When we consider the role of bacteria in the human body, we immediately think of the digestive tract. Yet, there are other areas of the body that require a delicate balance of microbes such as the skin, lungs and genitourinary tract. The vagina contains its own unique microbiome with a plethora of lactobacilli species to secrete lactic acid and promote an acidic environment. This environment prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms, ultimately reducing the risk of infections and inflammatory conditions.
Some of the most common concerns involving an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina are urinary tract infections (UTI’s), bacterial vaginosis (BV) and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). Although each condition is distinct and unique, they can have overlapping signs and symptoms such as vaginal discharge, itching, burning and pain (either with urination or intercourse). Each of these conditions can be chronic and recurring. Most importantly, all 3 of these conditions can negatively impact quality of life and effective alternative solutions to antibiotic therapy are in high demand.
Although the role of probiotics is well established for the health of the gastrointestinal tract, we are more recently realizing the health benefits and excellent safety record in the area of vaginal health. Multiple studies have now been completed to show that adjunctive probiotic use with antibiotics can improve BV symptoms (such as odour and discharge), vaginal pH and eradication success rates for BV. Moreover, probiotic therapy has demonstrated a much higher rate of normalised vaginal microbiota when compared to controls receiving only antibiotics for BV treatment. Similarly, a plethora of in vitro data and animal studies suggest that targeted probiotic strains are effective at preventing the growth of Candida albicans and, therefore, the incidence and recurrence of VVC.
One particular blend of Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14 and Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus HN001 has been studied in conjunction with lactoferrin in women with abnormal vaginal microbiota. After 15 days, results showed that the oral intake of lactobacilli and lactoferrin led to significant vaginal colonization, restoration of nugent score (a measurement of bacterial balance) and an improvement in symptoms of vaginal itching and discharge. A separate study examined this same probiotic and lactoferrin blend in 48 women with vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). These results showed that after 3 months, vaginal discharge and itching were significantly improved and the recurrence rate was significantly reduced in the participants taking the probiotic-lactoferrin combination in comparison to that of the placebo. These effects lasted until at least 6 months after initial intervention.
When it comes to natural, non-probiotic agents, cranberry extract has traditionally been used for the prevention and treatment of uncomplicated UTI’s. Cranberry juice contains tannins known as proanthocyanidins and it was traditionally thought to acidify the urine and thereby reduce bacterial growth in the bladder. However, cranberry extract more accurately prevents the adhesion of bacteria to the bladder wall. Clinical trials for both cranberry juice and standardized extracts have found a decreased need for antibiotics, less recurrence and incidence of UTI’s and less bacteria in the urine.
Flora-Matrix Vaginal and UTI provides 8 billion CFU’s of Lactobacillus acidophilus La-14, 2 billion CFU’s of Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus HN001 and 200mg of cranberry extract in a potent 50:1 extract (for a dried herb equivalent of 10 grams) per capsule. Collectively, Flora-Matrix Vaginal and UTI is designed to promote a favorable vaginal flora, reduce the risk of and improve treatment outcomes for BV, UTI’s and VVC. Available in blister pack boxes containing 40 vegetable capsules per box. Flora-Matrix Vaginal and UTI is shelf-stable and free of gluten and soy.
Flora-Matrix Vaginal and UTI belongs to the family of Flora-Matrix probiotics, each containing specialized strains for targeted results. Each Flora-Matrix probiotic contains unique strains with distinct activity and health benefits. These strains are individually selected and they are well-studied at validated dosages, ensuring focused clinical results without the need for excessive colony-forming units