We all know that probiotics support gut health, but did you know that probiotic supplements can revive dull hair, reduce bad breath, and soothe irritated skin?
Some websites even claim that probiotics can treat nail fungus and yeast infections.
But are they really all they’re cracked up to be?
Keep reading to discover the latest research about probiotics for women’s health.
What are probiotics?
Nestled deep within your digestive system are trillions (that’s right, trillions) of microscopic organisms that have a massive impact on your health, and they’re called probiotics.
What makes probiotics so powerful?
Probiotics balance the microbiome, strengthen the gut lining, and protect the bloodstream from inflammation.
In doing so, they enhance nutrient absorption, strengthen immunity, and support mental health. (1)
If that wasn’t enough, new research shows that “probiotic bacteria (may) induce a ‘glow of health.’” (2)
1. Probiotics and Healthy Hair
According to a recent rodent study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), daily probiotics aren’t just great for gut health, they’re also fabulous for hair.
After eating probiotic yogurt every day for five months, the mice experienced…
- Faster hair growth
- Shinier hair
- Lower hair pH levels (higher acidity)
Their hair became shinier thanks to the increased production of sebum: an oily substance that moisturizes hair.
At the same time, the change in pH increased the vitality and glow of their hair by reducing friction and frizz.
By the end of the experiment, older mice had healthier, younger-looking hair! (2)
Not only that, but their skin grew thicker too…
2. Probiotics and Healthy Skin
Skin is closely connected to the digestive system via the gut-brain axis.
It’s no surprise then, that skin inflammation can be strongly influenced by probiotics.
Researchers think that a specific anti-inflammatory probiotic called L. casei may be responsible.
According to several double-blind studies, inflammation from acne, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea and several other skin conditions respond well to probiotics.
In fact, the connection between probiotics and skin health is so strong that supplements taken during pregnancy may reduce the risk of atopic dermatitis in infants. (3)
The effects are so powerful that you may not even need to take oral probiotics to reap the benefits. Topical probiotic lotions, as it turns out, have also been shown to treat skin conditions.(4)
When it comes down to it, healthy bacteria makes for healthy skin, and the same is true for oral hygiene…
3. Probiotics and Healthy Mouth
Probiotics can also influence oral health.
Although your dentist probably won’t start prescribing you kombucha or sauerkraut anytime soon, researchers have identified two probiotics in particular that can combat gum disease:
S. salivarius M18 and L. plantarum L-137.
The first kills harmful mouth bacteria and clears the way for good bacteria to flourish. (5)
The second promotes healing and boosts oral immunity. (6)
Together they reduce gingivitis, tooth decay, and bad breath.
Studies have been done with probiotic lozenges, gum, and mouthwash, and they all show promise.
Next up, you may also have heard that probiotics can treat nail fungus and yeast infections…
Can probiotics really treat nail fungus and yeast infections?
The future looks bright for probiotics, and clinical studies continue to uncover more benefits every year. By the looks of it, toenail fungus and vaginal infections may soon be added to the list.
In fact, manufacturers are already making suppository probiotics that are inserted into the vagina.
At the same time, many doctors are hopeful that probiotics will soon be a proven treatment for nail fungus.
The reason is that both conditions are connected to candida overgrowth in the gut.
Candida is a yeast that can grow out of control, overrun the body, and cause a variety of problems, including toenail fungus and yeast infections.
The research has spoken:
Probiotics improve skin, hair, mouth, brain, and gut health….and may even support nail and vaginal health as well.
Keep your eyes peeled for more breakthrough research, but in the meantime, there are already countless reasons to start taking probiotics today.