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L. crispatus Potential Benefits for Urogenital Health

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:
Medically reviewed by
SelfDecode Science Team | Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:
L. crispatus

L. crispatus probiotics have shown promise for the prevention of urinary and genital infections in women, but the research is still in its very early stages. What have scientists discovered? Read on to find out.

What is Lactobacillus crispatus?

Lactobacilli inhabiting the human vagina are the first line of defense in the female urogenital and reproductive tracts. Lactobacillus crispatus is prevalent in the healthy cervicovaginal microbiota, where it produces lactic acid, a potent broad-spectrum bactericide, and virucide, and acts as an immunomodulatory agent [1].

Health Benefits of L. crispatus

L. crispatus probiotic supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use and generally lack solid clinical research. Regulations set manufacturing standards for them but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before supplementing.

Insufficient Evidence For

The following purported benefits are only supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is insufficient evidence to support the use of L. crispatus probiotics for any of the below-listed uses. Remember to speak with a doctor before taking L. crispatus, and never use it in place of something your doctor recommends or prescribes.

1) Female Urogenital Health

L. crispatus reduced recurrent urinary tract infections in 100 premenopausal women [2].

L. crispatus inhibited Chlamydia trachomatis, the most common sexually transmitted bacterial pathogen, in human epithelial cells and macrophages [3, 4].

L. crispatus promoted defense against Candida albicans infection in cell studies [5, 6].

L. crispatus inhibited E. coli activity [7].

Cervicovaginal mucus with high L. crispatus concentrations trapped the HIV virus in a lab setting. It is unclear whether this result has any relevance to HIV infection in a clinical setting, and we recommend strongly against attempting to use L. crispatus to prevent HIV [8].

Animal & Cell Research (Lacking Evidence)

No clinical evidence supports the use of L. crispatus for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.

2) Allergies

Oral ingestion of L. crispatus alleviated allergic rhinitis in mice, possibly via the adjustment of the Th1/Th2 balance [9, 10, 11].

3) Gut Health

L. crispatus ameliorated colitis in mice [12], however, a specific strain, M206119, exacerbated intestinal inflammation [13].

Cancer Research

L. crispatus inhibits the proliferation of breast cancer cells [14], human cervical cancer cells, and colon adenocarcinoma cells [15].

These cell studies should not be used to draw conclusions about L. crispatus against cancer in either animals or humans. They simply indicate that further studies are justified.

Mechanism of Effect

In cells and animals, researchers have observed that L. crispatus:

Safety

L. crispatus was shown to be safe in women treated for bacterial vaginosis [19, 20]. Mild inflammation of the urinary tract was noted in some women [21].

L. crispatus probiotics are generally considered safe. However, to avoid adverse effects or unexpected interactions, talk to your doctor before using L. crispatus.

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen won the genetic lottery of bad genes. As a kid, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, depression, and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers. Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO of SelfHacked, SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer. His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.
Joe has been studying health sciences for 17 years and has read over 30,000 PubMed articles. He's given consultations to over 1000 people who have sought his health advice. After completing the pre-med requirements at university, he founded SelfHacked because he wanted to make a big impact in improving global health. He's written hundreds of science posts, multiple books on improving health, and speaks at various health conferences. He's keen on building a brain-trust of top scientists who will improve the level of accuracy of health content on the web. He's also founded SelfDecode and LabTestAnalyzer, popular genetic and lab software tools to improve health.

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