Probiotics for women are supplements formulated to bolster the health of the digestive tract, while also helping to maintain a healthy vaginal microbiome.
As far as digestion is concerned probiotics play a central role in nutrient absorption, meaning a lack of necessary probiotics could result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
As for vaginal health, a probiotic deficiency could lead to more frequent urinary tract and yeast infections.
Below we’ll look at the various benefits of taking probiotics for women.
17 Benefits Of Probiotics For Women
Probiotics for women are a potentially important supplement capable of producing a variety of benefits.
1: Probiotics for women promote a healthy gut.
The primary benefit of taking probiotics, and the one that produces most of the other benefits, is that they promote and nurture a healthy gut environment. Probiotics ensure digestive enzymes have a safe environment to work in, they show unwanted bacteria, parasites and other pathogens the door, and they restore order to your waste disposal system, alleviating diarrhea and constipation.
2: Probiotics for women should be taken alongside antibiotics.
Antibiotics have saved millions of lives since they became widely available after World War II. Since they were introduced, life expectancy in the US has increased from 47 years to nearly 79 years (1). If antibiotics have a downside, it’s that they can also destroy beneficial bacteria in your gut. Taking probiotics can help maintain a healthy gut environment during and after taking antibiotics.
3: Probiotics for women are good for your skin.
Your skin is reliant on proper nutrition if it is to stay healthy. If your digestive tract is not working at full capacity, vital nutrients are not getting to the skin. As a result, it can become dry and sallow and susceptible to numerous skin problems such as eczema and acne. Probiotics ensure a healthy, vibrant microbiome on your gut, which helps ensure healthy, vibrant skin (2).
4: Probiotics for women support the vaginal biome.
Women are 8 times more likely to suffer urinary tract infections than men (3). They are also susceptible to yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and a host of other problems and issues. The microbiome of the vagina is a crucial line of defense against infection. But it is dependent on a healthy gut microbiome since that is where vital nutrients are absorbed, and the immune system is fed.
5: Probiotics for women can make up for nutritional deficiencies.
Women often take vitamin and mineral supplements to make up for nutritional shortfalls. But in some cases, probiotics may be the better choice. Nutritional deficits often occur because the digestive system is not working at optimal efficiency. Probiotics can help restore optimal digestive efficiency and negate the need to take vitamin and mineral supplements.
6: Probiotics for women are good for your heart.
Probiotics have demonstrated an ability to reduce levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and perhaps even reduce blood pressure (4). Both of those are good news for your heart. In some cases, probiotics increase the level of good cholesterol, which balances out the bad cholesterol. But regardless of which road they take, the end result is a healthier heart.
7: Probiotics for women can restore hormonal balance.
The beneficial flora in the gut has many jobs. One is to recycle estrogen, phytoestrogens (5), and thyroid hormones that they extract from food. This has the effect of, at least in part, restoring normal hormonal balance and reducing symptoms of menopause, perimenopause, and even premenstrual syndrome (PMS). This restored hormonal balance has the added effects of safeguarding breast and bone health.
8: Probiotics for women may help you manage your weight more effectively.
Studies indicate that probiotics have a role to play in weight management. One such study found that the probiotic ‘lactobacillus gasseri’ was able to block fat absorption in a group of women on a weight loss diet (6). This enabled them to lose weight quicker than others in the study group who did not take probiotics.
9: Probiotics for women can recharge your digestive tract.
The digestive tract is like any other compound system in that it begins to lose integrity over time. When a woman is in her teens and 20s her digestive system is typically at the peak of its efficiency. By the time they reach their 30s, 40s, and 50s, however, it has begun to suffer from decades of continuous operation. Probiotics can help rejuvenate a tired digestive tract and re-establish optimal effectiveness.
10: Probiotics for women may prevent UTIs.
More than half of all women will experience a UTI during their lifetime. For many, UTIs will become a very unwelcome, recurring phenomenon. One of the reasons for this is an imbalance of digestive flora. The available scientific evidence suggests that probiotics may not be an effective treatment for active UTIs, but they may play a role in preventing UTIs from occurring (7).
11: Probiotics for women can treat diarrhea.
While there is little evidence probiotics can be used to treat existing UTIs, there is ample evidence that demonstrates probiotics are an effective method of treating diarrhea. Especially diarrhea caused by antibiotic use (8). But the anti-diarrheal benefits of probiotics are not limited to antibiotic-induced diarrhea. Numerous studies (9) have demonstrated that probiotics can significantly shorten bouts of infectious diarrhea too.
12: Probiotics for women may enhance fertility.
At least one animal studies suggest that the administration of probiotics to restore proper floral balance in the vaginal microbiome has the added effect of increasing fertility (10). While the study was conducted on mice, the results nonetheless suggest women attempting to conceive may experience a similar benefit. More study is needed, though, before we can know for sure.
13: Probiotics for women can bolster your immune system.
A compromised digestive tract has a direct impact on immune system functionality. A large study conducted by the VA concluded that well-nourished patients have a much smaller chance of developing and succumbing to sepsis (11) than those not properly nourished (12). This clearly indicates that proper nourishment is vital to a robust immune system. Because probiotics enhance nutrient absorption, they act to fortify your immune system.
14: Probiotics for women keep you regular when traveling.
Long-distance traveling puts a lot of stress on body and mind. That stress manifests in a variety of ways, including diarrhea and constipation. Bringing a probiotic with you when you travel is a good way to ensure your gut doesn’t become a victim of your adventures, and you don’t spend your entire trip in the bathroom.
15: Probiotics for women may bolster mental health.
Every part of a person’s physiology affects every other part, either directly or indirectly. A recent series of studies have embraced this notion and examined the previously unexplored relationship between the gut and the brain. What researchers are finding is that probiotic supplementation seems to reduce the degree and frequency of negative thoughts in depressed individuals (13). That is particularly important for women, who are much more likely to experience depression than men (14).
16: Probiotics for women may prevent newborns from developing eczema.
A child’s first exposure to probiotics comes from his or her mother. Initially in the womb, but afterward through ingestion of mother’s milk. Studies suggest that women who take probiotics during pregnancy and while breastfeeding reduce the chances of their newborn developing eczema (15).
17: Probiotics for women can help alleviate digestive disorders.
There are, unfortunately, an array of digestive disorders that can befall the average woman. These include Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis, and more. For years, doctors have hypothesized that these conditions may result, at least in part, from an imbalance of digestive flora. Recent studies are now confirming this idea and suggesting that probiotic supplements may be an effective treatment (16).
Probiotics for women play a central role in overall health and wellbeing. From helping women recover after taking antibiotics, to enhancing their skin, to enabling them to get more from the food they eat while also helping them avoid UTIs and yeast infections, probiotics are a supplement that should never be overlooked.