by Joy Wang | January 01, 2019
You’ve likely heard about probiotics in health foods, beverages or supplements, yet do you know that taking a probiotic supplements is especially beneficial for women?
Research shows that probiotics play many important roles beyond promoting digestive health, which is why premium probiotics supplements are uniquely important for women.(1)
Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, improve digestive health and overall immunity, and for women, probiotics also improve vaginal and urinary tract health by promoting and maintaining higher levels of good bacteria than bad. Additionally, probiotics can even improve allergies.
So, let’s check out the probiotics benefits for women from taking a probiotic supplement daily.
While vaginal health “depends somewhat on a woman’s age, the vagina generally has an acidic pH, contains rich quantities of beneficial bacteria that help fend off infections, and is naturally lubricated.”(2) That’s why probiotics supplements, which can replenish the healthy bacteria faster than food” are helpful in supporting healthy levels of beneficial vaginal bacteria.(3)
Two common issues affecting many women are urinary tract infections (UTI) and bacterial vaginosis (BV). These infections are treatable yet may reoccur and can also lead to more severe issues if unresolved. For this reason, it’s important for women to maintain a healthy gut full of beneficial bacteria as the benefits from strong digestive function impact vaginal health.
UTI’s are quite annoying and unpleasant and can be painful. Many UTI’s, notably recurrent cases, are becoming harder to treat with antibiotics.(4) According to many studies, one of the better alternatives you can choose is taking probiotics.(5,6) Studies have shown that having lots of beneficial bacteria in your vagina reduces the number of infectious bacteria and lower likelihood of infection.(7)
The mechanism of how the probiotics achieve this is not completely clear, but it could be that probiotics take up food and space, and deter bad bacteria from growing and causing infections. Things like getting dehydrated and frequent douching can increase the risk of having urinary tract infections. Other risk factors include frequent vaginal sex because penetration could introduce bacteria in your vaginal tract.
Using birth control pills and spermicides also alter pH level that can affect the bacteria growth environment inside the vagina. Women tend to have more urinary tract infections (UTI) than men do.(8) Urinary tract infection occurs when infectious bacteria manage to reach the urethra and the bladder. Women tend to suffer more from UTI more frequently because they have shorter urethras compared to men.(9) Bacteria cause these structures to swell and this explains the typical incomplete urine emptying and dribbling symptoms of UTI.
So if you feel that you are prone to having frequent UTI’s, taking a probiotic supplement regularly is recommended in addition to seeking professional treatment, especially when you take antibiotics which may eradicate probiotics together with the bad bacteria. While you are well, continue to take probiotics to promote healthy bacteria levels in your urinary tract and reduce the likelihood of infections in the future.
Probiotics benefits for women are significant. The lactobacilli strain, such as Lactobacillus Casei K-1 in sho Nutrition’s sho Balance with 100 Billion CFU, is an ideal women’s probiotic for BV as well as preventative overall vaginal and urinary tract health. Regarding which probiotics are ideal for women to take for vaginal health, Dr. Anthony Agriosthis, ob-gyn and clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Central Florida School of Medicine, recommends one that “has a high amount of the probiotics strain of Lactobacilli.” He identifies lactobacilli as “the single most important bacteria for maintaining vaginal pH”, which makes it one of the best probiotics for women's PH balance.(10)
Another common issue affecting many women is bacterial vaginosis, which is a vaginal infection that occurs from overgrowth of bad bacteria. BV may be asymptomatic for some women with others experiencing burning and irritation. The danger of BV is that, when untreated, it increases other health risks for women, especially during pregnancy. Though treatable with antibiotics, it often returns until beneficial bacteria have been sufficiently replenished, which is why regular probiotics use can promote overall vaginal health.
The digestive tract has a very important job of turning the food you eat into nutrients that can be used by your body. Unfortunately, bad bacteria can also make its way into our system and cause infections.
So how do probiotics work exactly to promote your digestive health? The digestive system is home to billions to trillions of bacteria. Some of these bacteria have important roles such as producing certain vitamins. Most people do not know that these good bacteria improve digestion and promote absorption of minerals from food. Bacteria are also responsible for turning some carbs in food into short-chain fatty acids, which are needed by the body to produce energy.
Taking probiotics on a regular basis ensures effective numbers of desirable bacteria colonize in your gut and maintain a favorable microbial environment, which benefits overall health and helps with conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Lactobacillus casei may help shorten the course of gastroenteritis (diarrhea), like what happens when you ate questionable burritos or drank impure water.(12, 13, 14) Lactobacillus casei may also reduce the impact of irritable bowel syndrome, such as constipation. (15,16) Lactobacillus casei is well tolerated and well-studied, so they are among the best probiotics you can take on a regular basis to promote gut health, especially when choosing a probiotics for women's digestive health.
One widely accepted and effective way is to take probiotics to maintain bacteria levels in your digestive system and prevent sickness. Regarding the benefits to the digestive system, one of the most potent strains is Lactobacillus casei probiotics. This particular bacteria is known to be very efficient in sticking to the intestinal walls, so they readily populate the gut.(11) However, the populations of helpful bacteria in the gut are also surprisingly vulnerable. They can be wiped out to large degree by antibiotics. Normal activity of stomach acids and bile can reduce their numbers and viability. Inflammation in the gut and unhealthy diet can easily cause negative effects.
You want your immune system to work at its best at all times to keep you from getting sick. However, poor diet, stress, lack of sleep etc. can suppress your immune system.(17,18,19)
Our immune system is among the beneficiaries of the probiotics. The right kind of bacteria support a strong immune system.(20) Probiotics also cause minor alterations regarding how white blood cells react to bacteria, making the immune system more potent in identifying and destroying bacteria that cause infections.(21)
A smart practice to keep your immune system strong is to take a probiotic supplement every day. The presence of a healthy probiotics population in the gut also helps regulate the activity of the immune system. (22,23) As mentioned earlier, bacteria will always be in your food. You do not want your immune system to react on those bacteria when you eat. The wall of beneficial bacteria lining the intestine puts a boundary between food and the intestinal wall, so the immune system cells will not be in contact with the food and cause a reaction. Probiotics also create their own anti-microbial peptides that actually kill infectious bacteria, so your immune system does not need to step in.
Do you struggle with allergies? Do you know that women are more likely to have allergies than men? (24,25) Allergies make it more difficult to work, drive, or perform daily tasks. Only those who do not have allergies will say that allergies are a minor problem.
Try taking probiotics daily, especially right before and during the allergy season such as spring. You can also stick to certain practices to reduce the risk of allergies. When outdoors, wear big sunglasses so pollen will not stick to your eyes. When inside the house, keep the windows closed and air conditioners on ‘air recirculate mode’ to keep pollen out. Make sure to clean air filters frequently. Change beddings often and shower at night before bed to rinse pollen off your body.
Aside from benefiting the gut and urinary tract, you should know that probiotics can help with allergies. Yes, you heard it right. Probiotics can be effective against allergies.(26) Lactobacillus casei has unique anti-allergic properties in people with pollen allergies, so it is recommended for those with hay fever. (27) Some initial symptoms of allergies include nasal congestion, scratchy throat, itchy eyes, the formation of dark circles under the eyes, and puffiness of the upper face. Some people have these problems frequently but do not realize they have allergies.
It may sound surprising, but digestive health may even help improve your mood. The gut-brain axis is the biochemical communication between the digestive tract and central nervous system. Also called the brain-to-gut connection, it allows gut bacteria [to potentially affect] eating decisions by way of the vegus nerve, a connection of 100 million nerve cells from the digestive tract to the base of the brain.
"The gut bacteria, along with neighboring intestinal cells, communicate with branches of the nervous system: the enteric nervous system, nerves that surround the entire gastrointestinal tract.”(28) Stanley T. Omaye, professor of nutrition and toxicology, explains that “Gut microbes may influence our mood through alteration of neural signals in the vegus nerve via taste receptors, perhaps releasing toxins to make us feel bad and good”. (29)
While we continue to study this connection, results already point to the benefits of probiotics use in maintaining the levels of good bacteria that reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Omaye adds that “certain strains of bad bacteria can increase anxious behavior and clinical trials have found that drinking probiotics, specifically Lactobacillus casei, will improve mood. Adding health-promoting bacteria through probiotic treatment reduces the anxiety levels caused by inflammation and infection, which can be key factors in stress and the way the body responds to it.” (30)
That’s why daily use of probiotics supplements, specifically of the lactobacillus casei strain, may help improve mood.
When we talk about digestive health, we may be surprised to learn the numerous ways it can affect our overall well being. Supporting weight management and weight loss are other benefits of regular probiotics use. Probiotics help replenish and maintain healthy levels of good bacteria which can operate as a regulating mechanism to help stabilize body weight, lessen weight gain, and decrease body fat. Vegan probiotics for women can help with managing weight by helping reduce constipation and promote regularity, thus contributing to the removal of toxins, which “may inhibit the absorption of dietary fat”. (31) Bacteria “from the lactobacillus family have been found to function in this way”. (32)
Another emerging benefit of regular probiotics use is better skin health. In clinical studies, Lactobacillus Casei K-1 showed positive results in areas of improved skin texture and function as well as decreased occurrence of acne. While traditional treatment for various skin conditions focused on topical applications, new studies point to healing gut microbiome imbalance as the root of the problem and indicate that probiotics can help improve your skin.
As discussed above, the levels of different bacteria in our body can affect our overall state of health. Taking a probiotic supplement may help reduce chances of sickness and can be a viable way to ensure that the right bacteria levels remain potent. Also be sure to choose high-quality probiotics that have the scientific support of its effectiveness, such as sho Nutrition’s sho Balance. In addition to its dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and effective formula, it’s easy to swallow Spheri-Gel and sleek dispenser packaging are uniquely designed for better user experience and improved compliance, so you can experience sustained improvements in the intestinal flora balance and your immunity over time.
Be sure to check probiotic CFU counts too, too. Aside from its potent dose of Lactobacillus casei, sho Balance also packs prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS) to serve as food for the probiotic flora so the microbiome environment are better balanced in your gut. Each serving of sho Balance delivers 100 mg of Lactobacillus casei, equivalent to 100 billion CFU, which has been proven safe and effective in the clinical studies conducted by the scientist at Tokyo University of Agriculture and probiotic specialty supplier Kameda Seika. Taking sho Balance on a daily basis gives your body a potent dose of probiotics for better digestion, detoxification, and immune health.
Unlike other brands with large capsules, sho Balance is packed in easy-to-swallow Spheri-Gels and comes in a one-click dispenser. You do not have to fumble with bottle caps or run the risk of spilling your supplements. The portable dispenser includes a daily tracking dial helping you to always remember to take your Spheri-Gels every day.
Having had a better understanding of the various benefits of probiotics for women’s health, we hope you will remember to take probiotics supplements on a daily basis, and choose sho Balance with 100 Billion CFU Lactobacillus Casei K-1.sho Balance is designed with your discerning quality requirements in mind. It is a plant-based and dairy-free product so it is perfectly okay for vegans or people who are lactose intolerant, as it contains no dairy, gluten, sugar, wheat, nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, or artificial ingredients.
What has you been your experience of taking probiotics to promote your health? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we've love to hear from you!
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