probiotics for uti

Probiotics for UTI: Urinary tract infection treatment & prevention

Probiotics for uti

Using probiotics for uti and bladder health is very common and is considered by the medical community as a promising natural alternative treatment for uti infection and uti prevention. Probiotics supplements work by populating the intestines with beneficial organisms that have the ability to boost the immune response of the body against pathogens such as E. coli that cause urinary tract infections.

To choose the best probiotic for uti treatment or prevention, it is important to use the right probiotic strains for uti. Different probiotic strains and species have different properties and as such, they have different uses, benefits and side effects. This experts guide summarizes our experience working with probiotics for uti. We hope this guide will help you get the many probiotics benefits while minimizing the side effects and risks.

Probiotics to treat uti and for uti prevention

Probiotic uti use Recommended protocol for uti
Probiotics to treat uti, chronic uti treatment: FloraTrex (50 CFU) 2 x day.
Probiotics for uti prevention: FloraTrex (50 CFU) 1 x day.
Probiotics with antibiotics: FloraTrex (50 CFU) 2 x day.
Top probiotic strains for uti

Lactobacillus probiotic strains for uti

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus.
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
  • Lactobacillus fermentum.
  • Lactobacillus reuteri.
  • Lactobacillus plantarum.

Prebiotic for uti

Nondigestible food ingredients known to promote healthy probiotics growth by serving as a food source for the probiotics.

Are probiotics good for urinary tract infections?

Lactobacillus probiotic strains are considered a very good natural option for urinary tract infections. Recent studies suggest that the lactobacillus probiotic strains may provide a safe and effective way to treat UTIs and prevent recurrent urinary tract infections by boosting the immune response of the body against pathogens such as E. coli that are known to cause UTIs.

Probiotics for uti prevention

Using probiotics for uti prevention is very common practice, and is suggested by many studies as very promising natural alternative. According to the medical literature, there is a close correlation between loss of the normal good bacteria and healthy microflora, particularly lactobacillus species, and an increased incidence of genital and bladder infections (4). Repopulating your body with probiotics may help to restore a healthy microflora and good bacteria and therefore may help to prevent UTIs.

Probiotics to treat uti

Using Probiotics to treat uti is also suggested by the medical community as a very promising natural alternative. As research suggests, lactobacillus probiotic strains may be beneficial for uti treatment due to their ability to limit the adhesion of E. coli in the urinary tract, and possibly disrupt E. coli biofilm formation (1).

A very important benefit of using probiotics for uti, especially when it comes to chronic uti treatment and prevention, is that using probiotics may reduce the need to use antibiotics. Using antibiotic is a very common risk factor for developing yeast infections as well as other antibiotics known side effects. Human trials have found that using lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and lactobacillus fermentum B-54 significantly reduced the incidence of UTI with the patient groups not suffering from any yeast infections (3).

Best probiotic for uti

When it comes to the best probiotic for uti, the preference is to use the lactobacillus probiotic strains that are were suggested by multiple studies as a safe and effective for uti treatment and prevention, especially:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus (7).
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 (2).
  • Lactobacillus fermentum (2).
  • Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 (2).
  • Lactobacillus plantarum (5).
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus (5).

A common practice when using Lactobacillus probiotics for uti, is to combine the lactobacillus strains together for increased effectiveness. Prebiotics are often included in the probiotic formulas as well to promote the growth of probiotics by serving as a food source for probiotics (11). Prebiotics are nondigestible food ingredients naturally found in many whole foods. Taking prebiotics together with probiotics has shown by research to enhance the probiotic growth (12), and is considered a common best practice when using probiotics. Supplementing with probiotics may help to initially populate your body with good bacteria to treat or prevent UTI; prebiotics can help this new population of good bacteria to better grow in your body.

Best probiotic supplement for uti

FloraTrex by Dr. Group is our preferred choice for a lactobacillus probiotic strain – prebiotics complex, especially for the following scenarios:

  • Probiotics for uti treatment and uti prevention.
  • Probiotics for overall health and immune function.
  • Probiotics for yeast infections: to prevent yeast infections, and after the initial yeast infection treatment.

FloraTrexprobiotics for uti contains 23 active cultures of the Lactobacillus strains that are combined with additional highly studied key probiotic strains for immune system health (see below), optimized with inulin prebiotic. The biggest advantage we see in FloraTrex is its complete formula and purity the probiotic strains used.
FloraTrex contains all the key most studied probiotic strains shown by research to be both safe and effective, and uses a 100% vegan probiotic strains, so there are no dairy, soy, wheat, or gluten or other allergens. Many people have some sensitivities to dairy, wheat and other allergens often found in probiotic supplements. This is one of the reasons of the digestive issues such as gas and bloating that are commonly reported when using dairy based probiotics.

To use FloraTrex for uti:

Probiotic uti use Recommended protocol for uti
Probiotics to treat uti, chronic uti treatment: FloraTrex (50 CFU) 2 x day.
Probiotics for uti prevention: FloraTrex (50 CFU) 1 x day.
Probiotics with antibiotics: FloraTrex (50 CFU) 2 x day.
Probiotics for general health and immune system support: FloraTrex (50 CFU) 1 x day.

Antibiotics for utis

Using antibiotics for UTIs either as prevention or to treat UTI is very common, and may include:
amoxicillin, nitrofurantoin or amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (brand name augmentin), ciprofloxacin (brand name: cipro), doxycycline, cephalexin and others.

While antibiotics are typically the recommended medicine for UTI, there are a very clear known concerns expressed in the medical community:

  • Known increased resistance of pathogens of the urinary tract (uropathogens) to antibiotics.
  • Antibiotics also kill the good bacteria which can lead to low immune system, yeast infections and other issues.
  • Side effects related to antibiotic use.

Considering the high occurrences of UTI (over 50% of women will develop UTIs in their lifetimes), the high chances of recurrent urinary tract infections, there is a strong need of an alternative treatment for uti that doesn’t include antibiotics. This is where using probiotics for uti shows promise.

Taking probiotics with antibiotics

If however, you need to take antibiotics for uti, you may want to speak with your doctor about taking probiotics with antibiotics. According to research data, taking probiotics with antibiotics for UTIs may be more effective than antibiotics alone.

One study done in children with recurrent urinary tract infections evaluated the combination probiotics (lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis) and antibiotics (Nitrofurantoin). The study found the probiotics with antibiotics as a safe and more effective treatment in reducing the incidence of febrile UTI in comparison to antibiotics alone (8).

Uti and yeast infection

Using antibiotics for UTI or for recurrent urinary tract infections often creates a vicious cycle many women have to go through: you take antibiotics for the UTI, the UTI gets cleared but since the antibiotics also kill the good bacteria. The result: you end up with a yeast infection.

This is an area where using probiotics for uti may shine: in addition to being effective for UTIs, using lactobacillus species complex may also be helpful for yeast infection prevention due to their anti-candida properties. As research suggests, lactobacillus probiotic inhibit early stages of candida albicans biofilm development by reducing their growth, cell adhesion, and filamentation (9).

To learn more about using probiotics for yeast infections treatment and prevention, see:
probiotics for yeast infections.

FAQ

Acidophilus for uti

Using lactobacillus acidophilus for uti prevention is very popular especially when it is combined with other lactobacillus species. Recent studies have shown a 43% reduction in the incidence of UTI in women with a history of recurrent urinary tract infections using lactobacillus acidophilus (7).

Cranberry juice for uti

Do cranberry pills work for UTI?

Using cranberry juice for uti has been a common remedy for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections for decades. The scientific evidence of the effectiveness of cranberry juice for uti however, is controversial.

According the the medical literature, naturally occurring polyphenols found in cranberries known as proanthocyanidins (PACs), are cable of preventing the adhesion of E. coli bacteria in the urinary tract. It is debatable however, how well the PACs are absorbed in the body so they can work inside the urinary tract (13).

Some studies did suggest that drinking cranberry juice decreased the number of symptomatic recurrent urinary tract infections in women, although other studies showed no effectiveness (14). Furthermore, long term consumption of cranberry juice or cranberry pills is not something many people are willing to commit to in terms of taste or cost. It is also unclear how much of the active ingredient are actually found in various cranberry juice or products, as they are directly impacted by the extraction methods.

The bottom line: using cranberry juice, cranberry supplements extracts in powders, capsules or cranberry pills may or may not work for uti. According to medical literature, cranberry juice and cranberry based products do not appear to be the most effective solution for uti treatment or uti prevention. Consuming cranberries is still considered however, very healthy due to cranberries known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties through (15).

References

  1. Foxman B, Buxton M. Alternative Approaches to Conventional Treatment of Acute Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infection in Women. Current infectious disease reports. 2013;15(2):124-129. (1).
  2. Probiotics for prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in women: a review of the evidence from microbiological and clinical studies (2).
  3. Reid G. The Scientific Basis for Probiotic Strains of Lactobacillus. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 1999;65(9):3763-3766 (3).
  4. Probiotic therapy: immunomodulating approach toward urinary tract infection (4).
  5. Probiotics inhibit enteropathogenic E. coliadherence in vitro by inducing intestinal mucin gene expression
    David R. Mack, Sonia Michail, Shu Wei, Laura McDougall, Michael A. Hollingsworth
    American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology Apr 1999, 276 (4) G941-G950 (5).
  6. Waigankar SS, Patel V. Role of probiotics in urogenital healthcare. Journal of Mid-Life Health. 2011;2(1):5-10. (6).
  7. Becknell B, Schober M, Korbel L, Spencer JD. The Diagnosis, Evaluation and Treatment of Acute and Recurrent Pediatric Urinary Tract Infections. Expert review of anti-infective therapy. 2015;13(1):81-90 (7).
  8. Mohseni M-J, Aryan Z, Emamzadeh-Fard S, et al. Combination of Probiotics and Antibiotics in the Prevention of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection in Children. Iranian Journal of Pediatrics. 2013;23(4):430-438 (8).
  9. Probiotic lactobacilli inhibit early stages of Candida albicans biofilm development by reducing their growth, cell adhesion, and filamentation (9).
  10. Al-Badr A, Al-Shaikh G. Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections Management in Women: A review. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal. 2013;13(3):359-367 (10).
  11. Prebiotic effects of inulin and oligofructose (11).
  12. Combining prebiotics with probiotic bacteria can enhance bacterial growth and secretion of bacteriocins (12).
  13. Hisano M, Bruschini H, Nicodemo AC, Srougi M. Cranberries and lower urinary tract infection prevention. Clinics. 2012;67(6):661-667. doi:10.6061/clinics/2012(06)18 (13).
  14. Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections (14).
  15. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition (15).