Probiotics are so beneficial to health and well-being that it’s difficult to find a population segment that they don’t benefit––they’re great for adults and children, they help mothers pass on balanced starter microbiomes to their babies, and they even keep our pets healthy!
However, there are gender-specific probiotic benefits. Women who take probiotic supplements, for example, may be more likely to maintain vaginal and breast health, and pregnant women who take probiotics may benefit from relief from some of the less pleasant side effects of pregnancy. The same is true for men––probiotics can help men maintain their health in the face of conditions that disproportionately affect men, as well as support some of their body’s physical systems.probioticseverything.comProbiotic Benefits for Men
While we are all biologically much more similar than most people believe, certain conditions do affect men more frequently, whether due to physical or cultural factors. Probiotics for men, fortunately, can help with many of these issues, including:
1. Heart Health
Cardiovascular health is a major concern for men in Western societies. While some of the major obstacles to maintaining a healthy heart (such as excessive drinking and smoking) aren’t nearly as common as they once were, unwanted changes in heart function are still one of the most common reasons for men to require emergency medical care. However, taking probiotics can help you keep your heart pumping on all cylinders as you age. According to research, taking probiotic supplements on a regular basis can help you maintain good cholesterol and keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.probioticseverything.comProbiotic Benefits for Men
2. Lung Health
Despite the fact that rates of serious lung issues in men have been declining in the Western world, they remain a major concern, with over three million men affected by ongoing respiratory conditions. While steroids and antibiotics are the most commonly used treatments for these conditions, they frequently fail to address the underlying issue and destroy bacteria indiscriminately, allowing undesirable bacteria to thrive.probioticseverything.comProbiotic Benefits for Men
This makes it difficult for your immune system to function properly and leaves you susceptible to feeling ill unnecessarily. The good news is that taking probiotics can help replenish your gut microbiome, and since your gut contains 80 percent of your immune system, this will inevitably boost your immunity. Probiotics also specifically support your mucosal immune systems, which are found in your ear, nose, and throat area, as well as your lungs, assisting you in maintaining respiratory health.probioticseverything.comProbiotic Benefits for Men
3. Blood Sugar Levels
Uncontrolled changes in blood sugar levels or a decreased ability to regulate insulin can have serious consequences for your overall health, and because men are far more likely than women to be affected by these changes, these issues are well worth paying attention to. According to research, taking probiotic supplements containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium on a regular basis can help your body maintain blood sugar levels that are already within a normal range, whether you are at risk for insulin-related challenges or are already experiencing them.
In fact, studies show that taking a probiotic containing L. reuteri for one month can support blood sugar levels that are already within a normal range; researchers have also discovered that eating yogurt containing L. acidophilus and B. lactis for six weeks can help to maintain blood sugar levels in a healthy range.probioticseverything.comProbiotic Benefits for Men
Of course, this is only possible if your gut microbiome is healthy and in balance, which is where probiotics come in. Because there are so many things that can deplete your beneficial bacteria, from antibiotics in food or medication to spending too much time indoors, supplementing with a high-quality probiotic is almost always necessary to maintain balance.
4. Hormone Levels
When it comes to the endocrine system, we don’t usually think of the gut, but it plays an important role in maintaining hormone balance. It aids in the regulation of oxytocin production in men, which is one of its most important functions. While you may know oxytocin as the “love” hormone, it also regulates testosterone production in men and serves a variety of health-related functions, including maintaining a healthy libido and promoting the development of male characteristics.probioticseverything.comProbiotic Benefits for Men
Of course, this is only possible if your gut microbiome is healthy and in balance, which is where probiotics come in. Because there are so many things that can deplete your beneficial bacteria, from antibiotics in food or medication to spending too much time indoors, supplementing with a high-quality probiotic is almost always necessary to maintain balance. Probiotics can also help support optimal testosterone levels in a more direct way—one study found that supplementing with L. reuteri can improve reproductive health and fertility.probioticseverything.comProbiotic Benefits for Men
5. Urinary Health and Yeast Imbalances
Probiotics can also aid in the proper functioning of your urinary system. While yeast imbalances and urinary tract issues are often associated with women, they are also common in men, particularly those whose bacterial balance is out of whack. Probiotics can help with these problems by encouraging the growth of good bacteria, which crowds out the yeast.
Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome can also help prevent urinary tract problems from developing, as many of these issues arise when E. coli migrates from the gut to the urinary tract. Regularly taking probiotics can help keep populations of unwanted bacteria under control, reducing the risk of them spreading and causing problems elsewhere.probioticseverything.comProbiotic Benefits for Men
6. Bone Health
Bone density changes are common in older men, and they can be much more serious than similar changes in older women, because men have a harder time recovering from these issues.
However, there may be a more effective way to support your bone health before you reach for the calcium supplements. The health of your bones, like that of many other parts of your body, is inextricably linked to the health of your gut, particularly your intestines. Interleukins, proteins that have an immune function but also absorb bone tissue, can be released by your body in response to temporary intestinal inflammation. If the temporary inflammation is not addressed, these molecules can wreak havoc on your bones, weakening them over time.
However, studies show that taking probiotics can aid in the rebuilding of your bones. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains both help to maintain a healthy gut microbiome, which supports balanced immune responses and allows your body to absorb and use the minerals necessary for strong bones.probioticseverything.com
7. Mental Health
Because mental health changes in men are widely underreported, it’s impossible to say how many men struggle with low moods or anxious thoughts. However, we do know that these issues are widespread, with over 6 million men reporting mood issues each year. While many factors influence mental health, the gut is one that is frequently overlooked.probioticseverything.comProbiotic Benefits for Men
The gut and brain are constantly communicating, according to research, and the health of your gut can have a big, positive impact on your mental health and well-being. One reason is the role of your gut microbiome in hormone regulation––along with oxytocin, your beneficial bacteria also support serotonin (the “happy hormone”) and cortisol levels (which is associated with high stress levels). They also aid in the production of GABA, a key neurotransmitter that controls how your body reacts to stress. When you take probiotics to support your microbiome, it can help to keep everything in balance, but if it becomes unbalanced and unwanted bacteria take over, you may experience depression and anxiety.
Supplementing with probiotics can help you keep your blood sugar levels in check, which can help you maintain a stable mood, as well as encourage healthy levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that has been shown in clinical trials to help with depression.
Probiotics are clearly beneficial, but they can’t do everything by themselves. To get the most out of your microbes, make sure you provide them with the resources they require to function. From dietary changes to probiotic supplementation, there are many ways to support your gut health. But the most important thing is to start changing right away!