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All women's best "friend": Lactobacillus GR-1 & RC-14

Introduction

Ever feel shy or embarrassed to speak out about the urogenital problems? Majority of the women will experience some form of urogenital infections during their lifetime. Hence, it is very common for a woman to visit a gynecologist for urogenital infections. Some of the types of urogenital infection are bacterial vaginosis, candidiasis or yeast infections, urinary tract infection, chlamydia, gonorrhea and et cetera.

The maintenance of urogenital health and prevention of infection is safeguarded by microbial species that inhabit the vaginal tract. There are around 50 types of microbial species inhabiting the vagina. The microbial flora present in the vagina can vary among women. However, microbial flora in the vagina of a healthy woman is generally dominated by Lactobacillus species. The beneficial bacteria in the vagina mainly lactobacilli, it utilizes multiple mechanisms to prevent other harmful organisms from invading, colonizing, and infecting the urogenital tract, helping maintain optimal urogenital health.

What is Bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) reflects a change in the microbial flora found in the vagina. BV is an infection caused when an overgrowth of certain bacteria in the vagina with the loss of the protective lactobacilli. This infection is commonly found in women aged 15-44 years old, but it is also prevalent in older women.  The primary symptom of BV is an abnormal, odorous vaginal discharge. The fish-like odor is noticeable, especially after intercourse. However, 50% of BV are asymptomatic. BV will sometimes go away without treatment. If the symptoms of BV sustained, treatment needs to be taken to prevent some of the complications like increasing chance to get other STDs, premature delivery, cervicitis and endometritis.

What is Candidiasis?

Candidiasis or vaginal yeast infections are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida. Around 75% of women have had at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. Besides, almost 50% of the women have two or more infections. All women are susceptible to vaginal yeast infection, but they are rare before puberty and after menopause. It occurred more frequently and more severely in people with weakened immune systems. The most common symptom of a yeast infection is extreme itchiness in and around the vagina. The vaginal discharge of yeast infection does not have bad small and with a thick, white vaginal discharge looks like cottage cheese. It adversely affects physical and emotional health, sexual and marital relationships.

GR-1 & RC-14: Clinically proven strains for women’s urogenital infections

Numerous clinical and preclinical studies have shown that probiotics, especially those with urogenital tract- strain specific probiotics.  Beneficial urogenital probiotics can help to maintain microbial flora by enhancing the growth and colonization of beneficial bacteria while suppressing or preventing bacterial and yeast infections. However, not all lactobacilli probiotics are effective. Many scientific studies indicated that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 help to promote women urogenital health. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 have been clinically proven able to survive during transit through the gastrointestinal tract even when administered orally, and further colonize the vagina where they exert their beneficial effects.

 

Mechanism of action of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 in improving urogenital health in women which includes:

  • Restores a healthy pH < 4.5 at the vagina
  • Competitive inhibition of pathogens
  • Modulates pro-inflammatory activity by decreasing the inflammation
  • Bacteriocin production – kills pathogens and modulate pH of vaginal environment
  • Produces biosurfactants, which breakdown pathogen biofilms

 

The two clinically tested probiotic strains with 5 billion CFU, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 able to prevent urogenital problems in women particularly bacterial vaginosis and vaginal yeast infection.

 

Let’s warding off the urogenital infections with these two best “friend” – Lactobacillus GR-1 & RC-14!

References:
  1. Achkar, J. M., & Fries, B. C. (2010). Candida infections of the genitourinary tract. Clinical microbiology reviews, 23(2), 253-273.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2016. Bacterial Vaginosis – CDC Fact Sheet. [Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/std/bv/bv-fact-sheet-march-2014.pdf, 14 November 2016]
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2014. Genital / vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). [Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/diseases/candidiasis/genital/index.html, 14 November 2016]
  4. Morelli, L., Zonenenschain, D., Del Piano, M., & Cognein, P. (2004). Utilization of the intestinal tract as a delivery system for urogenital probiotics. Journal of clinical gastroenterology, 38, S107-S110.
  5. Official Portal MyHEALTH Ministry of Health Malaysia. 2012. Vaginal Discharge. [Retrieved from http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/vaginal-discharge/, 15 November 2016]
  6. Official Portal MyHEALTH Ministry of Health Malaysia. 2014. Vaginal Candidiasis (Vaginal Yeast Infection). [Retrieved from http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/vaginal-candidiasis-vaginal-yeast-infection/, 15 November 2016]
  7. Reid, G., & Bruce, A. (2009). How probiotics lactobacillus GR-1 and RC-14 improve urogenital health in women. Herborn-Dill, 105-115.
  8. Waigankar, S. S., & Patel, V. (2011). Role of probiotics in urogenital healthcare. Journal of Mid-life Health, 2(1), 5.

 

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