Probiotics are good bacteria that are present in the gut but can also be ingested through certain foods and supplements. They are sensitive to heat and acid found in the stomach, which can destroy them before they are even put to use. It is also essential to note that since our bodies are different, it is hard to tell which probiotics will work best for you – depending on the makeup of the probiotics you take.
Know your Probiotic Strain
It is important to know which strain of probiotics will be suitable for your unique health needs before you choose a probiotic supplement. This extensive table gives different probiotic species and strains to help you get the essential information you may need to make an informed choice.
The ones that are most common for men include lactobacilli, Bifidobacterium and streptococci strains. These are discussed in more detail below:
- L. Acidophilus: This strain is from the lactobacillus family and it is deemed as the most important one in that species. These bacteria are found in the upper region of the small intestine walls. They assist in the absorption of nutrients and also in breaking down dairy products. They also assist the body in producing B-vitamins during digestion.
- B. longum and B. bifidum: These are the Bifidobacterium found in the large intestines. They are the ones that are most prominent in that area. B. longum bacteria are there to maintain a healthy gut wall and they specifically get rid of toxic substances found in the digestive tract. The B. bifidum strain exists in both the small and large intestines. It is mostly used to digest dairy in a healthy manner. This strain is also responsible for the breaking down of complex carbs, protein, and fat into smaller parts which can be used by the body more effectively.
- Streptococcus Thermophiles and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus: These strains are prominent in yogurt and they are highly important for the GI tract. Interesting to note is that they are not found in the intestines or colon like others mentioned above. Their role is to promote the presence of other probiotics bacteria.
These bacteria strains are important for men because of the different health problems that men encounter, which these probiotics can help alleviate. The Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are known for their power to keep a healthy gut by suppressing the growth of bad bacteria. In general, men are less healthy than women and this may be influenced by a number of factors ranging from the fact that men endure more stress, they put their health in more risky situations, they do not care much about diet and they do not exercise a lot. Described below are some of the benefits of probiotics to certain men health problems.
Benefits of taking Probiotics for Men
- Help Fight Yeast Infections: Men are also at risk of getting infected with yeasts, which are usually spread during intercourse. Antibiotics are taken to fight of the infection, but they kill the good bacteria as well, which means you are left with a low count of probiotics in your system. The natural probiotics in your body help kill yeasts so the antibiotics get rid of them, leaving your body defenseless and prone to re-infection. Taking a dose of the acidophilus probiotics after taking antibiotics is recommended to help gain back that balance.
- Healthy Urinary Tract: Contrary to popular belief, men are also at risk of getting Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). It may be less prominent in them but is definitely a health problem. UTIs are more common in men who are above the age of 50 because of common prostate problems. Many of the Lactobacillus strains were found to be able to avert UTIs, more specifically the L. rhamnosus strain.
- Stronger Bones: Men are at risk of breaking bones due to aging. A man in four will suffer bone loss at the age of 50. Probiotics seem to have the ability to increase bone density in men. A study on mice was done by the Michigan University, where male mice were given Lactobacillus probiotics and after a period of four weeks their bone density improved significantly. This was not the case for female mice.
- Good Digestion: In 2010, statistics reporting on digestive health stated that 60-70 million Americans were going through digestive health problems. Out of those people, close to three-quarters were men. This is due to poor lifestyle choices including the food, medicine etc. that men take. Probiotics of good quality can help restore the good bacteria in your gut.
- Heart Health: Men in the USA are mostly killed by heart disease. This calls for doctors and researchers to find ways to prevent this. It has been found that probiotics can help lower cholesterol production in the liver. L. acidophilus is useful for the removal of cholesterol and L. plantarum is used to assimilate cholesterol.
The Best Probiotic Supplements for Men
There are criteria that one can follow when choosing the right probiotic supplement. Dr. David Williams has the following suggestions to get you started:
- Know the strain included in the supplements.
- Look at how the product is packaged and how it is delivered.
- Watch out for the expiry date on the label.
- Does it have a money-back guarantee?
According to Health Ambition, the top 5 best men probiotic supplements are:
- Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Men
- Hyperbiotics Pro-15
- NOW Foods Probiotics-10
- Culturelle Digestive Health Probiotic
- Garden of Life Primal Defense Ultra.
Can Probiotics Reduce Cancer Incidence?
Although no solid scientific research has showed that probiotics really prevent people from getting cancer, results show that the future is very promising. A study by the UCLA in the year 2016 showed that, a probiotic Lactobacillus johnsonii 456 greatly reduced gene damage, and inflammation in animals such as mice. This is a very encouraging finding due to the fact that, inflammation is the root cause for many diseases such as cancer, heart disease. For instance, when a mouse was fed with probiotic bacteria, lymphoma, which is a cancer that originates from the immune system greatly slowed down.
Although these are not concrete claims, these findings gives credibility to the fact that manipulating microbial composition could be effective in the prevention of cancer.
Diet interventions and natural supplements being applied in the quest to prevent cancer have been very effective. Therefore, since probiotics are indigestible, they have been credited with the improvement of the rate of metabolism in the distal colon and therefore reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. Research has shown that colon cancer is initiated by the production of carcinogens via the colon. However, with a change of diet, there have been great improvements. For instance, when placed under probiotics diet, 53% of rats showed a reduced risk of developing cancer as opposed to those who were on a normal diet.
Everyone can benefit from a dose of some good bacteria but men have certain health issues that can be controlled by taking specific probiotic supplements. When one chooses a probiotic supplement, they should consider what they want it for and then look at the strains contained therein so that they treat their exact problems. There are also other criteria one has to look at, from how the supplements are packaged to whether the manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee should you have any dissatisfaction with their product.
**This is a subjective assessment based on the strength of the available information and our estimation of efficacy.
*Result may vary. If you have a serious medical condition, or have a history of heart conditions we suggest consulting with a physician before using any supplement. The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purpose only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and should not be relied upon as a medical advice. Always consult your doctor before using any supplements.
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