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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:


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 flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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