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Probiotic and Prebiotic Applications for Vaginal Health

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Infections of the urogenital tract in women are extremely common, and there is no evidence of a reduction in incidence. Treatment and preventive strategies have been relatively unchanged for 50 years. The concept of using probiotic lactobacilli or prebiotics that stimulate the growth of protective organisms emerged in the mid-1980s and has led to several strains being tested successfully in women. With the advent of genomic profiling of the healthy vaginal microbiota, an improved understanding of metabolic systems within lactobacilli, and the ability to deliver products in food and supplement forms, the future should see new ways for women to restore and maintain their vaginal health, without the side effects of pharmaceutical agents. Indeed, studies indicate that probiotics can be taken in conjunction with the antibiotics and antifungal agents used to eradicate infections. In the future, probiotics and prebiotics will represent an important adjunct to pharmaceutical and other approaches used to care for feminine health.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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