The Health Benefits of Probiotics for Women
The modern trend of favouring highly processed foods can have adverse effects on our overall health. Fortunately, there are now probiotics for women that can assist. Any mention of bacteria will generally arouse thoughts of diseases like septicaemia, meningitis and gastroenteritis. However, in practice, only a small fraction of the many thousands of different microorganisms are harmful.
From an ecological perspective, humans and other animals are the world’s consumers, while plants, the source of their nourishment, act as producers. Bacteria play the role of intermediaries, acting as recyclers. They thrive on animal remains and waste, converting them into nutrients for plant growth. Inside and on our bodies, microorganisms also play a vital role.
It might surprise some to learn that our bodies host around ten times more bacterial cells than human cells. Many reside on the skin, acting as a defence against invading pathogens. However, most inhabit the gastrointestinal tract, forming the gut microbiome. These microorganisms are not just helpful; they are vital to our very survival. When the balance of the gut microbiome is disturbed, it can have consequences on our health. Probiotics can help restore that balance.
The nature of probiotics for women
First, let’s clear up the gender implication. Probiotics are not gender-specific; they offer benefits to both men and women. However, the extent of those benefits may vary between the genders. As to their nature, probiotics are microorganisms, typically bacteria and yeasts that occur naturally in a healthy gut.
While estimates vary widely, America’s National Institute for Health suggests that a healthy human gut contains between 300 and 500 different species of microorganisms. However, changes in our diet, such as consuming fewer freshly prepared meals and relying more on fast foods high in preservatives, colorants, and artificial sweeteners, have disrupted the stability of the gut microbiome. This shift in dietary habits has led to a decrease in the nutrients necessary for maintaining our intestinal flora.
In recent years, scientific research has shed light on the importance of a specific bacterium called Akkermansia muciniphila. This bacterium, discovered in 2004, plays several essential roles in human physiology, particularly in protecting the intestinal lining. Akkermansia muciniphila has been studied in depth and, in 2021, became the first next-generation bacterium to be granted EFSA approval as a safe food supplement.
- muciniphila in probiotics for women
Today, one of the greatest threats to health and a frequent cause of early death is obesity, which can lead to serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Although obesity is more common in males overall, extreme cases are more prevalent in females. Research has shown that A. muciniphila levels are lower in lean individuals compared to overweight subjects, indicating its potential in weight management. Even after pasteurisation, this organism retains its probiotic properties and can help control blood glucose levels.
Recent studies have uncovered a two-way communication system called the gut-brain axis. An imbalance of gut flora can lead to depression, and depression in turn can cause various intestinal problems, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In women, probiotics may also help maintain vaginal, hormonal and urinogenital health.
Probiotics for women and men
The Akkermansia Company has developed a weight-management and glucose-control supplement that leverages the probiotic properties of A. muciniphila and those of three other proven active agents. Follow this link to learn more about managing your weight and keeping healthy.