A Primer On Probiotics & Your Gut Flora
Probiotics are supplements that contain some of the types of good bacteria that live and thrive in your gut . When there are enough of these good bacteria, they can conquer the effects of the bad bacteria that inevitably grows within your gut as well. Bad bacteria are normal they live in everyone, but they shouldnt take over the beneficial gut flora.
According to Kelsey Kenney, dietitian, Potential pathogens are gut flora that have the potential to be pathogenic Pathogens or pathogenic bacteria are the bad gut bugsthese are ones that, if found, are very like to make you symptomatic. Depending on the pathogen, that could mean symptoms from anything like bloating, excessive gas, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, reflux, and more. When your gut microbiome is well-balanced, it helps you digest food, make nutrients, influences the immune system and the metabolic system, and more.
Probiotics are best obtained from eating a healthy, natural diet, and while most people could probably benefit from the addition of a probiotic supplement, they are not appropriate for everyoneand taking a probiotic supplement should not be a replacement for eating healthy. You should discuss if you would benefit and which one to take with your doctor before adding it to your daily regimen.
Benefits Of Probiotics For Women
Why take probiotic supplements? A lot of women can benefit from probiotics, which can treat a large number of health conditions and issues.
However, in this section, we will look at how probiotics might treat bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, endometriosis, pregnancy-related issues, cancer, skin problems, and atopic diseases.
The benefits of probiotics for women may also include treatment for weight loss, skin problems, pH balance, hormonal imbalance and fertility issues, and bone health.
How To Choose The Best Probiotics For Men And Women
In women, reproductive stages impact hormonal balances and can react with the digestive system. For example, theres evidence of postmenopausal women benefitting from probiotic strains of Lactobacillus spp. Women may also find this strain to be beneficial when experiencing infections like vaginosis and fungus.11
Similarly, women may find some relief from their stomach troubles with strains of Lactobacillus plantarum, which is shown to help with bowel discomfort across genders.12
And in a small study, men saw a decrease in their cholesterol levels after consuming Bifidobacterium-fermented yogurt for a period of time.13 However, further research is needed to better understand this correlation.
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When To Consider Probiotics
Are you dealing with occasional constipation, bloating, or gassiness? Your gut biome may be to blame. A probiotic might be the solution to your problem. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and carry absolutely no risks to your health or comfort.
Probiotics are literally the bacterial you already have in your system, just supplied in a convenient capsule form.
You can even find probiotics already mixed into food. Many brands of yogurt contain probiotics, for instance.
Reasons Probiotics Are Good For You
They may reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your gut, which can lead to disease or inflammation. They can also replace harmful bacteria with beneficial bacteria.
Probiotics are being studied to see when and how they can be most beneficial. Some diseases have received more attention than others. They may be able to assist people with:
- Diarrhea, particularly when associated with specific antibiotics. Probiotics may also aid with infectious diarrhea, particularly in kids.
- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are examples of inflammatory bowel disorders . Certain probiotics may keep ulcerative colitis in remission and Crohn’s disease from recurring and worsening.
- Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition in which the bowels become irritable. Probiotics can help relieve symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.
Probiotics are also being researched for a variety of other illnesses. There hasn’t been as much research as there should be, but there is evidence that probiotics can help with:
- Probiotics help yeast infections
- The prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections
- Lactose intolerance
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Which Is The Best Women’s Probiotic Supplement For Me
There are many different types of probiotic supplements available, including liquids and powders, but most adults tend to prefer a capsule as they are easy to fit into their morning routine. For women who really dont like capsules or powders, then gummy products for adults are now available. However, it is important to select gummies which contain very robust strains of bacteria which allows them to survive the manufacturing process, for example Bacillus coagulans Unique IS-2.
If you are seeking specific benefits, consider a friendly bacteria supplement with research behind it for this particular purpose. For example, if you are looking for probiotics for vaginal health, consider a product that contains well-researched strains including L. paracasei F-19® and the world-renowned L. rhamnosus GR-1® and L. reuteri RC-14® which have shown to help support a healthy vaginal microbiome24.
If youre confused as what well-researched really means, Dr. Kate explains all in this helpful article: Research: is it all equal?.
If youve never taken probiotics before and are wondering if theyd suit you, then be reassured that the potential benefits of probiotics are numerous, but any side effects are rare, making these supplements a popular choice for daily maintenance of gut and intimate health.
Healthcare professionals can reassure their clients about this topic by reading Probiotics and side effects an in-depth review on the Probiotic Professionals site.
Best For Urinary Tract Health
Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14® and Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 have both been shown to be beneficial for urinary tract health. In addition, taking a probiotic with aronia berry juice may provide additional benefits. Aronia berry has been found to be rich in proanthocyanins, which play a role in restricting bacterial adhesions in the urinary tract. This may provide protection from E. coli, the most common cause of urinary tract infections , especially when combined with D. mannose.
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What Should You Look For In A Probiotic
First, if you are experiencing discomfort or stomach issues that you think can be solved with a probiotic, you really should consult with a medical professional.
In fact, any time you want to introduce a new supplement into your routine, you should talk to a healthcare provider. They will be able to give you more information, assess whether it could interact negatively with any other medications you are taking and give you advice on what to do if you experience any side effects.
If its determined that probiotic supplements may benefit you, youll want to have a good understanding of what to look for especially because there are so many on the market.
Its a good idea to get a probiotic with one billion colony forming units. Colony forming units indicate the number of cells per dosage.
With so many different types of bacteria, it can be tough to know which type of bacteria you want in your probiotic supplement. Some to look for are:
It may take a few tries to land on the right probiotic for you. If youve been taking one for a few weeks and dont notice a difference, you may want to try a different kind with a different makeup of bacteria types.
Generally, probiotics are thought to be safe and to have relatively few side effects though they arent recommended for those with a compromised immune system.
What Is A Probiotic
Probiotics consist of microorganisms that take up residence in your gut. You have both bacteria that are both good and bad that live in your body. Although a lot of people believe that bacteria is harmful to your health, probiotics provide numerous health benefits. This is one reason there are probiotics for women.
Probiotics are part of the bacteria in your microbiome. A microbiome is a group of assorted organisms which work all together to keep your body healthy. These various organisms are called microbes, and there are trillions in and on your body.
But for an organism to be called a probiotic, it needs to meet specific criteria. It needs to be isolated from a human and be able to survive in your intestines after being eaten. The organism has to have a proven benefit for you and be able to be safely consumed.
Recommended Reading: Acidophilus Probiotic For Yeast Infection
What About Prebiotics And Synbiotics
You already know that probiotics are good bacteria. But prebiotics are actually food for your probiotics! They feed the good guys, helping them flourish. Sound complicated? Dont worry. Thats where synbiotics come into play theyre products that contain both probiotics and prebiotics, like the above Pure Pre/Probiotic DF. Win-win!
You should take probiotics with meals. This maximizes the chance of survival in your gut, since your stomach acid wont destroy it. There are long-term and short-term benefits of probiotic supplementation. Some probiotic strains work more long-term , while some others are faster-acting , according to GutSpace. It may also be a good idea to take your probiotic supplement along with a digestive enzyme, which can help aid digestion. You can feed your gut the good stuff by drinking plenty of water, eating clean foods, and not overdoing it on the alcohol.
Be sure to talk to your doctor or a pharmacist about the best option for your needs. And make sure you let them know about any other health issues you may have, as some probiotics do come with risks.
Contact a physician within the BodyLogicMD network today about how starting a probiotic regimen could boost your health. If youre experiencing digestive distress, antibiotic-induced yeast infections, or day to day bloating, probiotics may be for you. And even if you dont have symptoms, its in your best interest to maintain a healthy gutbecause a healthy gut is a healthy body.
Proven Benefits Of Female Probiotics
Some of the main benefits of womens probiotics for better gut health and female wellness include:
However, even though it has gained all the buzz recently, the benefits of probiotics for women are rooted in tradition.
Foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and other soy-based products that have been part of traditional dishes of many cultures are natural probiotics.
Moreover, these days probiotic supplements are also in and are certainly more than a passing trend.
Here are some of the 6 benefits of female probiotics:
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Who Should Try Probiotics
Probiotics are a dietary supplement that have been widely tested and are known to help manage bloating, constipation and diarrhea and can boost your immune system, gut health and mental health. Research is also beginning to show how poor sleep hurts our gut microbiota and how probiotics can improve the quality of your sleep. They have been shown to be safe for healthy individuals.
What Do Probiotics Do For The Female Body
In addition to their gut-balancing properties, probiotics can do specific things to help support the female body. Specifically, they can:
- Reduce your risk of a urinary tract infection. Women who are prone to UTIs and experience them regularly should take probiotic supplements .
- Reduce your childs risk of certain allergies if you take probiotics while pregnant. One study showed a potential link between probiotics and reduced severity of eczema in infants.
- Improve your fertility and chances of conception.
- Reduce your risk of Listeria monocytogenes infection during pregnancy by speeding bowel transit time.
- Help modulate your immune system, reducing your risk of developing lupus and other autoimmune diseases.
- Improve your heart health, which is important as doctors often miss the signs of heart attacks in women.
In addition to this, there are three very specific reasons why probiotics for women are beneficial.
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A Formula With Probiotics + Prebiotics
Probiology Gut+ is a complete gut health nourisher with both probiotics and prebiotics.
It contains fructooligosaccha ride, a natural prebiotic fiber.
This prebiotic will support the probiotic in your small intestine to survive. Plus, it will help encourage the activity of good gut bacteria.
This way you get the complete package for complete gut health.
The 10 Best Probiotics For Women
For more information about other supplements for womens health, read Kathys article: Supplements for women: which do you really need?.
You may also be interested to read the following related articles:
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Which Probiotics Are Best
It goes without saying that its important to select the right strain for your own individual health needs. Knowing which specific probiotic strain to choose will help your body target the goodness where its needed most.
Taking a prebiotic in conjunction with probiotics is also recommended. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates. You can find them in foods including wholegrain oatmeal, bananas and even onions.12
Is It Better To Take Probiotics Or Prebiotics
Both! Probiotics are best taken in combination with a prebiotic supplement, or a diet high in whole food prebiotic fibers. You can grab our free meal plan and recipe guide to start building a fiber rich diet. Prebiotics provide the essential nutrients that the friendly strains need to compete for space in your microbiome.
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.
Do Probiotics Make You Lose Or Gain Weight
Some studies show that probiotics may aid in weight gain or loss it just depends on which strain you are taking. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus may aid in weight gain, whereas Lactobacillus gasseri can aid in weight loss.
However, there is more to weight gain or loss than just taking a probiotic.
Squibb says, I let women know that losing weight is more than calories and exercise. What we eat and how and when we eat can significantly impact our weight and the weight distribution in our bodies, especially for women. A healthy balance is key.
Best Vegan: Innate Response Flora 20
Courtesy of Amazon
Contains 14 probiotic strains for digestion and immunity
Tested for 125 microbiome-disrupting pesticides and herbicides
Contains no animal-derived ingredients
Must be kept refrigerated
Innate Response is one of the first supplement companies to guarantee that their products are glyphosate residue-free which increases the efficacy of their potent Flora 20-14, Probiotic by limiting interference from a known microbiome disrupter.
Glyphosate, a key ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, has been making headlines recently due to its negative effects on hormones, gastrointestinal health, respiratory health, and immune functioning, among other concerns. In addition to glyphosate, each batch of incoming ingredients is tested for over 125 different pesticides and herbicides.
Type: Capsules | Colony Forming Units: 20 billion | Dosage: 1 daily | Certified: B corporation, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free
Price at time of publish: $40
Probiotics May Reduce The Severity Of Certain Allergies And Eczema
Certain probiotic strains may reduce the severity of eczema in children and infants.
One study found eczema symptoms improved for infants fed probiotic-supplemented milk, compared to infants fed milk without probiotics .
Another study followed children of women who took probiotics during pregnancy. Those children had an 83% lower risk of developing eczema in the first two years of life .
However, the link between probiotics and reduced eczema severity is still weak and more research needs to be done .
Some probiotics may also reduce inflammatory responses in people with milk or dairy allergies. However, the evidence is weak and further studies are needed .
Probiotics may reduce the risk and severity of certain allergies, such as eczema in infants. However, more research is needed.
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Reasons To Use Probiotics If You Are A Woman
Now that you have an understanding of WHICH probiotics are the most helpful, let’s talk about the potential benefits of using probiotics daily.
And before you ask:
The benefits of probiotics are NOT too good to be true.
Your gut is responsible for modulating hormone levels, influencing your appetite and managing neurotransmitters.
Through these pathways, your gut is capable of influencing symptoms of cells in your brain, muscle tissues, and even fat tissues.
This entire system is known as the gut microbiome and its importance in regards to your overall health cannot be understated.
Small changes to your microbiome can result in big symptoms, which is why taking probiotics can influence so many systems in your body for the better:
#1. Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections
Probiotics help to prevent urinary tract infections in the following ways:
- Certain probiotic species out-compete and kill unhealthy vaginal bacterial species.
- Probiotics improve intestinal bacterial health which translates to changes in vaginal bacterial concentrations.
- Probiotics suppress the growth of known vaginal bacterial pathogens.
- Certain species of probiotics which promotes growth of healthy bacterial species.
If you suffer from any of these vaginal health related issues then a trial of high-quality lactobacilli based probiotics should be seriously considered.
#2. Help Reduce Sugar and Food Cravings
The more unhealthy food you eat, the more the unhealthy bacteria grow and the cycle continues.