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.
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.
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:
- Reducing constipation (a known risk factor for UTI)
- Increasing number of good bacteria (read about prebiotics here)
- Making your urine more alkaline.
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