Usually we think of bacteria as something damaging to our health, but actually, the right amount of good bacteria is crucial for our body to function properly. This is where probiotic supplements come in. The best probiotics for men are mostly a part of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera, the largest groups of good bacteria which reside in the gut.
Scientists are still researching the traits and benefits of different bacterial strains, and a full picture has yet to be formed.
Although we already have good bacteria in your body, adding probiotics through food or supplements could help improve our overall health and prevent illness.
Also, in many cases, the increased probiotic intake will lower the number of harmful bacteria in our bodies.
The scientists began to research the benefits of good bacteria on a large scale just recently, but they have been used unknowingly long before that.
Fermented vegetables and dairy products have been part of the Asian and European culture for centuries, while Romans ate sauerkraut as a part of their daily diets.
Although you can find probiotics in yogurt and some other products, you should use specific bacterial strains for your individual needs. This is based on what you want to achieve with probiotic supplements, and it is best to ask your physician for more information before any alternative treatment.
However, probiotics have not been noted to be risky for our health, so taking the wrong type of probiotic strain won’t threaten your health, but could not be as effective as a properly planned probiotic intake.
Different strains have different benefits, some of which are listed below.
Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety
In recent years, neuroscientists have discovered the importance of probiotics for stress-related behaviors such as anxiety and depression.
This is not surprising since the largest percent of serotonin and dopamine levels reside in the gut. Both of these chemicals play a huge role in our mental health. Thus, people with chronic gut diseases are more likely to suffer mood disorders.
Research has shown that probiotics have numerous psychological effects, including calming the nerves and reducing anxiety. For these studies, a combination of Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum strains have been tested and proven to help reduce stress levels and anxiety.
They do this through decreasing cortisol levels and increasing GABA activity in the brain which is linked to relaxation.
Antibiotics are known to result in diarrhea in some patients since they destroy the good bacteria in the process, and that can shift the balance in your intestines.
Researchers have shown that probiotics are effective when it comes to preventing this side effect. You should take probiotic supplements, before, during and a few days after your antibiotic treatment.
Probiotics have also been shown to help in the curing of some other issues which lead to diarrhea. One of those is C.Difficile bacteria which causes severe diarrhea, and probiotics could keep you from getting the bacteria, and also preventing it from coming back once you rid of it.
Probiotics may also help patients with some forms of Inflammatory bowel disease.
Research has also shown that probiotics can combat childhood diarrhea, and although they will only shorten the regular diarrhea attacks, they can completely prevent diarrhea that comes with rotavirus.
Boost your immune system
Numerous studies have shown that various probiotic strains can improve the immune function and prevent common illness such as cold and flu.
After the good bacteria digests the fiber, it starts producing immune cells which are crucial for a healthy immune system.
In simple terms, the more good bacteria you have in your digestive system, the harder it is for the viruses to infect you. Furthermore, probiotics also make bacteriocins, a compound which can destroy bad bacteria.
Probiotics work with both adults and children, and even if they don’t cure the illness as a whole, they will certainly reduce its duration and symptoms.
Improve cardiovascular health
Heart health is one of the main concerns for adult males, as the malfunction of the heart is the most common reason for men to receive emergency medical care.
As weird as it might sound at first, probiotics are closely connected with a healthy heart. Probiotics will keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
They are also known to be beneficial for people with heart problems who have S.mutants in their heart, as they keep this unwanted bacteria under control.
The probiotics are also extremely beneficial in the reduction of the bad cholesterol, which is one of the main causes of cardiovascular diseases in men.
Balance your blood sugar levels
Several probiotic strains have been found to help your body manage blood sugar, as it affects the main factors of diabetes, including insulin resistance and inflammation. Furthermore, the increase of good bacteria in the diet has shown to make it easier for the body to turn blood sugar into energy.
The probiotic supplements, which contain Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium or L.reutery will balance out healthy sugar levels and help both in prevention and curing of diabetes.
Treat irritable bowel syndrome
Although the reason has yet to be found out, good bacteria can be helpful in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrom, as they are effective in curing many specific symptoms of the disease.
A combination of some strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium have been reported to help with stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
It is not recommended to use store-bought probiotic-laced milk and yogurt, rather use specific probiotic strains and doses recommended by a professional physician.
Balance your hormone levels
The gut is crucial for hormone production and regulation. One of the most notable hormones it produces is oxytocin. Oxytocin encourages production of testosterone in males, and benefits men’s health in many ways, including healthy libido and allowing for the full development of male characteristics.
One study even discovered that the probiotics could convert cortisol into testosterone. This results in increased testicle size and improved sperm quality and volume.
Your gut can do this only if it is in its best shape, so you should balance out the good bacteria in your gut with probiotic supplements, especially if you take a lot of medication or spend a lot of time inside.
Improve memory and attention
This might be a surprising benefit, but probiotics could help you to become more attentive and improve your learning abilities.
The gut is directly connected with our brain through the Vagus nerve and this link is usually called the gut-brain axis.
Numerous studies have proved that some probiotic strains have a large influence on our intellectual abilities.
Although most of these studies have been conducted on rodents, a few recent studies have shown same results on humans, and they showed that probiotics can actually produce neurochemicals.
The benefits of probiotics for memory could also be beneficial to Alzheimer patients. There have already been certain studies which showed improvements in the mental abilities of Alzheimer patients, but to fully understand this specific link more research is planned for the next few years.
Help with Ulcerative Colitis
Many people with ulcerative colitis have turned to probiotics as an alternative treatment solution.
There have not yet been enough evidence behind this since scientists have just started conducting serious studies which could prove the benefits of good bacteria which reside in the gut.
However, the patients themselves have reported noticing the decrease of the symptoms which come with this disease, when they incorporated some probiotic strains in their diets.
This makes sense, at least in theory, because this disease usually appears when the harmful bacteria outnumber the good bacteria in the gut, and also because some certain beneficial bacteria is lacking in the system.
Although the benefits of the probiotics for ulcerative colitis are not grand, there is absolutely no risk in taking them, and they can be taken along with usual medication.
They will not cure the disease but might keep it in remission. Thus there are many reasons you could try to add good bacteria to your treatment, but just to be sure, inform your doctor before you start taking any supplements.
Help with Eczema
Eczema is a skin condition that causes skin irritation, which comes with serious itching and red rash. The most common type of eczema males could face is atopic dermatitis.
Bacteria play a huge role in the health of our skin. Recent scientific research has shown that people with eczema have a prevalence of bad bacteria on their skin.
Thus the idea that probiotics could help ease the symptoms of eczema.
For now, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotic strains have been shown to be the most efficient for this matter, but more research is necessary to prove the real benefits of probiotics for eczema, so it is important to counsel with your doctor before trying any supplemental treatment.
Improve Prostate Health
Probiotics could be beneficial for the prostate, especially with prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia. They could even help in the treatment of prostate cancer.
The biggest reason this could work is that these bacteria help the immune system to function properly and control inflammation, and both of these play a huge role in preventing and curing prostate conditions.
If you choose to take probiotics from food sources, include more yogurt, kefir or kimchee in your diet. Avoid foods which have been processed or pasteurized, like the commercial kombucha tee, since the likelihood that you will get necessary bacteria from them is close to nothing.
If you chose to use a supplement instead, you can purchase it in most pharmacies or online.
Today there are a number of different high-quality supplements you can choose from, including probiotics for men, which are designed specifically for the most common male issues and diseases.