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The best probiotic for females depends on the person’s health goals because different bacteria do different things. For example, bifidobacterium and lactobacillus may help with gut health.
This article discusses what probiotics are and some of the best types for females to try.
A probiotic is a live microorganism that may benefit a person when consumed in the right amounts.
According to an article in Advanced Nutrition, probiotics mainly consist of bacteria, but some yeasts could also be probiotic.
Probiotics live throughout the body and are especially prevalent in the digestive tract, where they may inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms. Gut bacteria also have many other functions, including supplying essential nutrients.
Imbalances in bacteria happen for several reasons, including:
- chronic illness
- a side effect of taking antibiotics
Probiotics supplement the natural beneficial bacteria in the body, potentially improving health. But research on the effectiveness of probiotics treating various illnesses is not conclusive.
Some studies suggest that probiotics may help with conditions such as:
When choosing a probiotic, look out for the specific strain of bacteria that the probiotic contains rather than the brand name, as different strains serve different functions.
Experts note that Lactobacillus species may help alleviate symptoms of antibiotic-related diarrhea. Other probiotics, such as Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 or a mixture of L. helveticus R52 and L. rhamnosus, could ease the side effects of the medicine that treats H. pylori stomach infections.
People seeking a probiotic should research the strains of bacteria that are best for their condition then choose a probiotic that contains a high number of those strains.
Most probiotic manufacturers measure bacteria count according to colony-forming units, or CFU. A higher CFU number means the product contains more bacteria.
Please note, the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.
Healthy gut bacteria feed on fiber and some other prebiotic foods, so eat a diet rich in high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.
To improve digestion, choose probiotics known to support gut health, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species. The L. rhamnosus GG strain, in particular, has many protective factors that may benefit gut health, for example, inhibiting the growth of some salmonella bacteria.
Two probiotic options include:
Culturelle Digestive Daily Probiotic Capsules
These capsules include L. rhamnosus GG, which can help support digestive health and ease bloating and diarrhea. Additionally, it includes the prebiotic inulin to support the gut’s microbiome.
The company state that Culturelle is vegetarian, gluten-, milk-, and soy-free. This product does not require refrigeration.
Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement
Florastor is non-GMO and vegetarian. It includes the yeast S. boulardii, which may help prevent antibiotic-related and infectious diarrhea.
A 2019 meta-analysis observed probiotics might inhibit the growth of bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis and help maintain a bacterial balance. But more research is needed to support these findings.
Research suggests that taking probiotics containing L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus GR-1, and L. fermentum RC-14 strains at a dose of 10 CFU/day for 2 months inhibits bacterial growth associated with vaginosis, reducing the risk of vaginal infections.
A probiotic that may good for maintaining good vaginal health is:
Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Vaginal Care
This probiotic has a 50 billion CFU and 38 different strains of probiotics, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium.
Additionally, it includes a blend of raw fruits and vegetables as prebiotics to support the natural growth of healthy vaginal flora.
According to the company, it is gluten- and soy-free, non-GMO, and vegetarian. This product does not need refrigeration.
When purchasing any probiotic for overall health, a person should be aware that there is little research into the health benefits of probiotics and may find it difficult to determine how effective they are.
The health benefits of probiotics are strain-specific, and probiotics for overall health often contain a lot of live microorganisms rather than single strains. This makes it difficult for a person to work out whether research supports the health benefits that the manufacturers claim.
Three probiotic options for overall health include:
Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Women
Garden of Life’s Raw probiotics contains a high bacteria CFU of 85 billion and 33 different types of bacteria, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. It also contains vitamins C, D, E, and more.
According to Garden of Life, every product in their Raw collection is “uncooked, untreated, and unadulterated and contains no binders, fillers, or carriers.”
This product requires refrigeration.
Advanced Naturals Ultimate Floramax
With a blend of several different Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, Advanced Naturals has a balanced combination of bacteria.
According to the company, it is gluten-, soy-, and dairy-free.
It does not require refrigeration and has at least 50 billion CFU.
Blue Biology Ultimate Care
With 61 billion live strains of bacteria, Blue Biology includes Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and S. boulardii.
The company state that their probiotics 100% vegan and dairy-, soy-, and wheat-free.
This product does not need to be refrigerated.
The most effective probiotic is one that contains the correct bacteria for a person’s specific needs.
As with any supplement, a person should talk to a doctor before taking a probiotic, especially if they are on medication or have underlying health issues.
While probiotics may help some people, they are not a cure for any illness. So if symptoms persist, please speak to a doctor.