What are probiotics?
Men can meet their various health needs through practices like regular exercise and eating a healthy diet. But the value of the probiotics men can use and their role in male health shouldn't be overlooked.
Probiotics are helpful bacteria that live in your body and provide major health benefits when eaten.
Probiotics are proof that not all bacteria are harmful. These microorganisms help your body break down food, guard against disease, and deliver valuable vitamins and nutrients. Each probiotic will have a different effect, like preventing an illness or assisting with nutrient breakdown.
Probiotics’ popularity has increased over the past 20 years because of their great effects on health, especially gut health. Usually, people take probiotics to regulate their digestive system and relieve symptoms like bloating and diarrhea. This emphasis on gut health comes from the probiotic's ability to work from within the digestive system.
Your digestive system has the power to affect many other bodily systems, leading to many probiotics' health benefits. The powerful bacteria can influence your body's immune system, skin, cardiovascular system, and cognitive function.
Probiotics are generally used to treat digestive issues like:
Men and probiotics
While men can enjoy the general benefits of these bacteria, specific probiotics target men's wellness needs in different ways. Here are six reasons why probiotics for men can truly make a difference in male health.
1. Prostate health
The human gut strengthens many of the body’s vital functions. The bacteria present in the male digestive tract can actually help prevent prostate cancer and improve the effects of prostate cancer therapy. Probiotics guard against these issues by fighting prostate inflammation.
Healthy bacteria in the gut are responsible for these anti-inflammatory properties. A study confirmed that taking certain strains of probiotics reduced cases of prostate inflammation in men. These strains protected against harmful bacteria like E. coli and E. faecalis.
Probiotics for men can also increase the efficiency of prostate cancer treatments. Beneficial bacteria in the male gut can boost these cancer treatments by influencing how well the immune system accepts and implements them.
Regarding sexual health, probiotics help the male reproductive system function more effectively. For instance, probiotics can promote the creation of healthy sperm. Researchers tested two probiotic strains (Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium longum) and found these bacteria increased sperm mobility and reduced DNA damage.
A preliminary study showed that probiotics and testosterone production are connected — specifically, some probiotic strains were found to restore testosterone levels and reduce testicular inflammation in mice.
3. Metabolism and nutrients
Men's metabolism is affected by the bacteria living in the gut. Probiotics regulate gut health, resulting in a healthy metabolism that can help the body break down calories. Probiotics for men can make sure bacterial strains that reduce inflammation are present in the digestive tract, benefitting male gut health.
By helping you break down food, probiotics can also strengthen your body's ability to absorb nutrients. Probiotics may specifically help with the absorption of:
- Vitamin B12
Through these benefits, the body can effectively use the calories you consume, directly influencing male health.
4. Athletic performance
Certain probiotics may help the body absorb proteins, which in turn may boost athletic performance. A study found that increased protein absorption caused by the tested probiotic increased vertical jump power, reduced fat mass, and improved peak power in men.
Also, probiotics have anti-inflammatory effects, so they can improve muscle mass and cardiorespiratory health, which are vital for athletic ability, in both men and women.
It’s highly likely that men's probiotics will benefit male athletic performance, leading to overall health gains.
5. Cognitive health
Probiotic uses aren't limited to physical benefits — they can impact mental health, too.
Psychobiotics are probiotics that affect the brain. Researchers have discovered various ways by which gut bacteria affect brain function, including that during mental disorders, as well as emotional health. Probiotics for men can ensure males reap these mental health benefits.
Some probiotic strains can alleviate anxiety, depression, and overall mood issues through their effects on inflammation and neurotransmitters. One probiotic strain (Lactobacillus plantarum) even proved to relieve stress and improve memory in adults because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Men-specific digestive issues
Men and women can experience different digestive issues, so men should look for probiotic strains that specifically benefit the male gut. For example, men experience chronic acid reflux — also called gastroesophageal reflux disease — more often than women. This may be because estrogen helps prevent chronic reflux in women. Men’s probiotics can help in the treatment of male-specific gut issues like consistent acid reflux along with their other benefits.
Where can you get probiotics?
You can get all the probiotics you need from probiotic supplements and certain foods, such as many fermented foods. This includes kombucha, yogurt, pickles, kimchi, and sourdough bread. These fermented foods are made with beneficial, healthy bacteria.
About supplements, there are probiotics that focus on men’s health needs. These strains can specifically benefit male wellness. As with any dietary supplement, if you consider taking a probiotic supplement, discuss this with your doctor first.
Men's probiotics: Healthy bacteria, healthy benefits
Probiotics have risen in popularity because of their many health benefits. Some of these benefits can specifically strengthen your health and help you accomplish your fitness goals. Probiotics men can use provide helpful effects for combating certain symptoms and conditions, regulating gut health, and strengthening overall wellness.
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Clinical Nutrition: "Probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum P8 alleviated stress and anxiety while enhancing memory and cognition in stressed adults: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study."
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PLOS One: "Probiotic Microbes Sustain Youthful Serum Testosterone Levels and Testicular Size in Aging Mice."
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