Vitamins for vaginal health are essential; vitamins and supplements can help support and maintain vaginal health up to menopause and after. A healthy vagina should be vibrant in color, moist, a light earthy smell and produce a discharge that is clear, odorless that lubricates and protect.
The vagina is a muscular organ lined with epithelial tissue, this tissue also known as mucous membrane serves to lubricate and protect the vagina. The vaginal mucus membrane is made up of many layers of epithelium cells/tissue, it is this tissue the sloughs off monthly (period) or during sex.
The vagina itself is made up of three layers of tissue it is these layers that we want to keep healthy, moist and strong. The first layer the mucosa epithelium has folds and deep wrinkles it is the outermost layer the part of the vagina you can touch and feel if you insert a finger inside. The mucous membrane is in this layer it consist of one to three layers depending on the location inside of the body. The second layer is a smooth fibrous muscle it is made up of two layers of a weak (inner) and strong (outer) muscle. The third layer or innermost layer is like a covering/sleave made up of fibrous loose connective tissue it supports the vagina and connect and holds together the secondary reproductive organs and other pelvic region structure.
Glands located in the upper part of the vagina where the cervix is located secretes a thick mucus that keeps the vagina moist, the membrane also acts as a moisture barrier to prevent the inside of the vagina from drying out. When the membrane is healthy and intact it acts as an infection barrier trapping pathogens and other matter eliminating/pushing them from the vagina.
Although the mucous membrane of the vagina act as a protective barrier against pathogens it can be very delicate and vulnerable; because of its great ability to absorb and its structure (internally built) pathogens and toxins can be easily trapped when the membrane is in a frail state. When the mucus membrane is healthy and intact (w/o tears, scratches, rips) and you have a fairly strong immune system it can help ward off infections.
When we were much younger we didn't think about our vaginas. We washed them or not and go (virgins). Now, today we know that as we get older our vaginas get older as well. As the texture of our outer appearance began to change so does our vaginas. It is imperative that women understand their vaginal wall and how to keep it strong and healthy. Along with a fairly healthy diet you need exercise for your overall body and specific exercise for your vagina (for the record, sex is a great form of exercise for the vagina), supplements that support vaginal tissue health, etc.. The vagina is a flat muscular tube that extends from the neck of uterus (bottom part of the uterus or top part of the vaginal canal) down the vaginal canal and outward to the vulva.
There are several factors that can affect the health of the vagina age, sickness, childbirth, hormones, rough sex, odd vaginal insertion, medication, various vaginal conditions, being too thin or overweight etc.. The walls of the vagina are made up of several types of tissue as we age the layers of the vagina and the vaginal canal can shorten and loose its elasticity, can thin out and lose its supple rugae (folds and deep wrinkles), and it can become dry and irritated.
Vitamins for vaginal health, lets start with the first letter of the alphabet vitamin A and its antioxidant benefits. Again, do not take isolated forms (synthetic) of vitamin A it is best to take a 100% wholefood multivitamin along with foods richly supplied in vitamin A.
Along with the health benefits of vitamin A for eyes and skin health, it is also a great supporter for the layers of the vaginal wall. Vitamin A help increase low levels of estrogen (can be caused by perimenopause, menopause, an illness, medication, childbirth, breastfeeding, extreme dieting and/or exercising, anorexia, mental and emotional issues) which is critical to vaginal health. It helps to keep the vaginal tissue and the mucous membrane moist, soft, supple, pliable and strong; the increase levels of estrogen due to a balance amount of vitamin A in the body helps maintain good blood flow to the vagina increasing and/or maintaining healthy amounts of vaginal lubrication.
Vitamin A also continues to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and balanced levels of vitamin A also maintains normal pelvic bone development in developing girls. It helps neutralize cells from oxidizing (forming cancerous free radicals) in the vagina. (Note: Free radicals are organic unpaired molecules
It is important not to take Vitamin A as a isolated (single) supplement it is best in food form; because vitamin A is fat soluble, it absorbs and stores in the liver, therefore it can build up and become toxic (synthetic form) in fairly moderate amounts and have a negative effect on the body's system and the bones. It can also build-up in food form, but that will take an excessive amount of eating food high in vitamin A. It is best to eat vitamin A in animal form and in plant form, to eat any one kind is imbalanced. There is a reason Nature made both types because they work synergistically.
Vitamin A should be taken with vitamin D for better absorption, vitamin D also helps support and utilizes vitamin A and it prevents vitamin A ability to be toxic in the body. I prefer making my own organic butter fat capsules from grass-fed cows, I also take desiccated liver capsules and I give my children fermented cod liver capsules starting mid October through end of May after that, natural sunshine will do the job. Fat soluble vitamins A,E,D and K2 as well as other nutrients are found in the supplements mentioned; and it's always good to supplement with a 100% wholefood multivitamin.
Vitamin C vaginal health benefits are numerous. Remember ascorbic acid is not complete vitamin C; they are NOT the same thing. Ascorbic acid is an isolate, a synthetic and does not provide the SAME activity and benefits in the body as real whole-food vitamin C from food source. There are several parts that are needed to build a tire-wheel the rim, spokes, hub, valve stem, lug, air and other parts without all these parts as a whole a tire-wheel does not operate to its full capacity; just the rim alone is NOT a whole complete tire and will NOT function as a tire-wheel and can cause a hazardous situation. Ascorbic acid is that tire rim it is NOT whole complete vitamin C and it does not feed the body.
True vitamin C is a complex consisting of several different parts that work synergistically. The complex consist of factors J,K,P, various bioflavonoids, tyrosinase, rutin, several ascorbigens, as well as many other needed nutrients and of course the binding/cover factor of ascorbic acid also known as the "antioxidant wrapper". Real ascorbic acid is a part of the vitamin C complex its duty in the complex acts as protector to facilitate the function of the wholly vitamin complex from oxidation/corrosion; this protection allows for the release and full use of the vitamin C complex benefits. (Note: ascorbic acid does not have the same activity and benefit in the body if taken as an isolate /separate supplement).
Vitamin C complex rebuilds and repairs connective tissue throughout the body as well as in the vagina. The complex replenish collagen levels in the body and help produce collagen in the vaginal walls. Collagen is fibrous/dense protein the building block of muscles, tendon, bones, skin, hair and other areas of the body. There are many types of protein in the body however, collagen types 1 and 3 are beauty proteins (my name for them) and are found in abundance in the connective tissue throughout the body. Collagen type 2 is protein that builds and supports cartilage and joint fluids.
Vitamin C complex produces estrogen in the body's tissue, this activity increases collagen in the vaginal tissue thickening and strengthening the vaginal walls, vaginal muscles and in turn tightening or keeping the vaginal canal firm. Balanced levels of estrogen not only produce collagen it also produces elastin in the vagina. Like collagen elastin is a protein and it is found in the connective tissue throughout the body it gives our skin, internal organs including the vagina the ability to retract after losing weight or giving birth. Like collagen vitamin C is vital to the production and maintenance of elastin.
Collagen and elastin work together to form a very strong team that benefits vaginal firmness and stretchiness; collagen gives the skin and internal organs strength and structure, it gives the skin a youthful plumpness and a smoothness to the skin on the face and the body. Collagen also rejuvenates and stimulate connective tissue growth while elastin helps maintain shape, stability and provide elasticity. (NOTE: It is important to know that as we get older estrogen decreases, smoking, drinking, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise also greatly decreases collagen amounts).
Collagen can be replenish in the body by outside sources (I will talk more about that later). Elastin on the other hand develops before and during birth as well as the early years of life. Elastin barely replenish as we age. It has to be maintained and stimulated through life-style methods.
Vitamin E contain small amounts of estrogen, estrogen is needed to produce collagen and maintain elastin in the body. That is natural vitamin E from food- source and 100% wholefood multivitamins not the isolated vitamin E capsule. Vitamin E works with vitamin C to stimulate collagen growth and structure. Collagen is the most abundant while elastin is one of the longest lasting proteins in the body.
To get the benefits of vitamin E one of the most powerful antioxidant for vaginal health it is best through food-source and supplemented with a 100% wholefood multivitamin. There are a range of vitamin E rich foods that you can include in your daily diet. One of the benefits of vitamin E for vaginal health is its ability to strengthen the vaginal walls. The vaginal wall has a great network of capillaries weaving through it vitamin E help improve and maintain general elasticity, moisture, and reduces inflammation. It also reduces free radicals that mutate healthy cells in the vagina. Just as the skin wrinkles and sags if it isn't cared for the same can happen to the vagina. The vagina can lose it strength, structure (muscle tone) and moisture and since it is a muscle it can become weak, thin, shrink and inflamed mainly due to reduced levels of the female reproduction hormone estrogen due to various issues.
These nutrients rich benefits of vitamin E help slow the aging process internally and externally as well; especially when taken with a 100% wholefood vitamin C or a 100% multivitamin. Damaged cells caused by free radicals, unhealthy lifestyle, smoking, alcohol, illness and medication can cause early on aging internally and externally.
Understanding estrogen better is essential for optimal health for every woman. We need to understand how it works in our bodies. Estrogen is produce primarily in the ovaries (estradiol) and also in the adrenal glands as well as in the fat cells; it is the female sex and reproduction hormones. Often most women believe estrogen to be a single hormone, but actually there is more than one type of estrogen in the body. Estrone, estradiol and estriol are the most commonly talked about estrogen in regards to the female body.The estrogens covers a wide variety of functions in the human body (male as well); from brain function to heart health to reproductive action and health.
Estrogens power lies in its ability to kick-start the development of the secondary female characteristics during the onset of puberty (which starts in the brain). Growth and development occur for the breast, menstruation starts, pubic and underarm hair grows, the pelvic bone structure widens preparing the body for possible pregnancy with many more changes occurring.
Estrogens are hormones; hormones are natural human chemical substances that is created and released from glands in and from the endocrine systems to specific body tissue. At about the time of the natural occurrence of puberty usually around eleven years old (sometime ranges between 8 to 14 years old) the hypothalamus gland produces and releases a hormone called Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) directly into the bloodstream. GnRH then triggers a specific part of the pituitary gland to produce and release Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and lutein hormone (LH) naturally in the brain. Before puberty is visible on the body it first starts in the brain the hypothalamus gland located below the thalamus and above the pituitary gland and brain stem; this hormone activity in the brain affects and activates the body (ovaries) to release estrogen and progesterone.
Well known for it's benefit of gut and intestinal flora I believe probiotics can benefit the vagina as well. Probiotic, Pro for favorable to and Biotic created by living organisms, in other words favorable to life organisms. So, probiotics are organisms that benefit life. In the beginning of my probiotic journey I purchased several brands, never fully sticking to one. I did however, purchased one particular brand for about a year until I learned how to make my own probiotic (cabbage, lemons or kefir) because it just got too expensive. I prefer my organic homemade food probiotics instead of the capsules.
A friend of mine suffers from reoccurring yeast infection. She has taken several rounds of antibiotic to no avail over the years before she finally asked me what I would do. I told her that there are several options other than antibiotics. She finally settled on the probiotic and organic apple cider vinegar with the mother douche (the juice from my home-made organic cabbage, OACV and distilled water), wholefood vitamin C, cranberry capsules and oregano oil capsules. Two weeks later she informed me that the yeast infection was gone. Three months later she informed me that the yeast infection had not returned; which is normal for her after a round of antibiotics.
These are not scientific studies, they are just everyday natural holistic health care remedies that can be done daily. It is a good idea to visit your doctor once the symptoms have eased/clear to have a culture test just to confirm.
(Note) More Vitamins for vaginal health will be added
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