As somebody deeply steeped within the wellness area, probiotics are one of many few issues that also stay a thriller. Lymphatic drainage? Received it. Balancing my blood sugar? You wager. I’ve even cracked the code on the right proportions of protein in my weight loss plan. However in terms of understanding the most effective probiotics for girls, I nonetheless discover myself with a great many questions.
By means of influencer testimonials and splashy adverts, you’ve probably heard the ever-ambiguous touting of “intestine well being” thrown round. However… what does that really imply? And does it transcend the occasional (or not-so) bloating episode that each one the “scorching” ladies declare to expertise on-line?
With all these questions flitting about, it was clearly time for an knowledgeable to set the document straight for me. As a result of whereas I can really feel the good thing about taking my favourite probiotics twice a day, day-after-day, I used to be craving some readability as to what was truly occurring in my physique that left me feeling so good.
Featured picture from our interview with Riley Reed by Jenn Rose Smith.
The Finest Probiotics for Girls: An Knowledgeable’s Perception
Because it seems, the advantages of probiotics for girls go means past the intestine. For solutions and insights, I spoke with Dr. Barry Peskin, obstetrician-gynecologist and Medical Advisor for Happy V. With everything from increasing fertility to improving skin, probiotics are worth the hype. Below, we get into the nitty-gritty of all things probiotics for women. From who should take them to side effects to understanding the difference among prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics (you know you’re curious)—consider this your one-stop shop to all things probiotics.
And keep scrolling to read which probiotics our editors prefer. We’re sharing the pros and cons of our favorite brands, and we’re not shying away from sharing our true experiences. Trust: there’s no holding back.
What are the benefits of probiotics? How do they support women’s health specifically?
Probiotics are supplements that contain some of the types of good bacteria that live and thrive in your bowel. They’re important for women for several reasons. They can help to:
Improve gut health. Probiotics can help keep the gut microbiome healthy, which can improve digestion, reduce bloating and gas, and boost the immune system.
Improve vaginal health. Probiotics can help to prevent yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and other vaginal infections.
Increase fertility. Probiotics may help to increase fertility by improving the health of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases. Probiotics may help reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Women are two to six times more likely to experience irritable bowel syndrome than men, with inflammatory bowel disease being diagnosed at a rate of 2:1 in women compared with men.
Improve skin health. Probiotics may help to improve skin health by reducing inflammation and acne.
Increase energy levels. Probiotics may help to increase energy levels by improving digestion and nutrient absorption.
Reduce stress levels. Probiotics may help to reduce stress levels by reducing cortisol levels.
Does everyone need to be taking a probiotic?
Not everyone needs to be taking a probiotic. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can be found in some foods and supplements. They can help to improve gut health and vaginal health, but they are not necessary for everyone.
There are a few groups of people who may benefit from taking probiotics, including:
- People who are taking antibiotics. Antibiotics can kill both good and bad bacteria in the gut. Probiotics can help restore the balance of bacteria in the gut after taking antibiotics.
- People with digestive problems. Probiotics can help to improve digestion and reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and other digestive problems.
- People with vaginal infections. Probiotics can help to prevent and treat yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
- People with immune system disorders. Probiotics may help to boost the immune system and fight off infection.
There’s a lot of talk about prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. How is each of these different? Do we need to be taking all of them at once?
Prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics are all important for gut health. They work together to create a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut.
- Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that feed probiotics. They are found in many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your health. They are found in some foods, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi, and they can also be taken as supplements.
- Postbiotics are the byproducts of probiotics. They are produced when probiotics break down food and other substances in the gut. Postbiotics can have a number of health benefits, including improving digestion, boosting the immune system, and reducing inflammation.
Is there a particular strain of probiotic that’s best for women?
There are several different strains of probiotics that are beneficial for women. Some of the most common strains include:
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 and Lactobacillus reuteri HR7. These two strains are specifically designed to support vaginal health. They can help to prevent and treat yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and other vaginal infections.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-14. This strain is a general-purpose probiotic that can help improve gut health. It can help improve digestion, reduce bloating and gas, and boost the immune system.
- Bifidobacterium lactis HN019. This strain is also a general-purpose probiotic that can help improve gut health. It can help to improve digestion, reduce bloating and gas, and boost the immune system.
What are colony-forming units?
Colony-forming units (CFUs) are used to estimate the number of viable cells of bacteria or fungi in a sample. This is done by plating the sample on a growth medium and counting the number of colonies that form. A colony is a group of cells that have grown together and formed a visible mass. The number of CFUs in a sample can be used to determine the concentration of bacteria or fungi in the sample.
Is there a downside to taking probiotics?
Probiotics are generally considered safe for most people. However, there are some potential side effects, including:
- Gas, bloating, and diarrhea. These are the most common side effects of probiotics and usually go away on their own within a few days.
- Allergic reactions. In rare cases, probiotics can cause allergic reactions, such as hives, itching, and swelling of the tongue or throat.
- Severe infections. In people with weakened immune systems, probiotics can potentially cause severe infections.
The Best Probiotics for Women—Tested By Our Editors
Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.
Recommended by Edie, Wellness Editor
I don’t take a probiotic, but if I did, I would take Just Thrive! It’s what I recommend to my clients who need digestive support. It’s spore-based, meaning that it actually makes its way to your digestive tract— where it’s needed. As nourishing as probiotics can be, their journey to the intestines can be rough (especially as they pass through the stomach). Way too many probiotics die off before they get to the gut. *Note: I don’t take a probiotic because I eat a lot of fermented foods.
- Type: Capsule
- Colony Forming Units: 3 billion cells
- Dosage: 1 capsule per day
- Certified: Gluten-free, dairy-free, GMO-free
Really helpful by Suruchi, Meals Editor
I’ve been taking Seed for about three years now, and whereas many different dietary supplements and greens-type powders have come and gone in my life, that is the one factor that has remained a relentless. It took some time for me to note any distinction after I began taking it by way of digestion, however after just a few weeks, I began noticing an enchancment in digestion and regularity. Three years later, the advantages have continued and Seed is part of my on a regular basis morning routine.
Professionals: As Edie talked about, plenty of probiotics don’t even make it to the intestine, however Seed is designed to get the place it must go. Their 2-in-1 nested capsule safeguards viability by way of digestion for supply of a mean of 100% of the probiotic beginning dose to your colon.
Cons: At $50 a month, it’s an added expense, however I discover it has been value it for my private well being. Nevertheless, they did simply launch a 6-month provide program as an alternative of month-to-month shipments. It’s not solely higher for sustainability but additionally saves you about $90 a 12 months!
- Sort: Capsule
- Colony Forming Items: 53.6 Billion AFU
- Dosage: 2 capsules each day
- Licensed: Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, shellfish-free, sesame-free, glyphosate/AMPA-free, corn-free, no binders, no preservatives
Really helpful by Casey, Editorial Intern
For nearly two years, I used to be on antibiotics nearly each month for what we considered recurrent tonsilitis. (Shock! It was an auto-inflammatory dysfunction.) These antibiotics took a critical toll on my intestine well being, and I made a decision to hunt out a weight loss plan stuffed with fermented meals and loads of fruits and veggies. Belief Your Intestine was a probiotic really useful to me by my GP, and I’ve been taking it for round a 12 months and a half now. Since I built-in it into my each day routine, I expertise only a few moments with an upset abdomen and my bloating has decreased tenfold.
Professionals: This probiotic doesn’t must be refrigerated and accommodates 11 clinically-studied and acid-resistant strains.
Cons: It’s a bit on the expensive facet (as many probiotics are), which is actually the one draw back I’ve skilled with this product.
- Sort: Capsules
- Colony Forming Items: 52 Billion CFU
- Dosage: 1 capsule at night time and 1 capsule within the morning
- Licensed: Gluten-free, dairy-free, GMO-free, soy-free, and vegan
Really helpful by Isabelle, Managing Editor
TMI, however right here we go: after three months of getting my interval for 5 days per week, each week, I used to be lastly capable of schedule an appointment with my gynecologist. And… seems your woman had her first yeast an infection. (Hooray!) As a result of the prescribed treatment would have interacted with different prescriptions I’m taking, I used to be at a loss for what to do. However then Completely happy V entered the chat—and my interval has fortunately returned to regular.
Whereas this prebiotic and probiotic is particularly meant to enhance vaginal well being, it additionally helps intestine and immune well being. As a result of I wasn’t anticipating something totally different, I wasn’t shocked when I discovered that I didn’t discover the constructive results of taking these dietary supplements till a couple of month later (in response to reviewers of different merchandise, there are totally different probiotics that produce outcomes quicker). Nevertheless, a number of months in, I’m completely happy to report that my interval has returned to regular and I haven’t skilled any sniffles/sickness for the reason that holidays.
Professionals: Physician-formulated, 100% pure, subscription choice, recyclable packaging, extra inexpensive than different choices
Cons: Outcomes took a couple of month to note
- Sort: Capsules
- Colony Forming Items: 20 Billion
- Dosage: 2 capsules each day
- Licensed: Vegan, non-GMO