It is easy to assume that probiotics supplement needs are similar between men and women. They both have a similar gut environment. But, when you consider factors like the stress gap between men and women or the need for the vaginal microbiome, you’d agree that women and men can benefit from different dosages and strains.
Though there has been little research on the specific dosages of probiotics for women, experts agree that 20 to 50 billion colony-forming units taken one to two times per day are reasonable for general women’s health. This amount may vary depending on the current health condition.
However, just as a woman’s fingerprint is distinct from her neighbor’s, so are her gut health needs. Women require different doses of probiotics to promote optimal gut health.
To figure out how much probiotics you should take daily, it’s essential to understand the factors influencing your dosage needs and the type of bacteria strain. Read on to know how much probiotics are optimal for you daily.
Should a Woman Take Probiotics Daily?
Women require different doses of probiotics to promote optimal gut health. There are so many other variables at play to know the amount required.
Factors like a woman’s weight, diet, age, exercise schedule, and antibiotic use will inform each woman’s needs for a specific dosage of probiotics and the strain. Manufacturers are starting to acknowledge this in larger doses by offering set ranges instead of one single dosage per tablet.
A stool analysis is the best way to determine the number of probiotics a woman should take daily. This test can measure the levels of good bacteria in the gut and help determine the optimal dose for each individual.
However, probiotics are an excellent way for women to improve their health and should be a daily routine. Most studies confirm that they are safe to use daily and can help prevent the adverse side effects of antibiotics and other medications.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with compromised immune systems should consult their physicians before taking probiotics
How Many Probiotics Should a Woman Take Every Day?
The optimal dosage of probiotic supplements a woman should take daily depends on many factors, including the health of her gut.
Refer to the following considerations to determine how many probiotics you need:
Our bodies produce less of the enzymes and acids necessary for proper digestion as we age. This can build up harmful bacteria in your gut, which can cause various health issues. It is beneficial for women over 50 years of age to take a probiotic supplement.
Besides your weakened digestion, your immune system becomes weaker and more prone to infection as you grow older. This can lead to the development of yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, which is why women over 50 often need an extra boost of probiotics in their daily diet.
If you are over 40 years old, you can take up to a CFU load of 30 billion to 40 billion per day. This will help you maintain a healthy digestive system and strengthen your immune system.
Pregnant women are more likely to experience digestive issues than the general population. As a result, probiotics are often recommended for pregnant women to promote optimal digestion and prevent constipation.
The probiotics dosage for pregnancy is typically higher than for non-pregnant women since it can strengthen the gut barrier during gestation to prevent the translocation of harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. The recommended dosage of probiotics for pregnant women is typically between 15-20 billion CFUs per day.
However, not all brands and strains are safe for pregnant women.
To ensure that you purchase a probiotic safe for pregnant women, look for lactobacillus rhamnosus and bifidobacterium lactis in the product’s ingredient list. These strains are safe during pregnancy and can be found in many brands of probiotics, such as Yourbiology Gut+. and Optibac pregnancy probiotics.
Breastfeeding is one of the most critical times to take a probiotic supplement.
It’s been shown that a breastfeeding mother’s levels of Lactobacillus drop dramatically, which can lead to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis (BV). Take a high-quality probiotic during this time to help replenish your supply.
When breastfeeding, it’s crucial to maintain good levels of lactic acid-producing bacteria. These help keep the balance between good and bad bacteria in your vagina (including BV), which can occur if you’re not taking a probiotic supplement.
Women who have taken antibiotics in the last six months may need a higher dose of probiotics. The antibiotics can kill off the good bacteria in your body, which means you need more probiotics to repopulate and replenish that flora.
The proper amount you need will depend on the time you took your antibiotics and how many doses you took. For example, if you took one dose of antibiotics for 10 days, you may only need two to four capsules per day with meals.
If you were on multiple quantities for more than two weeks, working with an integrative doctor who can recommend the proper probiotic dose for your body is best.
How Much Dairies You Eat
Probiotics are usually found in dairy products, so if you eat a lot of yogurt or cheese, you might not need as many probiotics as someone who eats very little. Diary food like milk and cheese are sources of probiotics, so if you eat a lot of these foods, your body may already be getting enough.
If you consume dairy products several times daily, try taking a lower dosage or splitting it into multiple doses throughout the day to see if it makes a difference.
Lifestyle (diet and exercise) and Stress level
Women that lead a more stressful lifestyle are more likely to have compromised digestive health and need higher doses of probiotics. This is because stress can increase cortisol levels in your body, which can interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food. High levels of cortisol also increase inflammation in the body.
These stress hormones can kill off beneficial bacteria, so probiotics are essential for women prone to stress or having a hectic lifestyle. If you fall in this category, you’d need up to 3 billion CFUs daily to maintain your gut balance.
Quality of Supplement
Quality is an integral part of probiotic supplementation, especially when looking for a brand that will provide the right amount of probiotics.
It would help if you looked for brands that use strains guaranteed to be alive during processing and storage. To ensure they arrive in your body active, choose a product with an enteric coating or capsules that are delayed release.
The higher the quality of a probiotic supplement, the less you need to take it to get the same results. You should take one capsule daily for a quality product containing at least 10 billion CFU.
If you are looking for a more powerful probiotic supplement, look for one that contains at least 50 billion CFU per serving. It’s also essential to find a brand that uses strains of probiotics that have been clinically proven beneficial to your health.
Some known quality probiotic brands include:
For the most beneficial bacteria at the correct amount of colony-forming units (CFUs), Yourbiology probiotic may be your best bet. It also contains probiotic strains like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis.
These two strains are the most commonly found in women’s digestive tracts, so they’re more likely to be effective at treating specific health conditions than other strains.
This probiotic is also worth a shot. It contains both strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, as well as streptococcus thermophilus and lactococcus lactis. These strains are the most commonly found in women’s digestive tracts, so they’re more likely to be effective at treating specific health conditions than other strains.
Floracap probiotic is an excellent choice for women looking to balance their flora.
It contains three strains of Lactobacillus, one strain of Bifidobacterium, and four strains of Streptococcus thermophilus. Combining these ingredients can help treat digestive issues such as bloating, gas and constipation by restoring the beneficial bacteria that may have been depleted from taking antibiotics.
What are the Benefits of Probiotics for Women?
Here are 9 ways in which probiotic supplements can be especially beneficial for women:
1. Support overall digestive health
Probiotics can help boost your overall digestive health by protecting against harmful bacteria, which can cause various conditions, including diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Women are especially vulnerable to these issues because they have lower stomach acid levels than men.
2. Maintain Vaginal Health
Probiotics can also help maintain vaginal health by preventing yeast infections and improving the balance of lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina. This is important because if your body doesn’t have enough good bacteria in this area, it can lead to an imbalance that makes you more susceptible to infections like bacterial vaginosis (BV).
3. Enhance your immune system
My gut health statistics report has it that – “80 of the immune system is located in the gut”.
And probiotics can help enhance your immune system by increasing the number of antibodies in your body and providing a better ability to fight off illness. This is especially important if you have a compromised immune system, such as fighting an infection or suffering from an autoimmune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
4. Help fight the Baby Blues
Probiotics can help prevent and treat the “baby blues,” a mild form of postpartum depression affecting up to 50 percent of all new mothers. In fact, studies have shown that women who take a probiotic during pregnancy and while breastfeeding have lower levels of stress hormones in their bodies and experience less anxiety than women who don’t take probiotics.
5. Support urinary tract health
Probiotics can help support urinary tract health by preventing infections, reducing inflammation, and increasing the acidity of your urine. This is especially important for women who have a history of recurring UTIs.
6. Help with weight management
Probiotics can help support weight management by reducing inflammation and improving the function of your gut-brain axis. Probiotics can help reduce cravings for unhealthy foods, improve mood and decrease stress levels.
7. Can help with period pain
One of the most common complaints women have about their periods is that it hurts. And taking probiotics might help relieve cramps and menstrual pain. A published study found that Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2809 effectively reduces dysmenorrhea symptoms (painful periods) in women.
Women who took a probiotic containing Lactobacillus gasseri OLL2809 experienced significantly less pain during their period than those who didn’t take the probiotic.
8. Improved digestion and nutrient absorption
Probiotics can help improve your digestion and nutrient absorption.
For example, when you take probiotic supplements, the good bacteria in your gut will help break down food and make it easier to digest. They also produce enzymes that help break down carbohydrates and proteins into their basic building blocks. This process has short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are then absorbed by your body for energy.
9. Lowering the risk of colon cancer and yeast infections
Probiotics can help to lower the risk of colon cancer. They do this by reducing inflammation in the gut, which is considered a significant risk factor for colon cancer. In addition to preventing colon cancer, probiotics may also help prevent yeast infections.
How To Choose The Best Probiotics For Women
Probiotics benefit women only if they know how to choose a good one and take it properly. The best way to determine whether a probiotic is right for you is by checking its strain list.
The best probiotics for women will have at least eight strains of bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. It would help if you also looked for strains specific to women, such as Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
Finally, you should check the capsules or pills themselves: they should be free of gelatin, gluten, and other ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction.
Here are different ways to get the best probiotics for you:
Try a probiotic specifically designed for women.
Many probiotics are designed for both men and women, which is excellent if you don’t have a specific issue that needs to be addressed. But there are also plenty of products that are made specifically for women.
These probiotics focus on gut and vaginal health, making them ideal for people with digestive problems or vaginal infections.
Check the colony forming units (CFU) count
The best probiotics contain at least one billion CFUs, the minimum amount needed to be effective. The higher the CFU count of a probiotic, the better it will work for you. If a product claims to have billions of live cultures per serving but doesn’t list its CFU count, be wary—that could mean it isn’t as potent as advertised.
Be wary of products that don’t indicate the strain type.
The strain of probiotics is just as crucial as its CFU count. Some strains are more effective than others, and some even have different uses.
For example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus helps maintain nutrient absorption in the digestive tract, while Bifidobacterium longum supports healthy immune function. If a product doesn’t tell you which strains are in it, find another brand with a clear ingredient list that includes this information.
Don’t be Fooled by Label Claims
It’s easy to be fooled by label claims like “100% GMO-free probiotics” or “live and active cultures.”
While these statements can mean that a product contains beneficial bacteria, they may mean something other than having suitable strains and amounts of each strain. If you want to know whether your probiotic supplement is effective, look for labels that clearly state the number of CFUs in each serving.
Try Probiotics with prebiotics.
Probiotics are good for you, but prebiotics can be even better. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that support the growth of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. They’re found naturally in foods like bananas, garlic, and onions. If you want to boost the effectiveness of your probiotic supplement, look for one that contains both strains of beneficial bacteria and prebiotic fiber.
Check the shelf Life and Storage Information
If you invest in a probiotic supplement, knowing how long it will last before you buy one is essential. You want one with a shelf life of at least 18 months, meaning the bacteria will remain viable without refrigeration. Remember that supplements that need refrigeration before use are not ideal because storing them outside of the refrigerator can reduce potency and effectiveness.
Stay away from products with artificial colors and sweeteners
There is no reason to take a probiotic with artificial colors or sweeteners. These additives have no health benefits and can be harmful, especially if you want to improve your gut health by supplementing with beneficial bacteria and prebiotics.
Can you take too many women’s probiotics?
It’s unlikely that you would take too many women’s probiotics. Some strains of bacteria are known to be more effective against certain conditions than others, so it’s essential to research the specific strain and dose you want before taking any supplements.
What are the best probiotics for vaginal health?
Many different probiotics can help maintain vaginal health, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus. These strains are often found in yogurt and other fermented foods, but you can also take them as supplements or eat them as part of a healthy diet.
What do probiotics do for the female body?
Probiotics have been shown to help with many issues related to women’s health, including maintaining vaginal health and fighting yeast infections. They can also help boost your immune system and reduce stress levels.
Can I take probiotics during pregnancy?
Probiotics are generally considered safe during pregnancy. However, it’s important to remember that different strains of probiotics can have other effects on the body, so be sure to speak with your doctor before taking them if you’re expecting.
Can I take probiotics while breastfeeding?
Probiotics are safe for both you and your baby. However, it’s crucial to choose a probiotic that is made specifically for breastfeeding women so you can be sure it doesn’t contain any ingredients that could be harmful to your child.
Taking probiotics for the first time or after a very long time can cause cramping. The reason is because of the sudden changes to the intestinal microbial flora. Disturbance of the intestinal...