Why Is Vaginal Bacteria Important
The types of vaginal bacteria found in your microbiome are unique to you as everyone is different, and no two microbiomes are exactly the same. But, more often than not, a healthy vaginal microbiome is made up mostly of the Lactobacillus species.
Lactobacillus, or lactobacillus acidophilus, is a friendly microbe strain that helps maintain a healthy vaginal pH, which then prevents the overgrowth of various bad bacteria. A neutral pH is 7, but the healthy vaginal pH ranges between 3.8 and 5.0. Lactobacillus is responsible for making lactic acid, which in turn helps maintain this acidic pH.
What Foods Have Probiotics In Them
There are many different foods that contain probiotics. Some of the best sources include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup, and tempeh. Probiotic-rich foods can help replenish the good bacteria in the body and promote a healthy balance.
When it comes to probiotics and vaginal health, yogurt is one of the best sources. Yogurt contains live and active cultures that can help replenish the good bacteria in the body. Make sure to choose a yogurt that is plain and unsweetened for the most benefits.
Sauerkraut is another excellent source of probiotics. This fermented cabbage dish is rich in live and active cultures that can help promote a healthy balance in the body.
Kimchi is a Korean dish made from fermented cabbage. It is rich in probiotics and other nutrients that can help improve vaginal health.
Reminder: What Are Probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria that are naturally found in your body and are imperative for keeping your GI system in check they also play a role in everything from immunity to muscle strength to your mood. While you’re born with a whole bunch of them, factors such as a poor diet, antibiotics, and more can reduce probiotic levels. Hence why many people these days opt for getting an extra dose, be it from a diet rich in fermented foods and/or taking a probiotic supplement.
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Should You Take Probiotics
But should everyone and their mother be popping a probiotic for vaginal health purposes? Not necessarily. Dr. Dweck says theyre likely to be most beneficial for women who are dealing with persistent, recurrent yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. Women who are also experiencing things known to disrupt vaginal bacterial levelsâthink: taking an antibiotic, going through peri-menopause, or having sex with multiple partnersâmay also see a benefit from taking probiotics proactively, she adds.
However, the one common issue they wont really help with is urinary tract infections : Theres no established, definitive evidence pointing toward the benefit of probiotics in preventing a UTI, notes Dr. Dweck. For this type of infection, she says cranberry extract or supplements are a better way to go cranberries contain antioxidant molecules known as PACs , which studies have shown can help prevent UTIs.
The good news? Probiotics arent risky, so you can feel free to give them a try. Theres no evidence probiotics can cause a lot of harm to your body, says Dr. Greves. The only catch you shouldnt take antibiotics and probiotics at the exact same time. Since antibiotics affect gut bacteria, they can essentially make the probiotics lose their effect and not work properly for best results, take them at least four hours apart, she says.
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Healthy Vaginal Microbiota And Influence Of Probiotics Across The Female Life Span
- IFF Health & Biosciences, Kantvik, Finland
Vaginal microbiota plays a central role in womens health and reproduction. Vaginal microbiota is dynamic and shaped by hormonal shifts in each stage of a womans life from pre-puberty to postmenopause. Current research has mainly focused on vaginal bacterial and fungal members of the community and emphasized their role in disease. However, the impact of balanced vaginal microbiota on health and its interaction with the host is yet poorly understood. High abundance of vaginal lactobacilli is most strongly associated with health, but the concept of health may vary as vaginal dysbiosis may be asymptomatic. Furthermore, there is a lot of variation between ethnic groups in terms of dominating vaginal bacteria. Probiotic lactobacilli could be a safe and natural means to balance and maintain healthy vaginal microbiota. Research evidence is accumulating on their role in supporting womens health throughout life. This review describes the current literature on vaginal microbiota, the major factors affecting its composition, and how the communities change in different life stages. Furthermore, we focused on reviewing available literature on probiotics and their impact on vaginal microbiota and health.
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What Are Probiotics And Why Do We Need Them
Probiotics are live microorganisms that we can consume as supplements, or as part of our diets in fermented foods such as kimchi, or probiotic yogurt.
They boost the populations of beneficial microorganisms that are already living in our bodies in the gastrointestinal tract, on the skin and even in the vaginal lining.
Probiotics are a combination of live beneficial bacteria, or yeast, that are native to our gut microbiome, explains Cristy Dean, dietician and gut health specialist at Fettle and Bloom. They are made up of good bacteria that keep us healthy and well, and can help to maintain the balance of bacteria which can get out of sync due to ill health and disease.
Probiotics can support proper immune function. One 2019 study showed that a healthy gut microbiome can reduce gut wall permeability, which in turn prevents bad microorganisms from traveling through the gut wall into the bloodstream.
Dean adds that probiotics can be powerful allies in the prevention of infection, and supporting those with disease. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests we can treat or even prevent some illnesses by taking certain strains of probiotics. Potential benefits have been seen in diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, infection by Clostridium difficile, inflammatory bowel disease and vaginal infections to name a few.
Possible Negative Effects Of Probiotic Use
Annually, over one billion doses of probiotics areadministered worldwide, and those administered for urogenital health have beenwell tolerated . In addition,the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and female genitourinary tract are inhabitedby Lactobacillus . Yet, endocarditisand bacteremia caused by lactobacilli are extremely rare. Most cases occur in patientswith chronic diseases or debilitating conditions that provide direct access tothe bloodstream from a leaky gut. Only 1.7% of 241 cases of bacteremia,endocarditis, and localized infections associated with Lactobacillus that were investigated by Cannon et al. were considered to have apossible link with heavy consumption of dairy products . Only one case hada Lactobacillus isolate that wasindistinguishable from a probiotic strain. There was no connection between thespecies of Lactobacillus isolated andthe type of infection or mortality. A recent study that directly instilled asix-strain bacterial product into the intestine of patients with severe, potentiallyfatal pancreatitis portrayed probiotics as being dangerous . However, theproduct had never been proven to be probiotic, it was administered as a drugunlike 99.9% of probiotics, the randomization process led to patients withmultiorgan failure being given large doses of live bacteria, and the authorsfailed to provide a rationale for the study in an appropriate animal model. Allthis led to unwarranted adverse publicity for the field of probiotics .
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What Midlife Women Should Know About Their Health
Lactobacillus is a probiotic found in yogurt and in supplement form. Some women may mistakenly think consuming lactobacillus, slathering yogurt on their bodies or taking probiotics might make for healthier or cleaner vaginas. Theres little evidence any of this helps.
We are lacking good data about probiotics, Dr. Christine Greves, an OB-GYN at the Center for Obstetrics and Gynecology at Orlando Health, told TODAY.
Theres not even a lot of evidence that probiotics are actually effective for GI health. And eating yogurt is no better.
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Before Sex Stay Away From Foods That Cause Body Odor
As to what not to eat? The general rule of thumb is to skip foods with added sugars and trans fats, as well as any processed foods. Some foods can also make your urine more acidic, leading to a foul smell. In others, genetics may play a role in how food affects your body odor.
Examples of foods to avoid include:
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What Are The Most Common Types Of Probiotic Bacteria
Though there are many types of bacteria that can be considered probiotics, there are two specific types of bacteria that are common probiotics found in stores. These include:
Probiotics are also made up of good yeast. The most common type of yeast found in probiotics is:
- Saccharomyces boulardii.
Soy Helps Improve Vaginal Dryness
Soy can be a bit of a controversial topic. But the phytoestrogens compounds that mimic estrogen in the body found in soy are good news for vaginal health, especially in people with reduced estrogen levels. There are many reasons for decreased estrogen levels in the body, from medications to menopause. But one of the major symptoms of low estrogen is vaginal dryness.
So, heres how soy helps: Minimally-processed soy products are hydrophilic and contain isoflavones that are beneficial for the skin in postmenopausal women.
Research shows that soy dietary supplements can help improve vaginal dryness in postmenopausal women when compared to a placebo. Its important to note that most studies focus on supplements with high levels of isoflavones, which may not be present in all foods.
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How Do Probiotics Work
The main job of probiotics, or good bacteria, is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. Think of it as keeping your body in neutral. When you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. This knocks your body out of balance. Good bacteria works to fight off the bad bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.
Good bacteria keeps you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Keep bad bacteria from getting out of control and making you sick.
- Create vitamins.
- Help support the cells that line your gut to prevent bad bacteria that you may have consumed from entering your blood.
- Breakdown and absorb medications.
This balancing act is naturally happening in your body all of the time. You dont actually need to take probiotic supplements to make it happen. Good bacteria is just a natural part of your body. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fiber every day helps to keep the number of good bacteria at proper levels.
Who Should Take A Probiotic For Vaginal Health
Just as you wouldnt take heart medication for a condition you dont have, it doesnt make sense for you to take a probiotic specific to vaginal health if all is well on the southern border. That said, if you have recurring issues, it doesnt hurt to take them as needed.
My feeling is, if there are recurring issues, like persistent infections, theres no downside to taking a probiotic like Pro-B, Dr. Streicher says. Theres no harm in it, so if its helping you, keep taking it, because it makes sense that it will only help to keep things in balance. Its also safer and far more effective than douching or vaginal washes.
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Can I Take Or Eat Something To Increase The Good Probiotics In My Body
You can increase the amount of good microbes in your body through foods, drinks and supplements. You may already have certain foods in your daily diet that contain probiotics. Fermented foods in particular are home to a host of good bacteria that benefit your body. There are also fermented drinks like kombucha or kefir that introduce extra probiotics into your diet.
Apart from food, you can add probiotics to your diet through dietary supplements. These arent drugs, so they do not need to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration . Its important that you always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any kind of supplement or major change to your diet.
What Are Good Types Of Probiotics For Women
Probiotics rich in lactobacilli variants can promote good gut and vaginal health. Lactobacilli can make the vaginal environment too acidic for other microorganisms to get a foothold, which makes them particularly beneficial when taken by women for the prevention of bacterial vaginosis and other infections. These benefits for vaginal health can still be seen when probiotics are taken orally, due to the benefits to overall immune health and overall balancing effect probiotics have on our microbiome.
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Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care
Image courtesy Raw Probiotics
We all know how important it is to maintain a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria in our digestive and other systems, but what many people dont realize is that this can be compromised by factors like the overuse of medications or stress.
The Replenish Blend includes clinically studied strains which will help you repopulate with beneficial Bifidobacteria.
Cranberry Juice Helps Tackle Utis
Weve all heard or heeded the popular advice: Drink cranberry juice to treat UTIs. But is there any evidence of that?
Cranberry juice or concentrated cranberry extract capsules are full of antioxidants and acidic compounds, which are powerful infection fighters that can help bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall.
that 100 percent cranberry products can be especially beneficial in preventing UTIs in women with recurrent or recent UTI issues. Just make sure you stay away from the sugar-loaded cranberry juice varieties, which can actually make things worse down there.
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Are Probiotics Beneficial Or Harmful
Are there benefits of probiotics for women? Some researchers believe that consuming probiotics may aid in restoring a healthier balance of bacteria in the human microbiome including the vaginal microbiome.
That being said, everyone has individual needs and the microbiome will differ between each person. It may not be as straightforward as taking a tablet or suppository containing good bacteria.
Probiotics can definitely be beneficial to vaginal health, both for treating issues and helping maintain balance. However, make sure to listen to your body and consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
The Facts Behind 5 Supplements
Collagen.Collagen, is one of the most abundant proteins in the body and helps form our skin, bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. As we age, we naturally start reducing its production. Some studies show that taking collagen supplements can reduce signs of aging, increase bone density and improve joint, back and knee pain. But many of these studies are small and funded by the companies behind such products, increasing the opportunity for bias. Certain products also have flaws that reduce the likelihood of their efficacy: Topical creams, for example, are unlikely to make it into the deeper level of the skin where collagen is produced.
Magnesium.Though low levels of magnesium have been associated with various sleep disorders, the evidence for the benefits of taking it for better sleep in supplemental form is thin. In fact, most people already have sufficient levels of the mineral, which helps support immune health, blood sugar regulation, and nerve and muscle function. Magnesium is easy to get in foods including nuts, greens, seeds, beans, yogurt and fish.
Vitamin B6.This essential nutrient is involved in a number of chemical reactions that are important for the proper functioning of the immune and nervous systems. As with the other essential vitamins, the body cannot produce B6 on its own, so you can only get it from foods or supplements. Most healthy adults get more than enough vitamin B6 from their diets alone, so B6 supplements are generally not needed.
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Best Probiotics For Yeast Infection
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is the best probiotics to have when you are suffering from a yeast infection. There are some obvious symptoms you are suffering from a yeast infection, such as.
- A severe burning sensation when you urinate
- Discharge that resembles the consistency of cottage cheese
Treatment for yeast infections often include antifungal properties. Though these medications will treat the condition, they do not offer long term results meaning probiotics are an effective alternative to treating yeast infections, especially if youre prone to contracting them frequently.
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