The best probiotics for men and why you should get started on them today.
With the constant churn of health news coming at us in this information-saturated world, it’s no surprise that some things slip through the cracks. You’d go completely mad trying to keep up with all the latest about supplements, fighting disease, exercise and health in general.
But news about one supplement has been hitting the mainstream more and more in recent years: probiotics.
The idea of adding probiotics for men who already take a fistful of supplements every day may seem like overkill. But the truth is probiotics benefits for men go way beyond what a simple B-12 or magnesium supplement provides.
We’ll explain what probiotics are, discuss the benefits of probiotics for men, and look at some of the brands that make the best probiotics for men.
Probiotics: Where did they even come from?
Probiotics for many years were mainly the province of the type of aging hippie lady who haunts obscure health food stores searching for a particular brand of bulgur wheat to feed to her unhappily vegetarian cats.
These days knowledge about probiotics has exploded into the mainstream. You can not only get probiotics in capsule form and liquid supplements – these days, even numerous food products advertise that they contain probiotics (some more dubiously than others).
Stemming from the Latin prefix “pro-” meaning “for,” and the Greek word “bios” which means “life,” probiotics are live microorganisms that are designed to assist our naturally occurring gut bacteria.
A shorthand reference point for probiotics among many health professionals trying to explain them to people is “good bacteria.”
And perhaps right there we begin to uncover part of the reason for probiotics’ slow rise to common awareness and popularity. Simply the existence of the word “bacteria” in any description of what they are and what they do may well turn some people off.
Especially in this era of rightfully obsessive hand-washing and concern over germs and viruses, jamming some “bacteria” into a capsule to take daily along with your daily supplements just sounds bizarre and kinda nasty, dunnit?
You are what you eat
But once you realize just how much of our bodies are teeming with bacteria both good and bad, you’ll either change your tune on probiotics – or you’ll freak right the fuck out.
As a matter of fact, if you’re looking into the best probiotics for men, it’s important to understand that your body simply isn’t your own – or at least most of it isn’t.
Recent science on the matter shows that roughly half of the cells that make up “your” body are in fact bacteria, viruses, fungi and archaea (these are organisms that were once misclassified as bacteria).
The bulk of this weird, wild microbiome that makes up a large part of what we actually are is located in your gut, that is, in your stomach and particularly in your large and small intestines.
With such a massive population of hitchhikers glomming onto us, if the balance is thrown off among their populations inside our stomach and bowels, things can go seriously awry for the host organism as well.
(Sidebar: Wait a minute. If bacteria etc. makes up 50 percent of us, who’s to say who the host really is, and who’s just along for the ride? File under thoughts to avoid while taking hallucinogens…)
What are the benefits of taking probiotics?
While it might seem at first glance that what happens in your gut is just a relatively minor part of your overall function, more and more research is emerging that demonstrates that a healthy gut is more strongly linked to our overall health than we’d ever imagined.
Probiotics for men who are looking to squeeze the most out of life become even more important when you look closely at what can go wrong without a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
Some of the dangers of having out-of-whack gut bacteria can include serious gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune disorders, fatigue, sleep disorders, skin irritation, and even depression and poor overall mental health.
But beyond just helping you to avoid those admittedly serious problems, new research shows that probiotics for men specifically can have tremendous benefits.
A healthy heart – While maintaining cardiovascular health in the modern world is an ongoing challenge, probiotics for men are an often overlooked aid in helping to keep the old ticker ticking. Studies show that taking probiotics help your body maintain proper levels of HDL cholesterol, so-called “good” cholesterol.
Another interesting note: many people diagnosed with heart disease are found to have S. mutans bacteria in their heart valves, a type that is typically found in the mouth but which can enter the bloodstream via your gums.
When considering the benefits of probiotics for men, keep in mind that they can keep your healthy mouth bacteria levels correct, thus preventing S. mutans from flourishing and spreading.
Blood sugar levels – If you’ve done any research on the keto diet, or looked into the dangers of sugar, then you’re probably already aware of just how devastating a modern Western diet can be for keeping your weight steady and avoiding sugar’s nasty peaks and valleys.
If you’re seeking out the best probiotics for men, be sure to look for L. reuteri on the label. Studies show it helps you to maintain steady blood sugar levels. Other research says L. acidophilus and B. lactis are also helpful for keeping your glucose levels on track.
Immune system – More and more research shows a link between a healthy immune system and gut bacteria levels. For instance, probiotics have been found to promote the growth of natural antibodies as well as immune cells like IgA-producing cells and T lymphocytes.
Other studies have shown that probiotics reduced the severity and frequency of respiratory infections in children by nearly 20 percent. So if you tend to burn the candle at both ends, one of the benefits of probiotics for men is you’ll be able to keep at it without succumbing to illness as often.
Fat loss – So what are the immediate benefits of taking probiotics, you ask? We’ve talked about all these long-term possible benefits – what are probiotics benefits for men today?
Well, how about directly helping you to lose belly fat? Taking probiotics may help you feel fuller longer, burn more calories, and store less fat by beefing up production of hormones like GLP-1.
Another study showed that people who took probiotic Lactobacillus gasseri for just 12 weeks had an 8.5 percent reduction in belly fat.
The best probiotics for men
Here are a few of our top picks for the best probiotics to get you started on the path to making all the little buggies in your gut healthy and happy – and helping the rest of you in the process!
Culturelle Daily Probiotic: This is a great starter product for men who are just learning about probiotics benefits for men. That’s because Culturelle puts the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) front and center. Marketed as a “single-strain super probiotic,” it’s great for overall gut health. (Buy on Amazon)
Physician’s Choice Probiotics: Offering one of the top-rated probiotics for men, Physician’s Choice brings you a strong hit of the friendly bugs you want, with over 60 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per dose. This is an important figure, because probiotics are only effective in adequate amounts. With this brand you’ll get 10 strains in each dose, including lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus casei, and bifidobacterium bifidum in a clean, vegetarian, soy-free supplement. (Buy on Amazon)
Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Men: This brand easily ranks among the best probiotic supplements for men simply because it was specifically formulated for us. They’re designed to address intestinal health, occasional gas, and general digestion, and include 15 strains such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteri. What’s more, they’re shelf-stable so you can keep a pack in your car or in your desk at work. (Buy on Amazon)
Ora Vegan Probiotic: Probiotics for men who are vegetarians and vegans can be tough to find. But Ora Vegan brand brings you a fully vegan, freeze-dried probiotic that you can take wherever you go, and which includes six strains lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus reuteri, and bifidobacterium. (Buy on Amazon)
Livewell Labs PRO45 Probiotics: Here’s another choice among the best probiotics for men who happen to be vegan. Livewell Labs crams in 45 billion CFUs from 11 different strains of good bacteria into each dose. And they’re great for guys who are looking to eat clean because their content list is simple: probiotics, long-grain rice flour, and vegetable cellulose for the capsule body. That’s it! (Buy on Amazon)
Probonix Liquid Probiotic Adult Grape Drops: This liquid probiotic can offer you the benefits of taking probiotics even if you feel like you already take too damn many pills. This tasty grape-flavored liquid supplement contains 12 strains of good bugs that help with issues including gas, bloating, sinus problems and allergies. (Buy on Amazon)