A wave of new studies and meta-analyses shed light on why probiotics have so many health benefits for women and which strains have the benefits you’re looking for.
Many of these benefits aren’t limited by your age and general health – but there are probiotic strains which may specifically be beneficial for pre or post-menopausal women.
These were the 5 top groups of benefits studied:
- Weight and Appetite Control
- Boosting Digestive + Immune Function
- Blood Sugar Control
- Spine + Bone Health
- Reducing recurrent UTIs
1. Weight and Appetite Control
Lactobacilli + Bifidobacteria showed major benefits for weight and appetite control (1)
Strains from the Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria have a fascinating and unique ability to increase your body’s ability to burn calories and send signals to your brain that your caloric needs have been met. These two strains produce short chain fatty acids which decrease appetite by increasing our metabolism. What’s more; Bifidobacteria, specifically, produces acetate – a short-chain fatty acid – which regulates the hypothalamus and can suppress appetite.
2. Boosting Digestive + Immune Function
Digestive health and Immune health go hand-in-hand (1)
Probiotics made a huge difference in the success and speed of fighting harmful bacteria and pathogens, from the foods we eat and the air we breathe, in over 80% of cases studied. The network of Probiotics found along our digestive tract is our body’s first and largest defense against the many issues caused by unhealthy bacteria and pathogens. Just as there are many types of harmful bacteria, a wide spectrum of Probiotics will give your body the best odds at eliminating threats quickly.
3. Blood Sugar Control
Helps naturally control blood sugar (2)
Probiotics may also help lower insulin and glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The antioxidant properties which reduce inflammation and blood sugar levels were found in high levels in:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Streptococcus thermophilus
- Bifidobacterium longum
4. Spine + Bone Health
Promotes spine health and helps bones stay strong (3)(4)
In a study of 234 postmenopausal women, those given 10 Billion CFU of Lactobacillus paracasei DSM 13434 and Lactobacillus plantarum DSM 15312 + 15313 lost significantly less Lumbar Spine Bone Mineral Density (LS-BMD) than those that weren’t given the probiotics. The study reported, in fact, that no bone loss was observed in the Lactobacillus-treated group.(3)
In a review of 5 RCTs (randomized clinical trials) totalling 497 cases, probiotic supplements were associated with a significantly higher BMD (Bone Mineral Density) in the lumbar spine than in control.(4)
CTX-I (Collagen type 1 cross-linked C-telopeptide levels), which is one marker of unhealthy bone resorption, was significantly lower among those that had taken probiotics.(4)
5. Reduce recurrent UTIs
Helps to stave off those pesky UTIs (5)
An analysis of 127 premenopausal women associated a large decrease in recurring urinary tract infections (rUTI) with these specific probiotic strains:
- L. rhamnosus
- L. fermentum
- L. crispatus
Probiotics have become an important staple of daily supplement regimens for anyone who is looking to not only maintain their health but improve it.
The question is no longer do probiotics help?
The question to ask is which probiotic supplements actually contain what they advertise?
- Twenty years review of probiotic meta-analyses articles: Effects on disease prevention and treatment
- Antioxidative Ability of Lactic Acid Bacteria
- Probiotic treatment using a mix of three Lactobacillus strains for lumbar spine bone loss in postmenopausal women: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial
- Probiotic supplements and bone health in postmenopausal women: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
- Lactobacillus for preventing recurring UTIs in women – meta analysis