ProjectManhattan via Wikimedia Commons
The World Health Organization predicts that by 2050, more people are likely to die from antibiotic-resistant microbes than from cancer if we do not change the use of antibiotics soon. Not a nice view. Not a pleasant view by any means, but all the more reason for bacterial fanatics like Professor Sarah Lebeer (University of Antwerp) and her research team to take another look deep into the vagina. They recently organized a large-scale civic survey called the Isala project, named after Isala Van Diest, the first female doctor in Belgium. More than 3300 vaginal samples were examined.
Fish and fiber
“It’s very exciting that we can now substantiate certain ‘general facts’ with scientific insight,” says Sarah Lebeer. “For example, it is well known that underwear made from certain materials is not good for the microbiome of the vagina. This is now being investigated in more detail by a PhD student. ” The same goes for panty liners. You better leave it at that. ‘I can already say that the average Flemish vagina is a healthy vagina. About 80 percent of the participants were well lactobacillus bacteria† These make lactic acid and keep the acidity low. This ensures that unwanted microorganisms, certain bacteria such as viruses and fungi, can not affect the vagina. “
What Isala also proved: There is actually a connection between nutrition and the composition of bacteria in your vajayjay. A fungus does not just occur. And the asparagus does not smell either. “A first finding is that a higher BMI is associated with a less favorable bacterial composition.”
What do you need in your shopping cart? “Seeds and nuts have a positive effect on the ecosystem,” says the researcher. “The same goes for vegetables: high-fiber vegetables seem to be particularly good.” Broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, beans, parsnips, but also pumpkins and sweet potatoes are high in fiber. Meat, on the other hand, proved to be less good for the microbiome of the vagina, while fish on the other hand are beneficial. “At the same time, we have indications that certain vitamins, which are mainly found in animal products, play a positive role in maintaining a nice vagina. Vegetarians are often lacking. ”
Overnight yogurt tampon
There are several theories circulating on the internet about what is supposedly vagina-friendly food. Yogurt is often number one. It would be an appropriate remedy for fungal infections. According to these videos, the jar of Danio or Oikos – separately – is better eaten vaginally than orally. People with itchy vaginas immediately find out after a short Google session how best to insert yogurt vaginally. Yogurt tampon is usually recommended overnight. Easy and neat. Just as convenient as overnight oats† Researcher Sarah Lebeer is not shocked by the idea. “It is true that yoghurt bacteria are related to the vaginal lactobacilli. Lactic acid made from yoghurt bacteria to make yoghurt is also made by the lactic acid bacteria in the vagina. Injection of yoghurt is therefore not an option. There is a logical reasoning behind it. But yoghurt also contains “Other ingredients that may not be ideal for your vagina’s ecosystem. I’m thinking of added sugar and preservatives.” The researcher emphasizes that it is not a good idea to inject yoghurt. She does not even recommend regular, unpasteurized yoghurt. “We need to investigate this further.” The same goes for kefir.
Speaking of sugar, also not ideal for the vagina. Sugary drinks like soda clearly had a negative effect. Cola and Fanta are not good, but the Isala project came up with another, somewhat surprising finding: “Alcohol has no negative effect on the bacterial composition in the vagina, contrary to what we expected. One can even talk about a positive effect. “That being said – the researcher warns against flying into the vodka orange right away.” Alcohol is still unhealthy despite its positive attachment to the vaginal ecosystem. “
“Yogurt also contains other ingredients that may not be ideal for your vaginal ecosystem. I am thinking of added sugar and preservatives.”
It is also claimed that fermented food results in a sheath whose acidity equals 25 degrees and a little sun, in other words the ideal conditions. Ordering kimchi and swallowing it with a kombucha would mean an overjoyed box. “There is a possible positive effect, but it is impossible to say whether it is due to the fermentation or just the fact that you eat vegetables. The bacteria from kimchi or kombucha also do not go directly to the vagina. There is another ecosystem there and they are not said to survive there. In the first phase of the study, there were also not enough people who followed a diet high in fermented foods. We plan to investigate this further at a later date. “
Other foods that are recommended are raspberries, pineapple, apple, lime, … The research team also adjusts that internet wisdom: “We did not find a clear connection with fruit. But that’s not to say that fruit does nothing for your vagina at all. The vitamins, fiber and minerals are still a good bonus. ”
The Isala project also came to a few fascinating conclusions, which have nothing to do with the contents of a refrigerator, but with the contents of your body. For example, giving birth to a child has a large and long-lasting effect on the microbiome. “It’s one of the most important lifestyle factors we’ve found. We saw more bifidobacteria in mothers. It’s the first bacteria to appear in a baby. We thought this effect would last for a year, but it is not the case. ” Let it be a comforting science: your vagina may be torn, but you still have some well-meaning bacteria. “Even in older adults who had a child in the past, the effect of the factor was measured.” It is also interesting that a menstrual cup generates a positive effect. “More Lactobacillus crispatus was found.”
Finally, sleep seems to be a particularly important factor in whether or not you have a healthy vaginal ecosystem. So if you are going for the vodka orange, it is best to start on time.
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