What are the Best Probiotics for Women?

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Your digestive tract is filled with so-called “good” or beneficial bacteria that help your body absorb nutrients, establish immunity and create waste materials. Probiotics balance out the bad and good microbes in your intestines. The best probiotics for women contain the right amount of healthy bacteria to colonize your gut and help you stay healthy.

The Importance of Gut Bacteria and Gut Health

Your intestines aren’t just an empty tunnel that filters food from your stomach to the toilet; they contain a finely tuned balance of bacteria that stimulate digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Good bacteria obliterate toxic byproducts that are created during digestion. (source) They can also hinder the growth of damaging germs that can cause diarrhea and other gut health problems.

When the Bad Takes Over

Bacteria under a magnifying glass.

“Bad” microorganisms in the digestive system can damage the cells of the intestines. (source)

Different gut bacteria have different effects. Some simply cause gas, bloating and diarrhea as they react negatively with food. Others take over your intestines, crowding out the beneficial microorganisms that help your body absorb essential vitamins.

It’s Not Just About Poop

When detrimental bacteria are present in large numbers in your intestines, they can cause unexpected symptoms that seem unrelated to digestive distress. Systemic autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis have been linked with the presence of certain bacteria in the colon. (source) In fact, most inflammatory conditions begin in the intestines.

Type 2 diabetes, gingivitis and heart disease are all influenced by inflammation. Replenishing the intestines with healthy gut bacteria can help kill off or crowd out the detrimental bacteria that can lead to dangerous conditions and subpar immune health. (source)

Who Can Use Probiotics?

Everyone can benefit from using the best probiotic. People who don’t eat a nutritious and balanced diet may be ingesting materials that feed the bad bacteria more than the healthy bacteria. If you’ve recently been on antibiotics, it’s likely that most of your bacteria have been wiped out, and you immune health is compromised somewhat. One of the benefits of probiotics is that good microorganisms in your digestive system can be replenished by taking them.

A woman holding pills.

Even babies who were born via cesarean section or whose mothers were given antibiotics during labor can benefit from taking a probiotic supplement to introduce good bacteria to their systems. People who are concerned about achieving the best possible health will see improvements when they take a probiotic.

If you have an autoimmune disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastrointestinal issues or recurrent yeast or urinary tract infections, a probiotic can help improve your symptoms and immune system. The best probiotic actually gets to the heart of the condition by creating an optimal digestive environment. I found that taking probiotics helped me lose the weight I had slowly gained over the years.

Why you Need a Probiotic

How do Probiotics Work?

Probiotics are living bacteria that are consumed in powder, capsule or liquid form. Some foods, such as yogurt, are enriched with probiotics. Bacteria can also be generated in foods like sauerkraut or kefir as they ferment. As the probiotics enter the tract, they can colonize it, providing a counterbalance to the detrimental microbes and even killing them off in some cases. It’s like an outside boost to your immune system and immune health.

How to Choose a Probiotic

The amount of beneficial bacteria found in food products is often not enough to colonize the digestive tract, however. Probiotics can be taken as a dietary supplement, but they vary widely in quality and effectiveness. The ingredients and potency in probiotics can vary.

Different probiotics contain varying probiotic strains and amounts of bacteria. Some strains, such as lactobacillus bulgaricus, which is found in many yogurts, are destroyed by stomach acid before they have a chance to do their work in the intestines. (source) Bifidobacteria, which is found in Danone’s Activia yogurt, can help improve digestive health.

Woman shopping for pills at a pharmacy.

Dietary supplements in pill, capsule or liquid form are developed to contain specific bacteria that have been confirmed to be effective through clinical trials. When you’re taking a probiotic as a supplement, you can select one that is effective for managing your specific symptoms.

If you’re taking probiotic supplements for general gut health benefits, you should look for a product that contains a variety of probiotic strains to more closely match the natural variety of digestive flora. If you have a specific ailment, read the product label to determine if that brand contains the type of bacteria that can improve your symptoms.

Saccharomyces boulardii can help prevent travelers’ diarrhea, for example, and it’s also helpful for replenishing the microorganisms that are killed off when you take antibiotics. Bifidobacterium animalis lactis Bi-07 has been shown to help you get over the common cold.

Probiotics and Women’s Health

Some probiotic supplements specifically target areas that are important for women’s health. When the good bacteria are outnumbered by bad bacteria, yeast overgrowth can occur, causing vaginal yeast infections, fungal infections on the skin or candida imbalance in the gut. Many women’s probiotic strains can help ward off yeast infections.

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, affect women more than men. Women’s probiotics can improve symptoms of UTIs and prevent them from occurring. They can also help balance weight and help regulate the thyroid.

Quality Matters

When you’re taking probiotics, it’s important to choose wisely. Some probiotics don’t contain the specified amounts of live bacteria. Others require refrigeration and deteriorate rapidly if they’re not shipped or stored in the optimal conditions. Read below to find out more about my top 5 picks.

The Best Women’s Probiotics


If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, Garden of Life RAW Probiotics are the most effective for the price. Although the suggested serving size is three pills, the potency of that serving is similar to that of one of the Renew Life Ultimate Flora Women’s Complete Capsules.

If you’re new to taking probiotic supplements, you can start taking the Garden of Life product gradually so that you don’t experience intense side effects.

Everyone experiences different results from probiotics depending on their needs. You should see improvement in your digestive issues, yeast balance and urinary health when taking any of these probiotics, but the Garden of Life brand may yield improved results. The added vitamins and minerals add to the immunity boost that the probiotics deliver.

The Garden of Life RAW Probiotics provide a wide variety of bacterial strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus, enhancing the natural flora of your digestive system. This formula is ideal for general issues or specific conditions that are often experienced by women.

The microorganisms will colonize your intestines, and the prebiotics in the pills will feed the beneficial microbes, helping them to stick around and help you achieve optimal health.

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