- Best Probiotic for Conception
- Before Conception
- Nutrition and Conception
- B Vitamins Before and During Pregnancy
- Vitamin D for Moms and Dads
- Vaginal Health Before Conception
- Quality of Probiotics for Conception
- Best Probiotics to Increase Your Fertility
- What are Probiotics?
- How Do Probiotics Affect Fertility?
- Garden of Life Women’s Probiotic (link)
- Integrative Therapeutics Probiotic Pearls (link)
- Culturelle Women’s Health Probiotic (link)
- Ora Organic Probiotics (link)
- Be sure to check out my article on The Best Prenatal Vitamins!
- Probiotics. What are their role in pregnancy and fertility?
- PROBIOTICS IN PREGNANCY
- HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING?
- Probiotics in the first 1,000 days: Fertility is an under-explored area, says expert
- Can Probiotics Help Fertility, Pregnancy & Infant Growth?
- Probiotics & Reproductive Health
- 1) Pregnancy
- Insufficient Evidence For
- 2) Endometriosis
- 3) Infant Growth
- 4) Feeding Tolerance in Infants
- Animal Research (Lacking Evidence)
- 5) Testosterone
- 6) Female Fertility
- 7) Oxytocin
- Further Reading
- Probiotics During Pregnancy
- Are Probiotics Safe during Pregnancy?
- How Do Probiotics Work during Pregnancy
- What Are the Benefits of Probiotics During Pregnancy
- How Common is Probiotic Use during Pregnancy?
- Where Can You Get Probiotics while Expecting?
- Are probiotics safe for use during pregnancy and lactation?
Best Probiotic for Conception
Being pregnant can be one of the most incredible times in a woman’s life. However, to get to that point, there’s the critical step of healthy conception. While much is talked about in terms of health during pregnancy, it can be equally important to optimize your health for conception as well.
After all, by the time a woman knows she has missed her period she is considered to be in the 5th week of pregnancy. This means that not only should you optimize your health to give you the best chances of conceiving, but also to support your body through the earliest stages of pregnancy.
Let’s take a look at the best probiotic for conception and what all should be considered.
Most of the attention in women’s fertility is given to ovulation, or the release of an egg. However, there are other necessary considerations. Healthcare professionals emphasize that overall health and nutritional status are important when you are trying to conceive.
Have you heard that women should be taking prenatal vitamins for several months before they conceive? This is because your health leading up to pregnancy affects many parts of the reproductive process.
In addition to eating the right foods, staying hydrated, and avoiding toxins as much as possible, probiotics can play an active role in helping women to optimize their health.
When we talk about the best probiotic for conception, it’s easy to focus on women.
However, men are an essential portion of the conception equation. Men’s health can also affect the success rate of conception (and the health of their future baby), so any steps a man can take to optimize his health can be helpful.
Nutrition and Conception
When you think of your digestive health, do you first think about issues avoiding constipation? While this is important, there is so much more to digestion. When women and men eat the right foods, they believe they are giving themselves the best chance of conception.
However, an essential part of eating the right foods is knowing that your body can digest those foods as well as possible. This is one area in which the best probiotic for conception is a true benefit.
If your body is not digesting the healthy foods you are eating, your body cannot fully benefit from the nutrients. Consider the digestion of protein.
First, you chew the protein which breaks it into smaller pieces. However, you may remember from science class that protein is made up of amino acids. In order for your body to benefit from the protein you eat, it must get broken down into those small amino acid pieces.
This happens in the digestive tract. The final piece is that your small intestine must be able to absorb the nutrients from the food you eat. If your small intestine is not optimized, even the healthiest foods may not be getting used appropriately.
Healthy Trinity is our top recommendation for optimizing digestion. This product is actually a 3 step process that works well for both women and men who are trying to conceive. Healthy Trinity is able to support the body in digesting protein, dairy, and carbohydrates.
B Vitamins Before and During Pregnancy
Vitamin B is not a single vitamin, but is instead a group of vitamins known as the Vitamin B Complex.
Vitamin B is one of the most important vitamin groups, especially for women who are trying to conceive. Folic acid, which is one of the Vitamin Bs is known to play a strong role in preventing serious birth defects spina bifida.
Taking vitamin supplements while you’re trying to conceive may help optimize your health. But did you know that your body can also make its own vitamin B? That’s one reason we consider Healthy Trinity the best probiotic for conception: it supports the body’s own, natural production of vitamin B.
Vitamin D for Moms and Dads
Another important vitamin for conception is vitamin D. In addition to being important for the woman who will hopefully be carrying a baby soon, this vitamin is important for soon-to-be dads.
In fact, research has shown that a man’s vitamin D status before conception can even affect their baby’s height and weight. Taking a probiotic with Lactobacillus may increase vitamin D levels substantially, according to a 2016 report.
We recommend Healthy Trinity as one of the best probiotics for conception, especially if vitamin D is an area of focus for you.
Our Healthy Trinity provides 5 billion cfu’s of Lactobacillus acidophilus, NAS super strain and 5 billion cfu’s of Lactobacillus bulgaricus, LB-51 super strain.
Vaginal Health Before Conception
One important area of focus for women hoping to conceive is their vaginal health. Natren offers a dual system, homeopathic treatment that focuses on vaginal health: GY-NA TREN
If you are concerned about an imbalance of bacteria or yeast, GY-NA TREN is the only dual-action, homeopathic treatment that’s available to women today. This probiotic can:
- Promote both vaginal and urinary tract health
- Support improved digestive and immune function
- Boost the body’s natural defense system
Quality of Probiotics for Conception
When you are trying to conceive, the quality of what you put in your body is of utmost concern. That’s why the best probiotic for conception not only promises to support your health, but can deliver on that promise.
Natren is the probiotic company that you can trust. We care deeply about your health, and that of your future family. Other probiotics that are easily found in health food stores may not be microbiologically pure. While this is a concern for anyone taking probiotics, it’s perhaps even more important for men and women who are looking to conceive.
Research shows that the health of the mom and dad at conception has the potential to affect the health of the baby. This is not the time to try to save a few dollars, if it means risking the purity, potency, and quality of your probiotics.
When you choose probiotics from Natren, you are choosing the best for you, your partner, and your family. Visit us at natren.com to learn more.
Best Probiotics to Increase Your Fertility
In my last article I talked about the best CoQ10 supplements fertility. Another beneficial supplement to increase your fertility is live probiotics.
I don’t recommend supplementation in women who have been trying to conceive for less than 3 months. However, after 3 months I would consider adding a best probiotic.
Probiotics are a safe way to naturally increase your fertility.
What are Probiotics?
Probiotics are good bacteria. You can find natural probiotics in foods, such as yogurt, or in probiotic supplements. These are the bacteria that normally live in your body. Good bacteria create a competitive environment to keep out the bad bacteria. When bad bacteria enter the body, the good bacteria prevent them from growing and multiplying.
In your vagina, the prominent bacteria is lactobacillus. Antibiotics can decrease your good bacteria and provide an opportunity for bad bacteria to grow. It is always a good idea to take probiotics when you are on a course of antibiotics.
How Do Probiotics Affect Fertility?
It is possible that the presence of bad bacteria in your vagina is preventing you from becoming pregnant. The bad bacteria can attack the sperm. This causes the sperm to clump together. Clumping is referred to as agglutination and prevents the sperm from fertilizing an egg.
Probiotics can help restore the good bacteria. This would prevent the bad bacteria from growing and allow the sperm to function properly. This in turn would result in pregnancy.
The studies on the effect of probiotics are new. One study from 2015 introduced bad bacteria into mice and found fertility decreased. When researchers gave these same mice probiotics the fertility returned to normal. This supports the benefit of probiotics on fertility.
Another clinical review found that the long term administration of probiotics is safe and does not cause any unwanted side effects. Research is only beginning to look into the microbiome of the vagina. It is possible that this research could have a profound effect on fertility treatments in the future.
Garden of Life Women’s Probiotic (link)
Pros: This is the best probiotic for women who are trying to conceive.
This natural probiotic contains 11 different types of Lactobacillus bacteria and is specifically made for women.
Garden of Life Women’s Probiotic contains 50 billion CFUs of probiotics. It does not require refrigeration. And it is vegetarian, but not vegan.
Cons: Costs about $1 per tablet.
Integrative Therapeutics Probiotic Pearls (link)
Pros: These vitamins contain lactobacillus acidophilus, which are the bacteria found in your vagina. The website claims that these probiotics are guaranteed to remain alive through your digestive system. This is important to ensure they are having the intended effect. They also have excellent reviews on amazon!
Cons: These contain tilapia, so they are not vegetarian or vegan-friendly. They only contain 1 billion CFUs of probiotics, which is less than other brands. These cost about $0.55 per tablet.
Culturelle Women’s Health Probiotic (link)
Pros: This is the most popular brand of probiotics on the market. In fact, this is the brand of probiotics they use in the hospital.
It is 100% lactobacillus and specifically made for women. They also claim to be safe during pregnancy.
While all of the best probiotics should be safe during pregnancy, I that this brand states that.
Cons: 15 billion CFUs is less than other brands. These cost about $0.80 per tablet.
Ora Organic Probiotics (link)
Pros: These are vegan and organic! They contain 16 billion CFUs of organic probiotics.
These natural probiotics are derived from Jerusalem artichokes. They also are available in a probiotic powder.
This would be perfect if you would prefer to add your probiotics to smoothies, for example. The link to the powder form is here.
Cons: These are not specifically made for women. Although they do contain lactobacillus, they are a more generic product for men and women. You need to take 2 capsules per day. These come out to about $1 per day.
Be sure to check out my article on The Best Prenatal Vitamins!
Probiotics. What are their role in pregnancy and fertility?
Probiotics are everywhere these days, are they not? They seem to be a miracle cure for everything under the sun, but what are they really? And what do they actually do? And should you really care about them when TTC or pregnant?
WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS?
First, let’s start with the basics. What exactly are probiotics? Probiotics are LIVE bacteria (note, sometimes other organisms yeast qualify as a probiotic too). But they aren’t just any old bacteria.
They are live bacteria that set up camp in your gut or other areas of your body ( your vagina if you are a woman) and offer a benefit to the host (in this case, YOU!). Not every bacteria is considered a probiotic. Some bacteria do not benefit the host, and can actually cause harm to the host. Take E. Coli for example. If E.
Coli sets up camp in your gut, you will ly be living on the potty for quite a while…and not in a good way (is there a good way???). E. coli is a bacteria, but not a probiotic.
HOW DO PROBIOTCIS WORK?
There are various types of probiotics, and each work in their own way. Probiotics are a blanket word for the many genus and species of the live bacteria that benefit us humans.
Different probiotics offer different benefits.
Just a doctor would prescribe a different antibiotic or other drug depending on the condition you may be suffering from, probiotics tackle different conditions as well.
Probiotics are ingested via food (or supplements) and often survive the digestive process before they reach the gut. One they reach the gut, they colonize, or make their home.
One important thing people need to realize is that if they are making a point to take in probiotics, they must take them consistently to ensure the colonization is consistent.
Just drugs are needed to be taken every day to be effective, the same goes for probiotic ingestion. You cannot take probiotic-rich food one day a week and expect to see results.
One of the most popular probiotics are those that are from the lactobacillus genus. Lactobacillus feed off of prebiotics, or undigestible fiber. Just how we have by-products when we eat some foods (gas!), the lactobacillus have a byproduct called lactic acid. So, lactobacillus produce lactic acid in the gut. Here is one way that lactobacillus benefits us humans:
The lactic acid that is produced by the lactobacillus is an ACID. This is important because the production of the acid makes the gut an acidic environment.
Guess who can’t survive in an acidic environment? Gas-producing and potentially-harmful bacteria and coliforms E. Coli.
So, ingesting lactobacillus, and in turn supporting an acidic environment in your gut, keeps the bad icky guys away. This is a good idea and a good thing.
This is just one way that lactobacillus benefits humans. Other probiotics, those in the Bifidobacterium genus, have their own mechanism of action as well, and depends on the species too.
PROBIOTICS IN PREGNANCY
Probiotics are being recommended more frequently during pregnancy, and for good reason.
Some evidence suggests that certain strains may play a role in preeclampsia, gestational diabetes mellitus, vaginal infections, maternal and infant weight gain and allergic diseases (eczema).
When the probiotic profile is not ideal during pregnancy, data has shown that the following risk factors were increased:
· risk of miscarriage
· premature rupture of membranes
· preterm birth.
A very brief list of potential benefits of taking certain probiotic strains consistently and in specific doses is below (this is beyond not an inclusive list of the literature):
Combo of lactobacillus rhamnosus and bifidobacterial longum
Lactobacillus reuteri-containing lozenges
- May reduce pregnancy gingivitis.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27461133
- May reduce mastitis risk when taken prenatally. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=probiotic+mastitis+pregnancy+fermentum
Authors of one article did an amazing job summarizing the data, so I will be using their article as a reference for most of my claims below.
More data regarding fertility and probiotics is coming out, especially since The Human Microbiome Project. This project showed that the female reproductive tract microbiota accounts for approximately 9% of the total bacterial load in humans.
The probiotics are mostly Lactobacilli in healthy women, but other probiotic strains have been found as well. The vagina is not the only place where probiotics are living. The uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries all have been shown to have a presence of live probiotics.
Again, lactobacillus is the most prevalent.
Similarly, the male reproductive tract contains probiotics, as demonstrated from the presence of bacteria in seminal fluid samples.
The bacterial communities (probiotic presence) found in the seminal samples are associated with semen health.
In this regard, Lactobacillus may play a protective role; bacteria such as Anaerococcus, Pseudomonas, or Prevotella are mainly found in low‐quality sperm.
Healthy reproductive‐age women resent approximately one billion bacteria per gram of vaginal fluid with low diversity, mainly composed of one or few Lactobacillus species. Researchers have found that the vaginal microbiome of pregnant women who deliver at term is abundant in Lactobacilli.
Evidence from several groups indicates that infertile patients harbor a differential reproductive tract microbiota (lower and/or upper) compared to healthy and fertile women.
The association between lack of a certain quantity and presence of certain probiotics (mainly lactobacillus) in the vagina has been associated with assisted reproduction failure and decreased pregnancy rates in IVF.
Additionally, the presence of less-ideal bacteria E. coli and streptococci has been related to lower implantation and pregnancy rates.
One study suggests that a high percentage of infertile patients subjected to ART present an abnormal endometrial bacterial profile.11
Several oral and vaginal probiotics are currently commercially available. While I have never personally used vaginal probiotic suppositories (nor do I think I want to), it ly wouldn’t hurt anything.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING?
Probiotic supplements, other dietary supplements, are unregulated by the US government. Companies are not required to verify that what they are claiming is in their supplements are actually in their supplements! Yikes!
So how can you tell that you are getting what you are paying for?
One good first-step is to make sure that the supplements you are choosing are third-party tested and verified. Look for the following:
- USP verification seal. Seeing the letters USP is not enough. It must say that it is USP verified
- NSF seal
- Verify with consumer labs
Some bloggers advocate to try a milk test. Basically they mix probiotics in with milk to see if the acid from the bacteria makes yogurt. They claim that if the milk stays liquid, then the probiotic you are using is dead.
Although it would be a fun science-experiment, I don’t believe that this test is an accurate indicator. Some probiotics are enterically coated and are only active once they enter an acidic environment (i.e. your gut).
Other probiotics are not actually acid-producing bacteria, and therefore would fail this test.
Using pharmacy-grade probiotics from a reputable source is a great start.
Make sure you are taking an appropriate dose and take it consistently every day.
If this is too much to handle, food-sources of probiotics are always a good bet. Foods fermented vegetables, real yogurt/skyr, kefir, tempeh, miso, and pickles are all great choices.
A word on heat and probiotics. Many strains of probiotics typically do not survive beyond 100 degrees Farenheit. This is important to keep in mind in the summertime.
I recall when I was nursing my daughter and ordering her Vitamin D/lactobacillus reuteri drops via Amazon. During the 100 degree weather in July, the package of drops were hot to the touch and I sent them back.
I did not believe that the probiotics survived sitting on a hot UPS truck for the entire day. I still wonder if Amazon turned around and sold that bottle to a different mom.
If there is an option to order probiotics with an ice pack, do it! Don’t let your probiotics sit in the hot sun all day until you get home to bring your packages in, and question whether the probiotic was sitting on a hot truck. Or buy them from a reputable store. Again, there are some strains that are more heat-resistant compared with others, but better be safe than sorry IMO.
I keep my family’s probiotics in the refrigerator. I figure why not?
Of course, you can always opt for food. Just make sure you are eating the probiotic-rich foods consistently, and that they contain the probiotic strain that your body needs. If you need help with food choice, probiotic selection, dosage, or specific strain, I am always happy to help!
Probiotics in the first 1,000 days: Fertility is an under-explored area, says expert
Birgit Michelsen is the Chief Technical Officer for Danish probiotic experts Bifodan. At the recent United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) annual member meeting she reviewed current knowledge of probiotics during the first 1,000 days.
“Some of the best understood areas include the importance of bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy and birth,” Michelsen told NutraIngredients-USA. “Exposure to the maternal microbiota can affect pregnancy and is important for a proper colonization of the infant gut. The infant microbiota starts developing at birth.
“There is much interest, in particular, in fertility and how the microbiota of both parents is important for fertility,” she added. “This is an area that is less well understood than the role of probiotics in pregnancy and in the infant.”
“Seventy percent of future health is affected by the first 1,000 days,” said Michelsen. “We should also look at health status of mother and father, and then mother and infant, then the child.”
Interestingly, as we age, interventions becomes harder, but there is a significant window of opportunity during the preconception stage and then through pregnancy and through growth and development in early childhood, she noted.
Starting with mom, the female genital tract is dominated by lactobacillus, and un the gut where greater diversity is seen as beneficial, a less diverse vaginal microbiome is preferred.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is characterized by a diverse community with anaerobes, and with low number of lactobacillus. The condition, which if left untreated can lead to 1st trimester bleeding, premature membrane rupture, preterm labor, endometritis, miscarriage, and other risks, is usually treated with broad spectrum antibiotics.
Probiotics can play a key role, however, with clinical trials supporting a role for the beneficial microbes to support vaginal health and to prevent recurrent bacterial vaginosis.
Male fertility is being challenged, noted Michelsen, with data from a 2017 paper (Human Reproduction Update, Vol. 23, pp. 646-659), indicating that sperm counts have declined by 52% over a 40 year period.
Intriguing pre-clinical data suggests that probiotics may affect fertility markers, with a 2017 paper by Dardmeh et al (Aalborg University, Denmark) reporting that Lactobacillus rhamnosus PB01 (DSM 14870) supplementation may improve sperm parameters, including testosterone levels and sperm motility. [PLoS One, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185964]
Probiotics were defined by the FAO/WHO in 2001 as “Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”.
Image © Getty Images / image_jungle
Moving on to pregnancy, there is data to show that probiotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12) may improve glucose control during and after pregnancy, said Michelsen [British Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 101, pp.
1679-87], while vaginal probiotic administration may also help prolong pregnancy in women with prematurely ruptured membranes [Daskalakis et al., Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, 2017, Vol. 42, pp. 92-98].
Carrying on through infancy and early childhood, probiotics such as LGG have been reported to improve symptoms of eczema in infants [Viljanen et al., Allergy, 2005, Vol. 60, pp. 494-500 and Viljanen et al., Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2005, Vol. 115, pp. 1254-1259].
The European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition also has recommendations for LGG or Saccharomyces boulardii to prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) in children.
The potential benefits of probiotics are strain specific and Michelsen said that the strains across the first 1,000 days shown to be efficacious for lowering the risk of bacterial vaginosis, include the combination of L. rhamnosus BIFOLAC PB01 and L. gasseri BIFOLAC EB10.
“Further, the strain L. rhamnosus GG has been shown in numerous clinical studies to have a beneficial effect in particular on common infections but also on atopic dermatitis. This is pointing towards a beneficial effect on the immune system,” she said.
Probiotics for the first 1,000 days as a concept has so far mainly been discussed in scientific forums, says Bifodan, while products available in the market place typically targets one specific condition or challenge in this period.
Infant products are relatively well known, with an increase in online consumer reviews of 83% from 2017 to 2018, closely followed by probiotics for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, which increased by 62% (according to data from Lumina Intelligence).
Lumina Intelligence also notes that key areas of concern for consumers when purchasing probiotics for children include colic, constipation, and diarrhea reduction. Culterelle is the most review probiotic brand positioned for the ‘first 1,000 days’ data from 19 countries, added Lumina.
The idea of supplementing mom, dad and baby continuously for 1,000 days with a variety of products has yet to be established which open an interesting opportunity for engaging a dialogue with consumers.
Can Probiotics Help Fertility, Pregnancy & Infant Growth?
Probiotics have been linked with improved outcomes in endometriosis, pregnancy, and health outcomes for mother and child before and after birth. Which strains are best? Read on to learn more.
Probiotics & Reproductive Health
Pregnancy and birth are among the most vulnerable processes in the life of both mother and child, and probiotics supplements may support immune function and prevent reproductive dysfunction during this time.
However, probiotic supplements may not be for everyone. It’s important to talk to your doctor about any health strategies you want to employ during pregnancy, including probiotics.
The use of a specific set of probiotics during the first 1,500 days of life may lower the risk of infections and inflammatory events in infants .
L. rhamnosus affected the immune regulation and immune responses favorably in mothers and offspring. In addition, some of the beneficial effects of prenatal L. rhamnosus supplementation extended into postnatal life of the offspring, suggesting a possible immune programming effect of L. rhamnosus .
Prenatal supplementation with L. rhamnosus has been reported to change the composition of the newborn microbiota, promoting a beneficial profile dominated by Bifidobacteria .
The intake of milk fermented with L. casei during the lactation period modestly contributed to the modulation of the mother’s immunological response after delivery and decreased the incidence of gastrointestinal episodes in the breastfed child .
B. animalis spp. lactis supplementation in pregnancy has the potential to influence fetal immune parameters as well as immunomodulatory factors in breast milk .
B. animalis ssp. lactis mitigated the negative immune-related effects of not breastfeeding and cesarean delivery by augmenting the immune response, evidenced by increased anti-rotavirus- and anti-poliovirus-specific IgA .
Oral administration of L. salivarius during late pregnancy appeared to prevent breast infection in pregnant women .
L. acidophilus, L. casei and B. bifidum significantly decreased fasting plasma glucose, insulin levels, and insulin resistance and increased insulin sensitivity in pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus. In addition, significant decreases in serum triglycerides and VLDL cholesterol concentrations were recorded .
B. coagulans containing symbiotic decreased blood insulin levels, HOMA-IR, and HOMA-B in pregnant women .
Preeclampsia is associated with an impaired antioxidant defense that results in maternofetal complications. S. cerevisiae scavenged nitric oxide radicals and decreased oxidative stress in red blood cells and alleviated stress status in the preeclamptic fetus .
Continuous consumption of fermented milk containing L. caseialleviated constipation-related symptoms, provided satisfactory bowel habit, and resulted in earlier recovery from hemorrhoids in women after childbirth .
L. fermentumalleviated pain and reduced the load of Staphylococcus in the breastmilk of women suffering from painful breastfeeding .
Insufficient Evidence For
The following purported benefits are only supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of probiotics for any of the below-listed uses. Remember to speak with a doctor before taking probiotic supplements, and never use it in place of something your doctor recommends or prescribes.
L. gasseriimproved menstrual pain and dysmenorrhea in patients with endometriosis .
L. gasseri also inhibited the growth of endometrial tissue in the abdominal cavity in mice and rats .
3) Infant Growth
B. animalis spp. lactis supplementation had a positive effect on growth in vulnerable infants, such as infants born to mothers with HIV , and preterm infants .
B. breve significantly decreased aspirated air volume and improved weight gain in very low birth weight infants .
L. plantarum strain maintained the growth of infant mice during chronic undernutrition .
4) Feeding Tolerance in Infants
Preterm infants supplemented with B. coagulans had improved feeding tolerance .
Prophylactic supplementation of S. boulardii improved weight gain and feeding tolerance and had no adverse effects in preterm infants >30 weeks old .
Orally administered S. boulardiiimproved feeding tolerance and clinical sepsis in very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants .
Animal Research (Lacking Evidence)
No clinical evidence supports the use of probiotics for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.
L. reuteri sustained youthful serum testosterone levels and testicular size in aging mice [22, 23].
A probiotic containing L. acidophilus, B. bifidum, and L. helveticus elevated testosterone levels in rabbits .
6) Female Fertility
L. plantarum ameliorated inflammation-induced infertility in mice .
L. plantarum reinforced natural microflora and lead to a resurge of fertility in mice infected with E. coli .
L. reuteri increased the levels of the “feel-good” hormone oxytocin in mice .
We’ve compiled deep dives into each potential benefit of probiotics. Check them out here:
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease.
Information is shared for educational purposes only.
You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
Probiotics During Pregnancy
What are probiotics? Probiotics are living microorganisms, the majority of which are bacteria followed by yeast.
They are similar to the naturally occurring microorganisms found in the intestines, or gut, of every person. Three of the most commonly used probiotics include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces.
They are often nicknamed “friendly bacteria.” Probiotics are helpful in supporting your digestive health.
Are Probiotics Safe during Pregnancy?
Are probiotics safe? Probiotics are probably safe during pregnancy. However, because there is a variety of probiotics and limited research, probiotics cannot be declared safe completely.
According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institute of Health (NIH), probiotics are probably safe because current data indicates probiotic supplements are rarely absorbed.
The lihood of contracting bacteremia from taking Lactobacillus probiotics is less than 1 per 1 million, and the lihood of acquiring fungemia from Saccharomyces boulardii is approximately 1 per 5.
6 million individuals taking the probiotic.
In the limited research on probiotic use during pregnancy, there have been no associations with probiotic use and miscarriages or malformations of any kind. Furthermore, a meta-analysis by Canadian researchers found no association with probiotic use and the incidence of Caesarean section, birth weight, or gestational age.
The NLM and NIH concluded there does not appear to be any risk of probiotic use for expecting, or lactating, mothers.
How Do Probiotics Work during Pregnancy
The precise way probiotics work is still up for debate. Researchers are still investigating their exact mechanism. However, the initial thinking is that in the same way bad bacteria attack the body, good bacteria attack destructive invaders. One assumption is they help reduce bad bacteria in your body, which can lower the potential of certain infections or other health concerns.
What Are the Benefits of Probiotics During Pregnancy
Probiotics, whether from foods or supplements, help your digestive system work more efficiently. As noted above, probiotics are assumed to lessen the presence of bad bacteria. Helping your intestines move food along and reducing bad bacteria help reduce the lihood of experiencing health complications.
Probiotics are understood to help with the following:
One study by the Natural Medicine Journal reported probiotic use reduced the probabilities of experiencing gestational diabetes mellitus.
How Common is Probiotic Use during Pregnancy?
With constipation and diarrhea being two frequently experienced common discomforts during pregnancy, the use of probiotics during pregnancy is common. The Canadian Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada found 45 to 93% of midwives had prescribed some form of natural health products to expecting mothers.
Where Can You Get Probiotics while Expecting?
Probiotics are most commonly consumed in live-cultured yogurt or through supplements. Here is an article that shares how you can get probiotics naturally.More helpful articles:
Compiled from the following sources:
Dugoua, Jean-Jacqques et al., “Probiotic Safety in Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccharomyces spp, Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada, 2009; 31(6).
Elias, Jackie, Bozzo, Pina, and Einarson, Adrienne, “Are probiotics safe for use during pregnancy and lactation? National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3056676/
Azad, Meghan, et al., Probiotic supplementation during pregnancy or infancy for the prevention of asthma and wheeze: systematic review and meta-analysis, British Medical Journal, 2013; 347.
Johnson, Kate, “Probiotics in Pregnancy, Lactation Reduce Dermatitis,” American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 2014: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/835445
Baral, Matthew, “Probiotics and Pregnant Women,” Natural Medicines Journal, 2015: https://naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2010-04/probiotics-and-pregnant-women
Are probiotics safe for use during pregnancy and lactation?
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