Why Should Men Take Probiotics

men and probioticsOverview

While the benefits of probiotics such as alleviating yeast infections are widely known in women, they are not addressed frequently in men. That said, a growing body of research confirms the health benefits of probiotic consumption in men. This post highlights the importance of probiotics in men.

1. Probiotics Improve the Gut Health

Although IBS is more common in women, men also tend to suffer from the frustrating symptoms of IBS. Consumption of probiotics helps strengthen the leaky gut barrier, which underlies the emergence of IBS. This lessens the severity of abdominal pain, bloating, and other IBS symptoms.

More so, colon cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in the United States, occurs with greater frequency in men. The role of probiotics in preventing colon cancer has been widely studied. One of the several factors that contribute to the development of colon cancer is an imbalance in the composition of bacteria inhabiting the gut. [1] Since probiotics restore the balance of the altered microbiota, they can fend off abnormal cellular and DNA changes that trigger cancerous changes. In a trial performed on colon cancer patients, a 12-week administration of a synbiotic formulation (composed of both probiotics and prebiotics) resulted in a significant improvement in the cancer biomarkers. [2]

2. Probiotics Optimize Cardiovascular Health

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in men as per CDC. Probiotics benefit cardiac health in a number of ways, including but not limited to:

  • Lowering LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels [3], primarily Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242
  • Reducing blood pressure [4]
  • Helping you lose body weight and preventing heart disease [5]

3. Probiotics may help control Prostate infection in men

Prostate infection or prostatitis is a common infection representing nearly 2 million visits per year to a healthcare facility. In longstanding cases, the affected men are at risk of developing recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

While antibiotics are the mainstay of treatment in prostate infection, the role of probiotics in easing the symptoms of prostatitis has been elucidated recently. Moreover, experts reveal that a dysbiosis of the urinary tract may be the primary culprit behind prostatitis. [6] According to a study published in a peer-reviewed journal, administration of a supplement containing a probiotic, called Lactobacillus sporogens demonstrated a potential for controlling UTIs in men with bacterial prostatitis. [7] Although these men also received a long-term antibiotic course, researchers concluded that the probiotic was also effective at preventing UTIs from recurring.

4. Help lower the blood glucose levels in Diabetes

Diabetes tends to affect several men. Some probiotics have the capability to lower the blood glucose levels via raising the insulin levels and altering the glucose metabolism.

5. Probiotic microbes may augment testosterone levels

Males with low testosterone levels tend to experience diminished sexual desire and function, excessive body fat, reduced muscle and bone mass, low energy levels, fatigue, poor physical performance, low mood, and slow cognitive function. Lactobacillus reuteri has shown to boost testosterone levels and related functions in male mice and scientists report that the probiotic may also have a similar positive impact in humans. [8]

Men who take probiotics can reap their added benefits via increased testosterone production.

Written by: Dr. Rasheed Huma

References

  1. Gagnière J, Raisch J, Veziant J, et al. Gut microbiota imbalance and colorectal cancer. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2016;22(2):501-518. doi:10.3748/wjg.v22.i2.501.
  2. Rafter J, Bennett M, Caderni G et al. Dietary synbiotics reduce cancer risk factors in polypectomized and colon cancer patients. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85(2):488-96.
  3. DiRienzo DB. Effect of probiotics on biomarkers of cardiovascular disease: implications for heart-healthy diets. Nutr Rev. 2014;72(1):18-29. doi: 10.1111/nure.12084.
  4. Upadrasta A, Madempudi RS. Probiotics and blood pressure: current insights. Integrated Blood Pressure Control. 2016;9:33-42. doi:10.2147/IBPC.S73246.
  5. Saini R, Saini S, Sharma S. Potential of probiotics in controlling cardiovascular diseases. Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research. 2010;1(4):213-214. doi:10.4103/0975-3583.74267.
  6. Liu L, Yang J, Lu F. Urethral dysbacteriosis as an underlying, primary cause of chronic prostatitis: potential implications for probiotic therapy. Med Hypotheses. 2009;73(5):741-3. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.04.035.
  7. Busetto GM, Giovannone R, Ferro M, et al. Chronic bacterial prostatitis: efficacy of short-lasting antibiotic therapy with prulifloxacin (Unidrox®) in association with saw palmetto extract, lactobacillus sporogens and arbutin (Lactorepens®). BMC Urology. 2014;14:53. doi:10.1186/1471-2490-14-53.
  8. Poutahidis T, Springer A, Levkovich T, et al. Probiotic Microbes Sustain Youthful Serum Testosterone Levels and Testicular Size in Aging Mice. Schlatt S, ed. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(1):e84877. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084877.

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