Posted by Ramneek S. Bhogal, DC, DABCI on Jul 15, 2020 11:52:03 AM
Understanding how the benefits of probiotics extend beyond the gut and help with fertility is a big leap for some people.*
Even though our gut microbiome has many local benefits, a healthy colony of GI flora creates a positive full-body impact. For women, probiotics are especially useful because many of the same species of microflora in our gut are also a natural part of the uterine and vaginal microbiome.*
How does a healthy, thriving gut microbiome directly affect female reproductive organs?
Although several different microflora species exist in both the vaginal-uterine and GI microbiome, various genera of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are naturally present in a healthy gut and vagina.
As for Bifidobacterium, a study in the late 1990s on 56 healthy women of reproductive age showed that four strains dominated the vaginal colony: B. bifidum, B. breve, B. adolescentis 2, and B. longum.
Just like in the gut, B. bifidum G1 has a hard time adhering to cell walls. But the other three strains of Bifidobacterium showed high capability in vaginal epitheliocyte adhesion. Along with being one of the predominant vaginal and adult GI microflora, Bifidobacterium is also the dominant intestinal bacteria in healthy, breast-fed infants
The second, and perhaps most significant genus of microflora for vaginal health is Lactobacillus.* Lactobacillus exists in the high quantity in the gut as well. In the human GI tract, some of the most common strains are L. rhamnosus GG, L. casei Shirota YIT9029, L. casei DN-114 001, L. johnsonii NCC 533, L. acidophilus LB, and L. reuteri DSM 17938, and L. plantarum.
The most dominant strain in the vagina is Lactobacillus acidophilus. But Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus iners, and Lactobacillus jensenii, L. plantarum, and L. rhamnosus are all present as well.
So, you can see that there is a lot of cross-over between the two microbiomes.
Balance is key, whether speaking of the gut or urogenital microbiome. The most common causes of imbalance include stress, poor diet, environmental toxins, and sub-optimal hydration. Probiotics help keep microflora at healthy levels in light of these common, yet adverse life factors.*
Known areas of fertility impacted by the GI & vaginal microbiomes:
Probiotics can help with fertility by keeping the gut and vaginal microbiomes at healthy levels.* It's part of a multi-faceted approach to overall health, which acts as an umbrella over various sub-systems that directly relate to fertility – bodyweight & metabolism, a healthy vaginal mucosa, pH & sperm motility, and improved immune and inflammatory response, and regular ovulation. When we add all of these things up, we put the female body in the best possible place for fertilization and pregnancy.
 "Probiotic Microbes Sustain Youthful Serum ... - NCBI - NIH." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3879365/. Accessed 28 Jun. 2020.
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