De Vrese M. Health benefits of probiotics and prebiotics in women: A review. Menopause International 2009;15(1):35-40.
Among the numerous positive effects of probiotic microorganisms and prebiotic carbohydrates observed in clinical studies–the majority of which, however, does not fulfil the criteria of pharmaceutical verification–some are of specific relevance to female health.
The present review addresses–besides some notes concerning the potential microbiota-hormone interactions–the first line with preventive and/or therapeutic applications of probiotic bacteria in order to maintain a balanced intestinal and urogenital flora, as well as in the case of irritable bowel syndrome, constipation (idiopathic slow-transit) and urogenital tract infections.
Further aspects are the promotion of bone health and osteoporosis prevention brought about by inulin, oligofructose and galactooligosaccharides. Some further conditions, namely anorexia nervosa, the premenstrual syndrome as well as prevention or alleviation of climacteric and menopausal disorders, for which the use of probiotics is rather hypothetical or is largely studied by alternative medicine practising physicians, are addressed briefly.