Probiotics are one of the latest health trends. However, more and more scientific evidence is coming out to support them, so I think they're here to stay. If you're new to probiotics there are some basic facts you need to know before trying them out. Today I'll be telling you about the best probiotics for men.
What is a Probiotic Supplement?
Probiotic supplements replenish your gut flora. What are gut flora I hear you ask? They are a complex community of helpful bacteria that live in your digestive system (Source).
Most of the microorganisms that live inside you are bacteria. Fungi, archaea and protozoa also are part of your microbiota, but little is known about what they do. Science is now beginning to acknowledge the profound effects that the state of your gut flora has on your overall health.
The relationship between digestive microbiota and humans is mutually beneficial. The human provides the organisms with a safe, nutrient-rich environment to live in and in return, the human receives a wide variety of benefits.
It's not known exactly how many species live in the average gut. Estimates range from 300 to 1,000 different strains. The unique composition of your microbiota can vary depending on your age, diet and history of antibiotic use.
Gut flora take care of excess nutrients that your body couldn't digest. They also produce vitamins including vitamin K and biotin and hormones that help your body store fat. They keep harmful bacteria from setting up camp in your gut by taking up all of the space and nutrients for themselves.
Why Take a Probiotic Supplement?
One of the most effective uses for probiotic supplements is restoring a healthy microbiota composition after taking antibiotics. Although they demolish the harmful bacteria, antibiotics often kill off some good bacteria as well. This can cause poor digestion and diarrhea, but luckily it can be reversed by taking probiotics.
Another common reason for taking probiotic supplements is to remedy a mild lactose intolerance. Certain strains of bacteria reduce sensitivity and inflammation of the digestive tract, as well as aiding the body in digesting lactose more efficiently.
Probiotics are also believed to assist immune system function. Lots of people who try probiotics say that they get fewer colds and experience fewer seasonal allergies. Clinical studies have proven that probiotics can decrease the rate of respiratory tract infections in children (Source).
Since probiotics have anti-sensitivity, anti-inflammatory and digestion-aiding properties, they're great for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, or excess gas (Source). Whether these symptoms are acute or chronic, probiotics can help. Even those with relatively normal digestive system function can benefit from probiotics.
Users of probiotics report increased urinary tract health, better oral health, normalized blood pressure, and improved skin conditions such as eczema. Studies have shown that using probiotics reduces the risk of dental caries in children.
Probiotic foods and supplements have a vast array of benefits that we're only beginning to find out about.
Here's a educational video that concisely explains gut flora and probiotic foods.
Men's Unique Health Concerns
Men generally have worse health than women. This is due to a variety of factors, such as higher stress, riskier behavior, exercising less, having a poorer diet, and not going to the doctor on a regular basis. Statistically, men get cancer and heart disease more often than women (Source).
The most common type of cancer that men contract is prostate cancer (Source). As this is a health concern unique to men, it's very important that men take care of their prostate health.
Keeping a healthy diet and exercising regularly are some of the easiest things you can do to reduce your risk, but taking supplements specifically designed for men can give you an extra boost on top of that.
Choosing a Probiotic Dietary Supplement
There are many foods you've already heard of (and some you probably haven't) that contain beneficial microorganisms. Having a diet rich in fermented and cultured foods (e.g. yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha) can help your digestion a lot.
However, if you don't particularly care for fermented foods and drinks, or if you already eat these regularly but want even more benefit, you can take probiotic pills or capsules.
When shopping for a probiotic supplement, there are several factors to keep in mind. You want to find one that has a high number of microorganisms per serving, as well as a wide variety of different bacterial strains. Here are five of some of the best probiotics for men to help you make a decision.
Top 5 Men's Probiotics
My personal favorite is the first one, Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Men, because not only is it a powerful probiotic with way more organisms per serving than most others on the market, but it also provides essential vitamins and minerals.
It even supports prostate health, which is why I think it's one of the best probiotics that men can take. With all the unique benefits this one provides, I think it provides the best bang for your buck