Tags: Digestive Problems | probiotics | feminine | health

Probiotics and Feminine Health

By    |   Monday, 09 November 2015 02:15 PM

Probiotics are popular health supplements, and multiple studies have pointed to ways that the beneficial bacteria can be helpful for maintaining feminine health.

Specifically, studies have found that taking probiotics can be effective in treating vaginal yeast infections and other urogenital infections. In addition, women are also more likely than men to have irritable bowel syndrome, a gut problem that can cause pain, cramping, diarrhea or constipation, and bloating. Studies have shown that probiotics can help with IBS, too.

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Urogenital and yeast infections

An article in the scientific journal Clinical Therapeutics, exploring the use of Lactobacillus probiotics for treating urogenital problems like bacterial vaginosis, noted two studies found a "beneficial effect for probiotics," with cure rates at 30 days that were more than double those seen in the patients who were not given probiotics. Another study reported a reduction in the recurrence of urinary tract infections.

However, the medical research supporting the use of probiotics is still new, and that same article pointed to seven studies that showed no effects on BV or UTIs when they were treated with probiotics.

In a review of studies specifically focused on vaginal yeast infections, or vulvovaginal candidiasis, an article in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy determined that there have been studies that point to the effectiveness of using probiotics.

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"Most of the relevant clinical trials had methodological problems such as small sample size, no control group (placebo) and included women without confirmed recurrent VVC, and thus they are not reliable for drawing definitive conclusions," the article said.

However, enough evidence exists and, since probiotics are rarely harmful, to suggest that women with recurrent yeast infections might find help by taking probiotics with the Lactobacillus strains, the article said.

Irritable bowel syndrome

The cause of IBS is not clear, but several theories have emerged and in some studies, it appears that probiotics may have a positive effect in treating the disorder. Just as with vaginal infections, more and better studies of probiotics need to be done.

But what's been done has shown hope for future probiotic treatments for a variety of gut problems. For instance, in a review in the journal Gastrointerology and Hepatology, a probiotic combination called VSL#3 that contains live bacteria including Bifidobaterium, Lactobacillus, and Streptococcus salivarius, patients saw a significant decrease in bloating symptoms.

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Probiotics are popular health supplements, and multiple studies have pointed to ways that the beneficial bacteria can be helpful for maintaining feminine health.
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Monday, 09 November 2015 02:15 PM
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