Do you think probiotics for women over 50 is a thing? Your body has approximately 100 trillion microorganisms. Among them are viruses, fungi, protozoa, and bacteria —both bad and good— and these are living inside your body, particularly prevalent in the intestines. It may not come as a surprise that these play a fundamental role in your body since they are literally in your digestive tract.
But it may come as a surprise that not all bacteria are bad for you. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria or the “good soldiers” that repair your gut and aid in digestion. This is exactly why probiotics for women over 50 is a real thing! Um, what?
Best Probiotics For Women Over 50
Interestingly, marketing by adding “contains probiotics” helps products to sell better. Let’s not go deeper into the marketing tactic albeit a smart move and instead see why mentioning probiotics are important. It is a well-known fact that probiotics —either found in certain foods or dietary supplements— are extremely important for women over 50, particularly those with digestive and weight issues.
As you age, unfortunately, you are susceptible to age-related conditions, starting with menopause. Hitting menopause marks the time for you to improve your overall health and wellbeing to prevent certain health conditions you are guaranteed to not enjoy in later decades. Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet is a great way to start if you haven’t already.
But for a few years, probiotic dietary supplements have been having a moment with them being the third most popular dietary supplement. The use of it has quadrupled between 2007 and 2012, according to a study(1) by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health division of the National Institutes of Health. If you are still unconvinced, keep reading to know everything you need to know about probiotics and why probiotics are necessary for women over 50 followed by the best probiotics for women over 50.
What Are Probiotics?
When it comes to the topic of probiotics, it always starts with the microbiome. A term that describes the genome of all microorganisms living in and on all vertebrates. Everyone’s microbiomes are unique, even twins’. What’s more, research suggests that the microbiome changes throughout a person’s life depending on their lifestyle, diet, and environmental influences.
The gut microbiome, which consists of the collective genome of microbes living in the gut, regulates digestion and contributes greatly to a healthy immune system. Your gut and gastrointestinal tract absorb necessary nutrients to support vital functions in your body. Moreover, even your skin, hormones, energy levels, and digestion can be affected by your gut health. Now, the fact that your gut is the center of your health may fall into place for you.
Probiotics are the healthy and beneficial live bacteria that replenish your body’s microbiome with healthy cultures —to control the growth of harmful bacteria in your gut. In addition to that, they help protect against the risk of infection, work to improve your immune function, aid in the absorption of nutrients, and keep the digestive system and the gut healthy.
Probiotics mainly consist of bacteria, but according to Advanced Nutrition(2), some yeasts could also be probiotic. The two common types of probiotic bacteria are lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The common type of yeast found in probiotics is Saccharomyces boulardii. You can consume it through food or dietary supplements. If consumed in the right amounts, you can get many benefits. Before getting into the benefits of probiotics, let’s see why it is more important for women over 50.
Why Is Probiotics Important For Women Over 50?
The late 40s and early 50s are when women step onto the stage of menopause. And you are aware that menopause doesn’t come empty-handed. Among the few undesired changes, the substantial change in hormones can bring a range of symptoms.
Women do not produce a lot of estrogen in menopause, which in turn affects the microbiome as well. According to a study by the Nutrition and Healthy Aging, the aging process can create an imbalance in the bacterial balance in your gut. If you have an unhealthy gut, the bacteria that live in your gut will be unhealthy. It leads to the disruption of important functions. Due to digestive changes, a range of problems such as inflammation, diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel can make your everyday life harder. Not to mention, maintaining a strong immune system is a concern for older women. A perfect —almost magical— solution for these concerns could be taking probiotic supplements or adding foods infused with probiotics to your diet.
After all, you need your defense mechanism strong against the unwanted invaders in your body. This is more crucial for women over 50. Taking the right probiotic to supplement your bacteria with an array of strains formulated specifically for their abilities to maintain overall good health is the best way to go at it.
What Are The Benefits Of Probiotics?
We hear so much about probiotics that it has become difficult to figure out what’s true and what’s not. The benefits it claims to have are plenty to ignore though. Let’s start with the basic one: it can populate your gut with good bacteria! This improves your gut health by ten folds.
Improve Gut Health
When the balance of good bacteria and bad bacteria in your digestive system is interrupted, there is a range of problems of stomach disturbances you could be suffering. From diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and excess gas to inflammatory bowel diseases (severe issues), the function of your digestive system will be thrown out of whack.
Here comes the heroic act of probiotics. By increasing the intake of probiotic content within your diet or by taking a regular probiotic supplement, you can balance out the bacterial imbalance and reduce the chances of developing stomach disturbances.
Another important benefit of probiotics is an improved immune system function. A function that gets disrupted when your gut is unhealthy is your immune system. it is because almost three-quarters of the immune system is found within the digestive system. So, you must ensure a smooth function of the digestive system to fight the bad bacteria and be less susceptible to common colds and general viruses by adding probiotics to the diet.
Improves Brain Health
The third reason is improved brain health. Ever wondered why people consider the gut as the second brain? Studies have shown that there is a direct connection between the gut and the brain and around 90% of serotonin(3) is produced in the gut. Not to mention, the brain directly affects the gut.
No wonder why you feel under the weather or experience a stomach upset when you are stressed. For these reasons, it is essential to create a healthy environment in the gut to keep your immune system pumping strong and your brain running healthier. Thus, you can consume probiotics to boost the health of your gut microbiome. Users have also praised the supplement for helping with their weight loss, making it an armed companion for obese women.
Various health conditions affect women specifically and those with such conditions can benefit from consuming probiotics. But the research on the effectiveness of probiotics in treating illnesses is still not conclusive. Nevertheless, if you have any of these health conditions, you can consider taking probiotics after consulting your doctor about it. The conditions include:
- Bladder infections
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Yeast infection
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Psoriasis and chronic fatigue syndrome
- Acute respiratory tract infections
- Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
Best Probiotics For Women
If you haven’t jumped on the recent bandwagon of using probiotics, it is high time you consider using them. But before taking probiotic supplements, you can try adding more probiotic foods into your diet to keep your gut healthy. But since it is not exactly practical to add such foods daily, this solution works best. The benefits they provide does sound pretty convincing, too. Take a look at these 5 best probiotics for women over 50 and choose one for yourself.
Garden of Life Once Daily Women’s Probiotics
Developed by Board Certified Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter and loved by all dietician nutritionists, this women’s once-daily probiotics from Garden of Life is one of the best out there. It is packed with 50 billion Colony Forming Units and 16 diverse probiotic strains. It supports digestion, the immune system, and vaginal health. You can stash it into your purse, making it an ideal one for women on the go. Garden of Life delivers non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free as well as vegetarian capsules with shelf-stable quality. There is no need to keep it refrigerated.
Culturelle Digestive Daily Probiotic
Not all probiotics come as budget-friendly. So when affordable probiotic supplements come by, you have to keep a hold on them. Here’s one such beneficial probiotic packed with 10 billion Colony Forming Units and a potent strain of good bacteria. This includes Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG)(4), which helps with easing bloating, digestive health, diarrhea, allergic reactions, and abdominal pain. Additionally, it contains 200 mg of inulin —a natural prebiotic factor to feed probiotics— to support the gut’s microbiome. If all of these bacterial benefits don’t count much, it is guaranteed to be free of contamination as well as dairy, gluten, wheat, soy, and lactose. It is vegetarian and doesn’t have to be refrigerated.
Vitamin Bounty Pro-25
If you are a beginner in the probiotic journey, Pro-25 from Vitamin Bounty is a great start. It is formulated with 50 billion organisms and 13 diverse probiotic strains per capsule. It is one of the most effective probiotics with prebiotics (complex carbohydrates that the gastrointestinal tract uses as metabolic fuel). Using a patented vegetable capsule with prebiotic greens that protects the live organisms from stomach acid, delivers more cultures while maximizing efficiency. This is the best probiotic supplement for a beginner.
Vitamin Bounty Women’s Pro-Daily
It is formulated with targeted probiotic strains and cranberries. The key ingredients and extracts such as black cohosh root, cranberry, and Ashwagandha help with vaginal and urinary health, whereas other probiotic strains that are vital to female digestive health and immune system support benefit your other specific needs. It also uses a delayed-release capsule, protecting the organisms from stomach acid thereby ensuring maximum efficacy. You can choose this if your needs match the claims Pro-Daily offers.
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic Extra Care
Renew Life’s Extra Care probiotics formulated with 50 billion Colony Forming Units from 12 diverse probiotic strains are designed to re-establish the interrupted digestive balance. An expert team of neuroscientists and microbiologists formulated the capsule. It promotes digestion and immunity. Since it is designed to be delayed-release, the content of the probiotics will make it past the stomach acid. A bonus you may love is the quality and potency from manufacturing date through expiration. It does not have to be refrigerated which is a huge plus when the shipment is delayed. So, anyone who wants an extra gut health boost can benefit from this probiotic for women over 50.
Disclaimer: The information above is based on research and only for educational purposes. The writer has not tested any of these products.
What To Look For Before Buying Probiotics For Women?
You have probiotics from different brands for specific health conditions. Clinical trials show that different probiotics, as well as dosages, are effective for different health conditions and it more or less depends on the user’s health goals. Probiotics are all created the same. So, it is important to recognize your nutritional needs followed by identifying probiotics specifically targeted for such needs.
Although probiotics are generally safe to use for many, it is still essential to discuss them with your health care provider before you start taking the supplement. Another important factor you must consider before buying probiotics for women is the number of active cells in CFUs (Colony Forming Units) —which can vary anywhere from one to ten billion or more. It doesn’t necessarily mean that most bacteria are always better. Because in the end, it depends on the particular strain —some strains work at a low dose (0.5B CFU) whereas others may require a low dose (up to 450B CFU) per day to be effective. You have to look out for the specific strain of bacteria, it contains as different strains serve different functions.
The last factor to consider is the number of live bacteria in the formula. So make sure that the levels of live probiotics are provided throughout the “best by” date instead of the time of manufacture on the product. You also have to ensure that your choice of product has been researched extensively and backed by known experts in the field.
Your body is interconnected and complex with the gastrointestinal system at the core. So improving gut health is essential for anyone, but especially women over 50 hitting menopause. For this, probiotics are essential because of a load of beneficial effects it has on your body. It is a fact that exercise and diet can help improve gut health, but taking probiotics can maintain a healthy bacterial balance in the gut. So start taking probiotics and keep the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your favor.