For UTIs, Patented Probiotic Strains Only Slightly Less Effective than Antibiotics, Study Shows

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And, unlike antibiotics, the probiotics did not increase antibiotic resistance.

A study found that a patented probiotic blend was “only slightly inferior” to antibiotics in preventing recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), reports ingredients supplier Chr. Hansen (Hoersholm, Denmark). The probiotic blend, called Urex, contained Chr. Hansen patented probiotic strains Lactobacillus rhamnosusGR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteriRC-14. The study was published May 14, 2012, in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The 12-month study by a Dutch research group involved 252 postmenopausal women and found that Urex was only 13.8% less effective than antibiotics at preventing recurrent UTIs. And, unlike antibiotics, Urex did not increase antibiotic resistance. By contrast, the antibiotic study group saw increased antibiotic resistance ranging from 20 to 40% after 12 months of treatment.

“It is good news for women who have untreatable UTI due to antibiotics resistance as well as women who simply prefer an alternative to antibiotics,” said the study’s chief investigator Suzanne E Geerlings, MD, PhD, of the Netherlands-based Academic Medical Center.

UTIs are one of the most common bacterial infections women suffer from. Recurrent UTIs are defined as two or more UTIs in six months, or three or more within the preceding 12 months.