Can Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1Help With a UTI or a Vaginal Infection?

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 is a lactic acid bacteria from the genus Lactobacillus and the species rhamnosus. It is very helpful for a vaginal infection such as a vaginal yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, and also for a urinary tract infection (UTI), when combined with Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14.

GR-1 was isolated from the urethra of a healthy woman and RC-14 was isolated from the vagina of a healthy woman. Dr. Gregor Reid and Dr. Andrew Bruce at Urex Biotech discovered and developed Lactobacillus rhamnosus, GR-1® and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14®, and then sold the rights to Chr. Hansen of Denmark. Both strains are bile-tolerate and survive passage through the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.

What Does Research On L. rhamnosus GR-1 Show?

One study showed that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 was able to reduce colonization of the vagina by potential pathogenic bacteria and yeast in asymptomatic (meaning no visible symptoms of) bacterial vaginosis and vaginal yeast infection. Oral capsules of L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. fermentum RC-14 (which is now L. reuteri RC-14 but that’s another story!) were taken by 64 healthy women for 60 days. This resulted in significant increases in vaginal Lactobacillus bacteria at day 28 and 60, a significant depletion in yeast at day 28 and a significant reduction in potentially pathogenic bacteria at day 28, 60 and 90 for Lactobacillus-treated subjects versus controls.

In another study, 125 Nigerian women received treatment for confirmed bacterial vaginosis (BV) with oral metronidazole (500 mg) twice daily for 7 days. Half of them also receive oral Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 (1billion CFU) and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 (1billion CFU) or a placebo twice daily during the antibiotic treatment period and until day 30. 106 of the women returned for 30-day follow-up visits, and the overall outcome was 100% of the probiotic-treated patients no longer were diagnosed with BV, while 30% of the placebo group still had BV.

In a different study, ten women inserted a capsule containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactoacillus fermentum RC-14 or a capsule containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG into their vaginas. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactoacillus fermentum RC-14 were found to persist in the vaginal tract for up to 19 days, whereas Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG was detectable only for up to 5 days after administration.

In yet another study, in a laboratory with urinary bladder cells, L. rhamnosus GR-1 helped human bladder cells recognize stealth E. coli bacteria that might otherwise go unrecognized by the immune system. The result was improved elimination of the E. coli bacteria as long as live GR-1 was used. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG was able to help bladder cells recognize the stealth bacteria, also, but it was significantly less effective.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Strains

The last 2 studies highlight the importance of choosing the most effective strains of probiotic species if you desire a certain outcome and if there is research to support it. (You can learn more about strains and their importance here). You can buy exactly what is proven most effective in studies for what you need and save money, or you can spend and ultimately waste money without getting the best results.

Where to Find L. rhamnosus GR-1?

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 is available, combined with Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14, in products such as Fem-Dophilus® and RepHresh Pro-B®. Always read ingredients prior to purchasing.

In Fem-Dophilus® , the recommended dosage is one capsule per day for maintenance with 2.5 billion cfu of each strain per capsule. Increase to two(2) capsules a day as needed, or use as directed by your qualified health care consultant. Fem-Dophilus® is marketed by Jarrow and is recommended to be refrigerated.

Here is my review of Fem-Dophilus.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 is in Fem-Dophilus

RepHresh Pro-B (clinically called Urex-Cap-5) is marketed by Lil’ Drug Store Products, Inc and contains 2.5 billion each of GR-1 and RC-14. The recommended dosage is one capsule per day. It can be stored at room temperature, but I’d recommend refrigeration if possible to prolong microbe life.

Here is my review of RepHresh Pro-B.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 is in RepHresh Pro-B

More about Lactobacillus rhamnosus is found here.

More about Lactobacillus is on this page.


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(References available upon request.)

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