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Probiotics May Be Better Alternative For Treating Yeast Infections

Update Date: Feb 19, 2014 04:31 PM EST

Probiotic bacteria may be a better alternative to using antibiotic drugs for treating vaginal thrush or yeast infections, according to a new study.

Italian researchers tested five strains of lactobacilli for their antimicrobial potential against the most common type of vaginal infections, Candida.

In vitro experiments revealed that the combination of two strains, Lactobacillus rhamnosus IMC 501 and Lactobacillus paracasei IMC 502, also known as SYNBIO®, patented by Synbiotec Srl, treated Candida.

"We've all heard of using natural yoghurt to manage vaginal thrush as an alternative to antimicrobial medicines, but we wanted to test whether the type of probiotic bacteria found in yoghurt could actually kill or restrict the growth of candida. The results in the lab have been very good and we have moved on to test our formulation in patients," lead researcher Dr. M. Cristina Verdenelli at Università di Camerino, Italy, said in a news release.

The goal of the study was to look for two main characteristics of bacteria: their ability to produce a substance that would likely kill the candida and their ability to grow on human cells alongside the yeast infection.

The findings revealed that the combination of Lactobacillus rhamnosus IMC 501 and Lactobacillus paracasei IMC 502 had the best overall characteristics. Researchers explained that the combination adhered well to human cells, grew alongside candida and produced hydrogen peroxide to kill the yeast cells.

Researchers added that it is very important to consider alternative methods to replace antibiotic use, as there are growing problems with antimicrobial resistance.

The findings are published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

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