vaginal fluids and confer to vaginal health. They also prevent urinary tract infections by fending off harmful microbes.
To maintain the health of private parts of women, they need a specific or extra dose of probiotics than men. Albeit, there is no evidence that men and women need different strains for the digestive system. Women tend to ignore their health. The daily chores, work, kids, family and social responsibilities drive them towards negligence of their health. This deprives them of the daily dose of the friendly bacteria.
Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented veggies (kimchi) or kombucha contain diverse strains of probiotics which will help in restoring your gut health. You might have probably heard the quote ‘gut-brain connection’. This states that your brain stays healthy when your gut is. So, your gastrointestinal system is not merely a digesting and absorbing system. It helps in maintaining the overall health of your body.
Probiotics for Women – What are they?
Women need extra care than men when it comes to their privates. Women are easily prone to urogenital infections due to the to close proximity of rectal opening with the urogenital tract. Bacterial strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri are female specific probiotic strains present in the urogenital tract. Regular consumption of probiotic foods or supplements is enough for these bacteria to colonize in the urogenital tract. Many types of research proved that these two strains are more appropriate for the health of women’s private parts.
How probiotics for women help?
Certain probiotics for women are gender specific microbiome that colonize in urogenital tract. These friendly bacteria are useful particularly in fending off opportunistic pathogens. They also maintain the appropriate environment (pH levels) in urogenital tract. They are also helpful in regulating appropriate hormone levels.
Probiotics For Women In General Health
We all know that probiotics help in maintaining or improving the overall health. This is true for women too. Daily work may deprive the sufficient nutrition, so also the probiotics. Busy schedules tend women to eat junk food, foods with preservatives, sugars, and much more. These foods will reduce the gut microbiome levels resulting in opportunistic infections. Symptoms of certain infections will go unnoticed initially. Delayed symptoms include sensitive gut, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and much more. Some opportunistic pathogens such as Candida can find it’s way to gut if gut microbiome is imbalanced.
Consuming probiotics daily (or at regular intervals) will restore the gut microbiome preventing the infections and maintaining your overall health. If you are suffering from gut sensitivity, unusual headaches, bloating etc., understand that you need a supply of probiotics.
Vaginal tissue is similar to the gut in terms of the microbiome. It contains diverse strains of bacteria (nearly 200 species) that fend off the harmful microbes. They also maintain the acidic environment (pH 3.7 to 4.5)of vaginal fluids to destroy the infectious agents, particularly yeast. They keep certain infections such as thrush, vaginosis, and cystitis.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri are effective in preventing these opportunistic infections. They can colonize in vaginal tissue when consumed orally. Consumption of probiotics is necessary for every individual irrespective of your condition or health. Even healthy individuals require probiotics as the vaginal tissue is subjected to wear and tear like the gut.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
Like the genital tract, urinary tract in women is prone to infections because of its close proximity to the rectal opening (anus). Microbes can easily pass from anus to urinary tract. A case study (source: https://www.optibacprobiotics.co.uk) done by Canadian Research and Development Center for Probiotics proved that there was an increase of microbiome levels in urogenital tract when probiotics are consumed regularly for two months in women with UTI. The condition was also improved and there was a significant increase in other microbial flora.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 ®, Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 ® and, Lactobacillus reuteri B-54 are the strains that are intensively researched. They are the only strains that can survive the harsh environment of the gut and colonize in the urogenital tract when consumed orally. Topical application of these strains is also possible.
It is well known that probiotics increase the immunity. This is not a meager statement. One particular strain, Lactobacillus fermentum is associated with immunity. It secretes certain mediators which trigger an immune response. It also fights infections and increases anti-oxidant capacity (source: Dairy Reporter https://bit.ly/2yeaBSv).
The most specific action of this strain is delaying immunosenescence. Immunosenescence is the process of decline in body immunity along with age. Lactobacillus fermentum alleviates immunosenescence thereby augmenting immunity with age.
Women are periodically subjected to hormonal imbalance. Never mind her mood swings. It is because of fluctuating hormone levels every month. From the beginning of the menstrual cycle to another one, women’s hormone levels constantly change, particularly estrogen and progesterone. While this is a healthy and normal cycle, some women experience an abrupt change in hormone levels. The symptoms include headaches, mood swings, stress, and anger.
Probiotics for women help in maintaining this unusual imbalance in hormones. They also reduce the drastic symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. reuteri are proved to maintain normal hormone levels. Normal digestion will expel the excess estrogen levels. When normal bowel functions are disrupted, the body triggers the secretion of Beta-glucuronidase. Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme that enhances the reabsorption of estrogen. Lactobacillus acidophilus reduces the activity of Beta-glucuronidase and restores the normal gut function.
Not only feminine hormones, probiotics for women help in maintaining other hormones such as insulin, oxytocin, melatonin, and leptin.
Like the gut and urogenital tract (in women), human skin has diverse strains of probiotics. These friendly bacteria strengthen the skin, prevents aging (wrinkles), repairs and regenerate damaged skin, prevent skin from damage by free radicals and moisturize the skin. There is a rapid increase in popularity for probiotics for skin in the global market.
For a healthy skin, you can either consume your daily dose of probiotics or you can apply probiotic-rich foods (ex: kefir) directly on the skin. They are many clinical studies which proved that direct application of probiotics soothed the skin and reduced inflammatory conditions such as eczema and rosacea.
Final words, wrapping up
Probiotics for women differ from men when it comes to privates. There is no gender differentiation for the gut microbiome. But for women, there is a need for additional gender-specific probiotic strains (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 ®, Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 ® and, Lactobacillus reuteri B-54) for the regular health. Make sure you have your probiotic supply daily. If you want to take supplements, make sure you read the label. The manufacturer must mention the strain, number of colony forming units (CFU), shelf life and an actual number of units during manufacturing. Consuming fermented foods is always advisable. They contain a diverse amount of probiotic strains and it is the right way to have rather than having a single strain.
Dr.Shashikanth Vydyula is founder of Pocket Reviewer. He is a vivid health enthusiast with a passion for beauty, wellness & nutrition.
Last update on 2018-08-16 at 00:01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API