Best Probiotics For UTI: How To Choose Right (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this post, we discussed what type of probiotic strains you need to improve your vaginal flora. Now that you know about the strains, let’s discuss two of the most important factors that affect the quality of the probiotics:

  • How many of the probiotics are in a dose (potency)
  • How many you’ll end up with when they pass through the stomach (deliverability)

Best Probiotics For UTI Are Highly Potent

  • The number of organisms in the probiotic supplements is measured in CFU (colony forming units) per dose. Pick one that has at least five billion CFUs.
  • Note that inappropriate storing conditions might negatively affect the number of friendly bacteria in your supplements. Make sure to read the labels to keep your “animals” alive! Some forms need to be refrigerated while others need a dark, cool space. Always keep probiotics away from moisture and heat.
  • Look for a “Viable through end of shelf life” guarantee on the label. This ensures the living microbes are in fact still living when you buy the supplements.
  • Pass on the probiotic if the label says “viable at the time of manufacture,” which means everything in it could be dead by the time it reaches your mouth.

Deliverability of the probiotics

  • Choose encapsulated pills or other delayed-rupture technology to ensure the bacteria survive the trip through your acidic stomach and actually reach your colon and the vagina.
  • Also, try taking your supplements along with dairy foods. Consumption of probiotics with milk, yogurt, and other dairy products, buffers stomach acid and can increase the chance that the bacteria will survive into the intestine.
  • You can also use most probiotic pills as a vaginal probiotic to prevent UTI. Read a post by Dr. Ore explaining this concept.
Consume probiotics with dairy
Consume probiotics with dairy to help the good bacteria grow

That’s it! Now off you go to read labels and choose good probiotics that are right for you.

Best Probiotics For UTI Have These Strains

For those who need more info, here are cool facts about how two of the most popular vagina-friendly bacteria do their magic:

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1

Lactobacillus rhamnosus has been shown to adhere to cells in the bladder, vagina, and intestine. Some people believe this is key to its ability to promote health, but in fact, it is only one of the important attributes.

The organism displaces and prevents adhesion by intestinal and urogenital pathogens, inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast, can kill HIV and other viruses through its acid production and stops pathogens from forming clumps or biofilms that are very difficult for drugs to eradicate.  It is innately resistant to vancomycin and spermicidal nonoxynol-9.

The strain induces an anti-inflammatory effect and modulates factors that would otherwise increase a woman’s risk of preterm labor.

Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14

Lactobacillus reuteri adheres to the bladder, vaginal and intestinal cells, displaces and prevents adhesion by intestinal and urogenital pathogens, inhibits the growth of these harmful organisms and can kill HIV and other viruses through its acid production.

It produces hydrogen peroxide that many believe is important in vaginal health. It also produces signaling factors that disarm toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium that causes so many hospital infections and death (the ‘superbug’).

Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 also possesses immune modulatory activity.

Check expert advice

Since there are so many brands of probiotics, choosing the right one could be very tricky.

Unfortunately, you can not know if the bacteria in the product that you’ve purchased are alive and well and there is nothing you could do to determine that unless you work in a lab.

Reviews.com suggests several brands of probiotic supplements that are certified by an independent lab for purity, potency, and are guaranteed to be viable.

Two of the recommended brands contain Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus and other beneficial bacteria:

Moreover, “Once Daily Woman” by Garden of life, according to the same lab, also contains strains beneficial for lowering cholesterol.

Also, here is the brand that I’ve been using: RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Feminine Supplement, 30 Count.

Feed Your Good Bacteria

Once you spend on good quality probiotics that have the right type of bacteria, make sure to double down on leafy greens, veggies, and berries.

The right diet will keep your urine alkaline and could help you to prevent UTIs in several ways:

 

1) Canadian Research and Development Centre for Probiotics ‘Nucleic acid-based diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis and improved management using probiotic lactobacilli’ 2004, J Med Food, p223-228.

2) Instituto di Microbiologia, Facolta di Agraria ‘Utilisation of the Intestinal Tract as a delivery system for Urogenital Probiotics’, 2004, J Clin Gastroenterol, p38

3) ‘Probiotics to prevent urinary tract infections: the rationale and evidence’ 2006. World J Urol. P28-32

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12 COMMENTS

    • Hi Jane, the biofilm is releasing bacteria in your bladder all the time. It’s not some sort of saran wrap that keeps bacteria inactive 🙂

  1. Hi Anastasia,

    Do the rePhresh probiotics have to be refrigerated? My bf is bringing them from the States to Mexico for me, but we don’t know if they’ll make it…

  2. Sorry, allow me to clarify my basic question – would you suggest/recommend that I take an additional probiotic (for my gut) along with the probiotic I am already taking for vaginal/urinary tract health?

    • Hi Katrina,
      Absolutely! These are all different strains with different benefits. Given how often we take antibiotics, prescription drugs, eat poorly etc… taking a probiotic supplement is a good practice (IMHO)

    • Hello Katrina,
      I’m afraid I won’t be able to provide you an advice on general probiotic products. There are plenty of them on the market and I did not research all of them. Personally, I take Garden of life products (vitamins and probiotics) and Hyperbiotics (probiotics and prebiotics). I think any potent probiotic would do, most important to eat right to make sure they’ll stay 🙂

  3. I have another question for you, Anastasia. I have been taking the Fem-dophilus probiotic for a few weeks, but will be switching to Rephresh Pro B soon as I will be traveling. I used to take VSL-3 for combination IBSC/IBSD, but stopped taking it some time back. Would you suggest that I take VSL-3 again, or any additional probiotic in combination with the Rephresh Pro B?
    I would like to find, if your answer is yes, a probiotic that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. VSL-3 requires refrigeration.

  4. Thanks so much for this! I was wondering what you think about Jarrow’s other probiotic directed towards women (there’s a 5 billion and 10 billion CFU). The 5 billion is appealing because it doesn’t need to be refrigerated and I’m looking for something that I can take with me when I travel.

    • Hi Sarah,
      If you plan to travel, Rephresh Pro-b would be easier to take with you since it comes in a tiny bottle. There are 2.5 CFUs per capsule, but also only 2 most researched strains (also does not need to be refrigerated). These two particular strains also proven to colonize vagina after oral intake better than other strains.
      Jarrow’s formula has 4 strains and 5 CFUs, which makes it same amount of CFUs per strain. They include useful, but less researched strains
      At the end of the day, both are targeting the same issue, and I’m sure Jarrow being a very reputable brand in probiotics did it’s due diligence. However there are more than 50 independent research papers focused on the strains in Rephresh and I trust it to deliver good results.
      Have a safe trip!

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