Probiotics May Help Treat UTI, Study Says

Probiotics can be a natural cure for recurring urinary tract infection (UTI) in women, new research indicates. 

A lack of vaginal lactobacilli, a type of bacteria, is linked to UTI risk, which indicates that replenishing these bacteria may improve a person’s health, according to WebMD. 

Women have been depending on probiotics, the "good bacteria” found in yogurt or as dietary supplements in order to treat health issues such as yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, and UTI. This new study supports the use of priobiotics as a treatment for UTI in particular. 

“Probiotics are sort of a good bacteria that are found in foods, and what they can do is they can help to enhance and improve your immune system,” dietician Felicia Stoler says, CBS reports.

Women who experience chronic urinary tract infection have variations in their vaginal bacteria. Researchers noted a decrease in probiotic strain Lactobacillus crispatus being correlated to a risk factor of recurring UTI, seeing as a deficiency of this healthy bacteria can lead to the development of bad bacteria that travels to the urethra.

In a study recently published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease, researchers from the University of Washington collected data from 50 female participants, all of whom were suffering from chronic UTI. For the study, participants received either the complementary probiotic treatment or the placebo for five days, then once a week for 10 weeks. 

Although all the women in the study had recurrent UTIs, only seven of the 50 women who received the suppository experienced a recurrence over a 10-week period of time, compared with 13 of the 50 women who received a placebo. This study shows that replacing the Lactobacillus in women with recurrent UTIs may “normalize” the vagina and prevent infections. While these results are promising, more research needs to be conducted before a treatment plan can be approved, researchers noted. 
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