Amazingly, the human body is made up of more microbes than human cells. But it’s important to remember that not all bacteria is bad. They come in good varieties too. If you missed Part 1 of this popular series, read it here >>

Healthy bacteria (probiotics) in our system fight bad bacteria and assist in the absorption of nutrients just to name a few benefits.

There are a number of different strains of probiotics. Their effects are very specific so its always best to consult your Naturopath or health practitioner to find out which is best for you.



Research suggests that skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can be linked back to an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut. It also shows that bacterial flora is very different in patients with atopic dermatitis, so adding back healthy bacteria might be a useful treatment. A study back in 2001 showed the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG reduced the incidence of atopic dermatitis in at-risk infants through the age of 7 years 1.

It was also found in recent study that supplementing with a type of beneficial bacterial called Lactobacillus rhapsodic GG or Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain HN001 cut kids’ risk of developing eczema in half.2

Another study in 2010 on a strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus showed babies exposed to probiotics prenatally & after birth for 6 months were less likely to develop eczema than those not given probiotics. 3



Recent studies suggest that low counts of intestinal lactobacilli may play a role in colic.

It has been shown that administration of Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 significantly improved colic symptoms by reducing daily crying and fussing times in breastfed infants with colic with no adverse effects. 4


Women’s health

Just like the digestive tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem that relies on the balance of good and bad bacteria. But the use of antibiotics, spermicides and birth control pills can throw that system out of balance resulting in one of two very common though thoroughly uncomfortable infections: bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.

Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems. Some small studies have found L. acidophilius can help prevent infection, manage an already active one or support antibiotic treatment.

Taking Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, and Lactobacillus fermentum RC-14 for two months has been shown to reduce recurrence of bacterial vaginosis. 5

Probiotics may also have a special role in maternal health, as pregnant women are particularly susceptible to vaginal infections.




  1. Kalliomäki M, Salminen S, Arvilommi H et al. Probiotics in primary prevention of atopic disease: A randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2001 Apr 7; 357(9262):1076-9.
  1. A protective effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 against eczema in the first 2 years of life persists to age 4 years. Authors: K. Wickens, P. Black,T. V. Stanley, E. Mitchell, C. Barthow, P. Fitzharris, G. Purdie, J. Crane First published: 15 June 2012
  1. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007 May;119(5):1174-80. Epub 2007 Mar 8. Probiotics in prevention of IgE-associated eczema: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Abrahamsson TR1, Jakobsson T, Böttcher MF, Fredrikson M, Jenmalm MC, Björkstén B, Oldaeus G.
  1. Savino F, Cordisco L, Tarasco V, et al. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 in infantile colic: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2010;126:e526–e533.. [PubMed]
  1. J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2014 Jan;18(1):79-86. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e31829156ec. Effects of probiotics on the recurrence of bacterial vaginosis: a review.