Women today are constantly making choices to balance their busy lives and with cold and flu season in full force, it can be a challenge to maintain good health. Fortunately, one way women can help themselves stay healthy is by taking a daily probiotic. Also referred to as friendly or good bacteria, probiotics are not drugs or vitamins but are live microorganisms that can benefit human health.1
Women have unique, individual needs and not all probiotics are created equal, so it can pose a challenge when trying to decide which probiotic is the best choice for you. Here’s a checklist of what to look for when choosing a probiotic:
• Does the probiotic contain a proper blend of bacteria strains to support a woman’s needs? Be sure to look for Lactobacilli, which support urogenital health and aid in proper digestion, and Bifidobacterium, a normal inhabitant of the intestines that has gastrointestinal benefits and supports healthy immune responses.2,3,4
• Is the probiotic protected from harsh stomach acid? Stomach acid is a major threat to probiotic survival.5 It has been estimated that as few as 20 to 40 percent of certain probiotic bacteria survive passage through the gut.5 Look for one specifically designed to help the probiotic survive its journey.
• Is the probiotic suitable for vegetarians? Some probiotics may not be suitable for vegetarians because their gelatin capsules are made from fish bones and skin.6
• Does the probiotic manufacturer specify a colony-forming unit (CFU) level through the end of shelf life? The number of live bacteria in a probiotic supplement typically decreases as the product progresses through its shelf life. Choosing a product that specifies a colony-forming unit (CFU) level “through the end of shelf life” rather than “at time of manufacture” can help provide reassurance that the product contains live probiotics.7,8,9
If you’re a woman trying to promote your digestive, feminine and immune health, you may want to consider Provella™, a unique probiotic dietary supplement that helps restore and maintain balance of good bacteria to support digestive and vaginal health.*
Taken once-daily by mouth, Provella™ tablets contain a proprietary blend of six bacteria strains that include: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus reuteri and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
The patented controlled-release technology in Provella™ helps protect its good bacteria from harsh stomach acid and is designed to help ensure that live bacteria get to the intestines where they can begin working. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), good bacteria that normally reside in the intestines may help the body defend itself against infection and maintain proper digestive health.10
Provella™ is available without a prescription behind the pharmacy counter at retail pharmacies nationwide and on the drugstore.com™ website. For more information about Provella™ and to access cost-saving coupons, visit www.provella.com.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine “Oral Probiotics: An Introduction.” Accessed October 2, 2012: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction. htm.
2. Lactobacillus. MedlinePlus Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/ 790.html. Accessed October 2, 2012.
3. Acidophilus. Mayo Clinic Web site. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lactobacillus/NS_patient-acidophilus. Accessed October 2, 2012.
4. Bifidobacteria. MedlinePlus Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/891.html. Accessed October 2, 2012.
5. Bezkorovainy A. Probiotics: determinants of survival and growth in the gut. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;73 (2 suppl): 399S-405S
6. Vegetarian Probiotics. LIVESTRONG.COM Web site. http://www.livestrong.com/article/382955-vegetarian-probiotics/. Accessed September 18, 2012.
7. Benefits of Probiotics in the Management of Gastrointestinal Disorders. Power-Pak C.E. http://www.powerpak.com/course/print/108027. Accessed October 2, 2012.
8. Kligler B, Cohrssen A. Probiotics. Am Fam Physician. 2008;78(9): 1073-1078.
9. http://www.usprobiotics.org/faqs.asp. Accessed 6/1/12.
10. National Institutes of Health “DNA of Good Bacteria Drives Intestinal Response to Infection.” Accessed October 2, 2012: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/oct2008/niaid-02.htm