10 Must-Have Benefits of Probiotics for Men
Published November 16, 2021
It’s not a secret that men and women have different health needs. Aside from the difference in our anatomies, we also have different types of bodily functions. That’s why, even if probiotics are beneficial for both men and women, there are probiotics that will benefit men the most.
But before we dig deep on what are the best probiotics for men, let’s first understand how men can benefit from probiotics.
What are Probiotics?
In a nutshell, probiotics are live microorganisms that are beneficial for our bodies. Also known as the “good bacteria”, they help keep their harmful counterparts in check. They’re also essential in certain bodily functions like nutrient absorption and food digestion.
How do they do all these things?
Not a lot of people know this but our body is home to trillions of bacteria – both harmful and beneficial. This population of good and bad bacteria is what we collectively call our “microbiome”. Recent studies found out that healthy people tend to have a healthy balance of good and bad bacteria in their microbiome. While an imbalance in the microbiome (dysbiosis) can cause various health issues.
There are a lot of things that can cause an imbalance in your microbiome. An antibiotic treatment, dietary change, or even stress and anxiety can mess up your body’s bacterial population. When this happens, the bad bacteria tend to proliferate and “take over” certain parts of your body. As you can imagine, this doesn’t have desirable consequences.
This is where probiotics come in. They help restore balance in your microbiome by increasing the number of good bacteria in your body. With more good bacteria to fight off the bad ones, the latter will have a lesser chance of proliferating and causing damage to your body.
Though these bacterial colonies are present in many parts of your body, most of them are found in your guts. This is why probiotics are often associated with gut health.
Aside from being naturally present in our bodies, we can also get probiotics from the foods we eat. But if you’re trying to address a specific health issue or want a faster effect, you can try taking probiotic supplements.
Health Benefits of Probiotics for Men
1. Treats and Prevents Diarrhea
Diarrhea is our body’s way of eliminating any harmful substances that may have entered our system. These toxic substances include harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi, pathogens, and more. When a foreign substance invades our bodies, our digestive system would naturally work to get rid of it immediately.
Certain probiotic strains can help in various gastrointestinal conditions by getting rid of the bad bacteria and viruses that managed to crawl into our digestive systems. Studies also show that probiotics can reduce diarrhea that is caused by antibiotics and certain medicines. Probiotics also can enhance the barriers in our guts thus decreasing the risk of diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive illnesses.
2. Relieves Digestive Disorder Symptoms
Since your gut bacteria play a vital role in digestive health, an imbalance in your gut microbiome can lead to various digestive disorders. That’s why probiotics are often recommended for people with constipation, bloating, or irregular bowel movements. It restores a healthy balance to your gut microbiome thus bringing back your normal digestive function.
3. Boosts Mental Health
It may come as a surprise, but our gut bacteria play a huge role in our mental health. Various studies have proven that there is a significant connection between our brain and our gut. The two constantly communicate with each other in what we call the gut-brain axis (GBA).
Many nutrients absorbed in the large intestine are essential in maintaining proper brain function. Thus, a healthy gut is essential in maintaining great mental health. Since probiotics aid in normal digestive function, they also help your gut absorb nutrients more efficiently. This, in turn, helps your brain function better leading to a better overall mood and reduced depression and anxiety.
4. Improves Metabolic Health
Multiple clinical studies reveal that there is a relationship between our gut microbiome and metabolic health. In general, a disruption in our body’s gut microbiome may affect our metabolism and even cause metabolic disorders like Type 2 Diabetes. But since probiotics empower your gut microbiome, it also helps boost your metabolism which is a key factor in better weight management.
5. Boost Immune System
Men who love the outdoors can certainly benefit from the immune-boosting properties of probiotics. Aside from inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, probiotics can boost your immune system by helping your gut absorb more nutrients. The nutrients absorbed in the gut are then circulated in the cells throughout the body. This helps keep them healthy and improves your body’s immune response.
6. Helps with Peptic Ulcers
Helicobacter pylori or H.pylori is an infection that causes peptic ulcers. While this bacteria does not raise any concerns most of the time, some people are greatly affected. This type of bacteria may cause abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, bloating and gas, and unintentional weight loss. Previous and ongoing clinical studies on H.pylori, however, reveal that the bacterial infection is manageable through probiotics as it improves symptoms and increases eradication rates.
7. Raises Testosterone Levels
Testosterone is a hormone that contributes significantly to the overall health of men. As men age, their testosterone levels decrease, which can threaten their health and cause a series of negative impacts on the body. A decrease in testosterone levels usually means reduced libido, spermatogenesis, increased body fat, low energy levels, fatigue, low physical activity, and decreased muscle mass.
A study involving aging mice given Lactobacillus reuteri shows how their testicles grew significantly larger after consuming the probiotic. Results also showed that there was an increase in the mice’s testosterone levels and spermatogenesis compared to before. In another study, evidence shows that men undergoing probiotic therapy show increased testosterone levels.
8. Reduces Risk of Diverticular Disease
Diverticular disease results from the formation of small bulges and sacs on the walls of our large intestines. Studies on the matter reveal that after twelve months of consuming different species of probiotic supplements, patients with symptomatic uncomplicated diverticular disease exhibited a decrease in the disease’s recurrence rate.
9. Increases Sperm Count
It has been theorized that infertility is due to the presence of bacteria in semen. Experts studied the good and bad sperm to reveal that Lactobacillus and Gardnerella were significantly higher on the good sperm. The low-quality semen, on the other hand, shows to have a high content of the bacteria Prevotella. This study goes to show that bacteria in semen have a direct relation to infertility. This also supports study findings that probiotic bacteria can increase fertility or sperm count in men.
10. Promotes Heart Health
In western societies, many males are concerned with cardiovascular health or heart health. There are multiple reasons as to what causes our hearts to not function properly, such as smoking, drinking, and no proper exercise. Probiotics can help in keeping your heart healthy and functional. Research shows that regular intake of probiotics can maintain healthy blood pressure and keep good levels of cholesterol.
What to Look for in a Probiotic Supplement for Men
One of the reasons why many people are still skeptical about probiotics is because they did not get the benefits they were hoping to get out of it. In truth, there are various factors that can affect the effectiveness of a probiotic supplement. It depends on the condition you’re trying to treat, the probiotic formula, and whether or not the microorganisms reach your stomach alive.
So if you want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your probiotics, here are the things to look for in a probiotic supplement:
The Right Probiotic Strain
Just like there are various bacteria strains, probiotics come in many different strains too – each with a different function. This is why probiotic supplements are often formulated for a specific health issue. Each supplement contains a specific strain that addresses a certain health concern. As such, the first and most important consideration when choosing a probiotic supplement should be the probiotic strain it contains.
According to studies, these probiotic strains are most beneficial for men:
- Lactobacillus gasseri – for metabolic health and weight loss
- Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis – anti-aging and oxidative stress
- Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium bifidum – for anxiety and depression
- Lactobacillus reuteri – for cholesterol reduction and improving testosterone levels and testicular size
- Lactobacillus Brevis – can help in delaying gingivitis development
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus – regulating reproductive hormones
High Colony Forming Unit (CFU)
A colony-forming unit refers to the concentration of live and viable microorganisms in a sample. In probiotic supplements, the CFU is the number of live microorganisms that are in a single capsule, tablet, or lozenge. So if for instance, the label says 5 billion CFU, it means that there are 5 billion probiotic bacteria in a single dosage. Thus, in general, the higher the CFU, the better.
A high CFU count doesn’t really ensure the effectiveness of a supplement. It still boils down to how many live probiotics will reach your gut. Since our stomach is very acidic, only a small percentage of bacteria makes it to your gut alive. This is why the probiotic supplement’s delivery system also matters.
Probiotic supplements come in various forms. Most are in capsules, while others are available in liquid, tablets, or lozenges. Each is specially designed to effectively deliver the live bacteria into your microbiome. Bionaze, for instance, comes in lozenges because it’s the most effective way to deliver probiotics into the mouth’s microbiome. The slow suckling motion allows the good bacteria to stick into your oral surfaces and colonize your oral microbiome.
Most supplements today also have enteric coatings. This type of protective coating protects the live bacteria from stomach acids thus allowing them to safely reach the guts.
So when choosing the best probiotic supplement for you, make sure they’re designed to deliver the live bacteria safely into your microbiome.
When Should You Take Probiotics?
Unlike medicines, there is no fixed dosage for probiotics. But it’s recommended that you take it regularly to get the most benefit from it. Some experts recommend taking it in the morning before meals since your stomach is not yet that acidic at that time. But if your probiotic supplement has an enteric coating, it won’t matter what time of day you’ll take them as long as you take them regularly. If you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor first.
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About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer based in the Philippines. Her commitment to communicating factual content in when writing is unmatched. She works hard to cross check reputable sources to ensure her work uses accurate facts.