Probiotics – it’s one of the buzziest words in the health and wellness sphere.
It may be easy to overlook it as another fad but gut health may be more important than you think. In fact, research is showing that your microbiome may affect your:
Scientists are finding a link between your gut and mental health issues, like depression and anxiety. Along the gut-brain axis are neurotransmitters that connect your nerves to your immune system and brain.
Poor gut health can also affect testosterone levels, which impacts your weight, sex drive and your performance in the gym.
Maintaining a healthy gut can literally improve your overall sense of well-being. Probiotics can improve how your gut bacteria functions, but they can also provide other benefits for men.
7 Key Benefits of Probiotics for Guys
Probiotics can be beneficial for everyone, but they can provide specific benefits for men, like:
The gut actually plays a big role in supporting balanced hormones. For men, the microbiome regulates the production of oxytocin – also known as the “love” hormone.
Oxytocin regulates testosterone production in men, but it also supports a healthy libido.
Probiotics can actually have a direct effect in maintaining testosterone levels. One study found that supplementing with L. reuteri may promote reproductive health and fertility.
Better Heart Health
How can gut bacteria affect your heart? Studies have shown that taking probiotic supplements regularly can help you maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Steady Blood Sugar Levels
An estimated 11.3 million men in America have been diagnosed with diabetes, according the National Diabetes Statistics Report. It’s a serious concern for men, especially if you follow the sugar-rich standard American diet (SAD).
Uncontrolled blood sugar levels make it harder for the body to regulate insulin.
Research shows that probiotics, especially those that contain Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Studies have also shown that taking a prebiotic that contains L. reuteri can support blood sugar levels if they’re already in a healthy range.
Better Lung Health
Over three million men are affected by ongoing respiratory conditions. Probiotics can support your mucosal immune systems, which are found in the lungs, nose, ear and throat areas.
Improved Immune System
Several strains of probiotics have been shown to improve immune function and even prevent infections, like the cold and flu.
One meta-analysis showed that adults and children with acute respiratory infections had fewer sick days and fewer missed days of work and school after taking Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. Another study found that taking L. paracasei and planatarum reduced the risk of getting a cold and the severity of cold symptoms.
Better Mental Health
Mental health issues impact millions of men around the world. Anxiety and depression are becoming increasingly common. More than 6 million men report mood struggles every year.
A number of factors affect mental health, but we often forget about how the gut affects our mood.
The gut can affect your mental health in many ways. Earlier we talked about how the brain and gut are connected through a two-way street. That explains why we feel sick to our stomachs during times of great stress. It might also explain why we might feel depressed or anxious if our gut is out of balance. Our body is trying to tell us that something isn’t right.
Your microbiome also plays a role in maintaining your hormones, including oxytocin, serotonin and cortisol. They also encourage GABA, which affects how your body reacts to stress.
Supplementing with probiotics can help keep everything balanced, which may keep anxiety and depression at bay.
A Leaner Body
As men age, it becomes harder to maintain a lean, healthy body. Some strains of probiotics have been shown to help burn excess fat. Research has shown that the strain Lactobacillus gasseri can help reduce belly fat by 8.5% over a three-month period. In that study, the fat returned within four weeks when the participants stopped taking the supplements.
Other research has shown that Bifidobacterium lactis and rhamnosus can be beneficial for weight loss and preventing obesity.
When Should You Take Probiotics?
Probiotics can offer many benefits to men, but they have to be taken at just the right time for them to be truly effective. If you’ve taken probiotics in the past and didn’t really see results, you may have just been taking them at the wrong time.
Most studies and experts agree that the absolute worst time to take probiotics is first thing in the morning. Because the bacteria are living organisms, they need warmth, food and water to survive. If you take probiotics first thing in the morning, there’s just not enough food and water in the body to support the bacteria.
Also, your stomach is more acidic in the morning, which makes it harder for the bacteria to survive.
So, when is a good time to take probiotics?
Ideally, you’ll take it with a meal. After you eat, your stomach’s pH rises to a four, which is much less acidic. The lower acidity level will make it easier for the probiotic to survive. The food you eat during the meal will also nourish the bacteria.
A study published in Beneficial Microbes found that probiotics taken with a meal survived in much higher numbers than those taken 30 minutes after a meal. Probiotics taken with foods that were rich in healthy fats had the highest survival rates.
Other experts suggest that probiotics are best taken before bed when your digestive system is at rest.
What are the Best Probiotics for Men?
There are many different probiotic supplements on the market today, but there are three in particular that we like:
Peptiva is designed to be taken just before bed. The supplement works its magic while you sleep. The doctor-formulated product contains several strains of bacteria, including:
- Lactobacillus paracasei
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
- Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
It also contains additional ingredients that help you get a more restful night of sleep, including:
- Valerian root extract
Peptiva offers a 15-day sample – claim yours now!
We like that Hyperbiotics chooses strains (6 in total) that are especially beneficial for men. The supplement also contains prebiotic fiber for extra support and curcumin phytosome for prostate and urinary support.
Hyperbiotics is made in the USA and does not require refrigeration.
Garden of Life
Garden of Life’s Once Daily Men’s contains 50 billion CFU and 15 different probiotic strains – including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli strains – that are resistant to stomach acid and bile.
Like Hyperbioitics, this supplement also has a prebiotic fiber blend, which includes organic potato and organic acacia fiber.