What the Nutritionist Needs to Know about Vaginas

Notes, resources, and references from my 2021 presentation for the American Nutrition Association. 

Resources & References



Anahtar, M. N., Byrne, E. H., Doherty, K. E., Bowman, B. A., Yamamoto, H. S., Soumillon, M., … Kwon, D. S. (2015). Cervicovaginal bacteria are a major modulator of host inflammatory responses in the female genital tract. Immunity, 42(5), 965–976. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2015.04.019

Bertran, T., Brachet, P., Vareille-Delarbre, M., Falenta, J., Dosgilbert, A., Vasson, M.-P., … Evrard, B. (2016). Slight Pro-Inflammatory Immunomodulation Properties of Dendritic Cells by Gardnerella vaginalis: The “Invisible Man” of Bacterial Vaginosis? Journal of Immunology Research, 2016. http://doi.org/10.1155/2016/9747480

Bodean, O., Munteanu, O., Cirstoiu, C., Secara, D., & Cirstoiu, M. (2013). Probiotics - a helpful additional therapy for bacterial vaginosis. Journal of Medicine and Life, 6(4), 434–436.

Bradshaw, C. S., & Brotman, R. M. (2015). Making inroads into improving treatment of bacterial vaginosis – striving for long-term cure. BMC Infectious Diseases, 15. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-015-1027-4

Hasslöf, P., Hedberg, M., Twetman, S., & Stecksén-Blicks, C. (2010). Growth inhibition of oral mutans streptococci and candida by commercial probiotic lactobacilli--an in vitro study. BMC Oral Health, 10, 18. http://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6831-10-18

Hickey, R. J., Zhou, X., Settles, M. L., Erb, J., Malone, K., Hansmann, M. A., … Forney, L. J. (2015). Vaginal Microbiota of Adolescent Girls Prior to the Onset of Menarche Resemble Those of Reproductive-Age Women. mBio, 6(2). http://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00097-15

Homayouni, A., Bastani, P., Ziyadi, S., Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi, S., Ghalibaf, M., Mortazavian, A. M., & Mehrabany, E. V. (2014). Effects of probiotics on the recurrence of bacterial vaginosis: a review. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease, 18(1), 79–86. http://doi.org/10.1097/LGT.0b013e31829156ec

Huang, B., Fettweis, J. M., Brooks, J. P., Jefferson, K. K., & Buck, G. A. (2014). The Changing Landscape of the Vaginal Microbiome. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine, 34(4), 747–761. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cll.2014.08.006

Iavazzo, C., Gkegkes, I. D., Zarkada, I. M., & Falagas, M. E. (2011). Boric acid for recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis: the clinical evidence. Journal of Women’s Health (2002), 20(8), 1245–1255. http://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2010.2708

Ling, Z., Liu, X., Chen, W., Luo, Y., Yuan, L., Xia, Y., … Xiang, C. (2013). The restoration of the vaginal microbiota after treatment for bacterial vaginosis with metronidazole or probiotics. Microbial Ecology, 65(3), 773–780. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00248-012-0154-3

Machado, A., & Cerca, N. (2015). Influence of Biofilm Formation by Gardnerella vaginalis and Other Anaerobes on Bacterial Vaginosis. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 212(12), 1856–1861. http://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiv338

MacIntyre, D. A., Chandiramani, M., Lee, Y. S., Kindinger, L., Smith, A., Angelopoulos, N., … Bennett, P. R. (2015). The vaginal microbiome during pregnancy and the postpartum period in a European population. Scientific Reports, 5, 8988. http://doi.org/10.1038/srep08988

Macklaim, J. M., Clemente, J. C., Knight, R., Gloor, G. B., & Reid, G. (2015). Changes in vaginal microbiota following antimicrobial and probiotic therapy. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, 26. http://doi.org/10.3402/mehd.v26.27799

Mayer, B. T., Srinivasan, S., Fiedler, T. L., Marrazzo, J. M., Fredricks, D. N., & Schiffer, J. T. (2015). Rapid and Profound Shifts in the Vaginal Microbiota Following Antibiotic Treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 212(5), 793–802. http://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiv079

Melkumyan, A. R., Priputnevich, T. V., Ankirskaya, A. S., Murav’eva, V. V., & Lubasovskaya, L. A. (2015). Effects of antibiotic treatment on the lactobacillus composition of vaginal microbiota. Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 158(6), 766–768. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10517-015-2857-1

Mirmonsef, P., Hotton, A. L., Gilbert, D., Burgad, D., Landay, A., Weber, K. M., … Spear, G. T. (2014). Free Glycogen in Vaginal Fluids Is Associated with Lactobacillus Colonization and Low Vaginal pH. PLoS ONE, 9(7). http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0102467

Mitchell, C., & Marrazzo, J. (2014). Bacterial vaginosis and the cervicovaginal immune response. American Journal of Reproductive Immunology (New York, N.Y. : 1989), 71(6), 555–563. http://doi.org/10.1111/aji.12264

Murina, F., Graziottin, A., Vicariotto, F., & De Seta, F. (2014). Can Lactobacillus fermentum LF10 and Lactobacillus acidophilus LA02 in a slow-release vaginal product be useful for prevention of recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis?: A clinical study. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 48 Suppl 1, S102–105. http://doi.org/10.1097/MCG.0000000000000225

Pendharkar, S., Brandsborg, E., Hammarström, L., Marcotte, H., & Larsson, P.-G. (2015). Vaginal colonisation by probiotic lactobacilli and clinical outcome in women conventionally treated for bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection. BMC Infectious Diseases, 15. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-015-0971-3

Pointer, B. R., Boyer, M. P., & Schmidt, M. (2015). Boric acid destabilizes the hyphal cytoskeleton and inhibits invasive growth of Candida albicans. Yeast (Chichester, England), 32(4), 389–398. http://doi.org/10.1002/yea.3066

Ravel, J., Gajer, P., Abdo, Z., Schneider, G. M., Koenig, S. S. K., McCulle, S. L., … Forney, L. J. (2011). Vaginal microbiome of reproductive-age women. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108 Suppl 1, 4680–4687. http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1002611107

Rönnqvist, P. D. J., Forsgren-Brusk, U. B., & Grahn-Håkansson, E. E. (2006). Lactobacilli in the female genital tract in relation to other genital microbes and vaginal pH. Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 85(6), 726–735. http://doi.org/10.1080/00016340600578357

Srinivasan, S., Liu, C., Mitchell, C. M., Fiedler, T. L., Thomas, K. K., Agnew, K. J., … Fredricks, D. N. (2010). Temporal Variability of Human Vaginal Bacteria and Relationship with Bacterial Vaginosis. PLoS ONE, 5(4). http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0010197

Vicariotto, F., Mogna, L., & Del Piano, M. (2014). Effectiveness of the two microorganisms Lactobacillus fermentum LF15 and Lactobacillus plantarum LP01, formulated in slow-release vaginal tablets, in women affected by bacterial vaginosis: a pilot study. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, 48 Suppl 1, S106–112. http://doi.org/10.1097/MCG.0000000000000226

Yang, S., Reid, G., Challis, J. R. G., Kim, S. O., Gloor, G. B., & Bocking, A. D. (2015). Is There a Role for Probiotics in the Prevention of Preterm Birth? Frontiers in Immunology, 6. http://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2015.00062

Zárate, G., & Nader-Macias, M. E. (2006). Influence of probiotic vaginal lactobacilli on in vitro adhesion of urogenital pathogens to vaginal epithelial cells. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 43(2), 174–180. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2006.01934.x

Zhou, X., Brown, C. J., Abdo, Z., Davis, C. C., Hansmann, M. A., Joyce, P., … Forney, L. J. (2007). Differences in the composition of vaginal microbial communities found in healthy Caucasian and black women. The ISME Journal, 1(2), 121–133. http://doi.org/10.1038/ismej.2007.12

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Hi! I'm Camille Freeman. 

I mentor highly-trained herbalists and nutritionists so they can get the clinical hours, practice-building skills, and advanced knowledge they need to be exceptional practitioners. I've been in practice as a licensed nutritionist and registered herbalist since 2006, working in OB/Gyn offices, a fertility clinic and private practice.

I have a doctorate in clinical nutrition, and I'm also a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Herbal Medicine at the Maryland University of Integrative health. You can read more about me here.

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