Review: Jarro-Dophilus Women probiotic with L. crispatus, L. jensenii, L. gasseri and L. rhamnosus – 5bn, 10bn CFUs

Jarrow (sold globally as Astarte) has developed a probiotic formula (for oral use, gelatin or enteric coated capsules) for women to promote vaginal health. The products contain Lactobacillus crispatus, a desirable – but not readily available – probiotic bacteria.

The product comes in two forms: either non-refrigerated (only 5bn CFUs), or 5bn/10bn CFUs in cold-pack postage, which keeps the bacteria alive during transit. Cold-packed probiotics need to be kept refrigerated, while non-cold-pack products should be kept cool and dry. If you live in a hot climate, keep them in the fridge too. Check the label for instructions.

     Jarro-Dophilus Women contains:

  • Lactobacillus crispatus  LbV 88
  • Lactobacillus jensenii  LbV 116
  • Lactobacillus gasseri  LbV 150N
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus  LbV 96

These bacteria have been found in healthy vaginas as the predominant species.

     Instructions and dose of Jarro-Dophilus Women

Suggested use is one capsule per day by mouth, or two capsules as needed or directed by your healthcare professional. The instructions recommend taking Jarro-Dophilus one or two hours after antibiotics, and advise against using the gelatin or enteric-coating veggie capsules for vaginal use.

Store in a cool dry place. Does not require refrigeration if ambient temperatures are below 77F/25C. (If it’s summer where you are or you live in a hot country, keep in fridge.)

     Choosing the right Jarro-Dophilus Women product:

There are four different boxes to choose from on the Jarrow website, with a three-pack of boxes available (other retailers may differ):

  1. Jarro-Dophilus Women 5 billion CFU, 30 caps, (cool ship, pack of three) – US$83.85
  2. Jarro-Dophilus Women 5 billion CFU, 60 caps, (cool ship, pack of three) – US$143.85
  3. Jarro-Dophilus Women 10 billion CFU, 30 caps, (cool ship, pack of three) – US$89.85
  4. Jarro-Dophilus Women 10 billion CFU, 60 caps (cool ship, pack of three) – US$149.85

     Cost of each dose of Jarro-Dophilus Women

When it comes to probiotics, you need to take the CFU count into consideration. In this case, using the above numbers, you can expect to pay:

  1. 5bn CFU, 30 caps (3 boxes, so 90 caps total) – $0.93 per capsule
  2. 5bn CFU, 60 caps (3 boxes, so 180 caps total) – $0.80 per capsule
  3. 10bn CFU, 30 caps (3 boxes, so 90 caps total) – $1.00 per capsule
  4. 10bn CFU, 60 caps (3 boxes, so 180 caps total) – $0.83 per capsule – clearest value for money

     About the enteric coating/gelatin capsules

The enteric coated vegetable capsules are designed to be resistant to stomach acid, allowing the bacteria to arrive in the non-acidic intestine unharmed, with almost 100 per cent of the probiotics passing into the intestines. Gelatin capsules are only broken down in stomach acid, and will not dissolve in your vagina.

Jarrow has stated that the enteric capsules are not to be used vaginally, but anecdotally women have said that they do dissolve. This is up to you.

     How to use Jarro-Dophilus Women vaginally – My Vagina’s recommendations

We advise you to buy some vegetable caps yourself, and remove the contents from the gelatin/enteric coated capsule and put it into the vegetable cap, and insert deep vaginally as required or instructed by your health professional. You can find the full instructions here. 

     Ingredients in Jarro-Dophilus Women

  • Maltodextrin
  • Tapioca starch
  • Magnesium stearate (vegetable source)
  • Silicon dioxide
  • Vegetarian capsule consists of hydroxypropylmethylcellulose
  • pH-sensitive enteric coating consists of modified cellulose, magnesium silicate and triethyl citrate
  • No wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, egg, fish/shellfish, peanuts/tree nuts
  • Vegan

    Where to buy Jarro-Dophilus Women

Australians and New Zealanders (and anyone else who can’t get hold of the refrigerated type) can buy the non-refrigerated variety.