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More Than Gut Health: The Many Benefits of Probiotics, Especially for Women

You may be familiar with probiotics (with long names such as Lactobacillus casei ) in health foods, beverages or supplements. We tend to consider “bacteria” in association with diseases and infections – many of them do cause issues to our health, but probiotics are the bacteria that are good for the body.

More and more research has shown that probiotics play many important roles for our health not only in promoting digestive health which we are most familiar with, but also in other functional health areas, especially for women.[i] Women tend to have unique health needs than men, and we would like to take a look at several women related health conditions, and discuss the benefits of probiotics for women.

Probiotics and Urinary Health

Women tend to have more urinary tract infections (UTI) than men do[ii]. 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[iii]. Bacteria cause these structures to swell and this explains the typical incomplete urine emptying and dribbling symptoms of UTI.

UTI’s are quite annoying and unpleasant. Many UTI’s, notably recurrent cases, are becoming harder to treat with antibiotics[iv]. According to many studies, one of the better alternatives you can choose is taking probiotics[v][vi]. Studies have shown that having lots of good bacteria in your vagina reduces the number of infectious bacteria and lower likelihood of infection[vii]. 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 (yes, that is true) 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.  

So if you feel that you are prone to having frequent UTI’s, taking probiotics 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 good bacteria levels in your urinary tract and reduce the likelihood of infections in the future.  

Better Gut 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 actually a 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.

One widely accepted and effective way is to take probiotics to top up good bacteria 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[viii]. However, the populations of good 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.

Taking probiotics on a regular basis ensures good numbers of good bacteria colonize in your gut and maintain a favorable microbial environment. Lactobacillus casei may help shorten the course of gastroenteritis (diarrhea), like what happens when you ate questionable burritos or drank impure water[ix][x][xi]. Lactobacillus casei may also reduce the impact of irritable bowel syndrome[xii][xiii] such as constipation 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.

Health Benefits for Allergies

Do you struggle with allergies? Do you know that women are more likely to have allergies than men?[xiv][xv]. 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.

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.

Aside from being good for the gut and urinary tract, you should know that probiotics are beneficial for allergies. Yes, you heard it right. Probiotics can be effective against allergies[xvi]. Lactobacilli casei has unique anti-allergic properties in people with pollen allergies, so it is recommended for those with hay fever[xvii].

Try taking probiotics as often as you can, 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.

Support Immune Health

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[xviii][xix][xx].

Our immune system is among the beneficiaries of the probiotics. Good bacteria keep the immune system in good shape[xxi]. 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[xxii].

lactobacillus casei So a good practice to keep your immune system strong is to take probiotics every day.The presence of a healthy probiotic population in the gut also helps regulate the activity of the immune system[xxiii][xxiv]. 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 good 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.

sho Balance: the Potent Probiotic Blend Easy to Take and Remember 

As discussed above, the levels of good bacteria in our body can affect our state of health. Taking probiotics may help reduce chances of sickness. Taking high-quality probiotics daily can be a good way to ensure that our good 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 premium probiotics sho Balance. In addition to its dairy-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.

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.

Aside from its potent dose of Lactobacillus casei, sho Balance also packs prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS) to serve as food for the probiotic flora so they have higher chances of surviving in your gut.

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 supplement. The portable dispenser includes a daily tracking dial helping you to always remember to take your Spheri-Gels every day.  

sho Balance is created with your discerning quality requirements in mind. It is a veggie-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.

Having had a better understanding of the various health benefits of probiotics especially for women, we hope you will remember to take probiotics supplements on a daily basis, and choose sho Balance right here.              


[i] Health Benefits of Probiotics: A Review. ISRN Nutr. 2013; 2013: 481651.
Published online 2013 Jan 2. doi:  10.5402/2013/48165    
[ii] Urinary tract infection in women. University of Maryland Medical center. Reviewed 2014.                  
[iii] Urinary Tract Infection. Risk Factors. Mayo Clinic. Last reviewed Nov. 30, 2016.             
[iv] Alternative Approaches to Conventional Treatment of Acute Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infection in Women. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2013 Apr; 15(2): 124–129. doi:  10.1007/s11908-013-0317-5    
[v] Probiotics for prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in women: a review of the evidence from microbiological and clinical studies. Drugs. 2006;66(9):1253-61.   
[vi] Probiotics in Preventing Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women: A Literature Review. Urol Nurs. 2015 Jan-Feb;35(1):18-21, 29.      
[vii] Probiotics in Preventing Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women: A Literature Review. Urol Nurs. 2015;35(1):18-21.   
[viii] Survival of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota in the intestines of healthy Chinese adults. Microbiol Immunol. 2015 May;59(5):268-76. doi: 10.1111/1348-0421.12249.   
[ix] [Effect of continuous probiotic fermented milk intake containing Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota on fever in mass infectious gastroenteritis rest home outbreak]. Kansenshogaku Zasshi. 2009 Jan;83(1):31-5.   
[x] A Human Lactobacillus Strain (Lactobacillus Casei sp strain GG) Promotes Recovery From Acute Diarrhea in Children. Pediatrics July 1991, VOLUME 88 / ISSUE 1.            
[xi] Probiotics and Prebiotics: Effects on Diarrhea. J. Nutr. March 2007 vol. 137 no. 3 803S-811S.          
[xii] Probiotic Therapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2010 Jan; 6(1): 39–44.    
[xiii] Efficacy of Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Synbiotics in Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Idiopathic Constipation: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. The American Journal of Gastroenterology 109, 1547-1561 (October 2014) | doi:10.1038/ajg.2014.202               
[xiv] Do Allergies Affect Men More Than Women? Possibly. Medical News Today. Published: Thursday 26 May 2011.       
[xv] Women More Likely To Have Allergies, Asthma Than Men: Study. Huffington Post.
[xvi] Probiotics May Help Relieve Seasonal Allergies. LiveScience.     
[xvii] Anti-allergic activity of Lactobacillus casei YIT 9029 (Shirota strain): Action mechanisms and possible application in clinical practice. Kan SHIDA. Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research. Released 2012/04/01               
[xix] Diet-Induced Dysbiosis of the Intestinal Microbiota and the Effects on Immunity and DiseaseNutrients. 2012 Aug; 4(8): 1095–1119. Published online 2012 Aug 21. doi:  10.3390/nu4081095                    
[xx] Fast food fever: reviewing the impacts of the Western diet on immunity. Nutrition Journal201413:61
DOI: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-61          
[xxi] Immune system stimulation by probiotic microorganisms. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(7):938-56. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.619671.   
[xxii] Probiotics: effects on immunity1,2,3. Am J Clin Nutr February 2001  vol. 73 no. 2 444s-450s                        
[xxiii] Mechanisms of probiotic action: Implications for therapeutic applications in inflammatory bowel diseases. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2008 Nov;14(11):1585-96. doi: 10.1002/ibd.20525.  
[xxiv] Immune system stimulation by probiotic microorganisms. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(7):938-56. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.619671.   

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