9 Reasons Why Men Should Take Probiotics
With so much conflicting information online, it’s no wonder men often find themselves unsure of which supplements and vitamins to take including Probiotics. There are endless options for supplements that promise the world, but even the effective ones are supplementary to proper health habits – hence the name.
Probiotics are one of the supplements worth investigating, especially for men’s health. Here are nine reasons why you should consider taking probiotics.
Improve Your Metabolism
One of the primary benefits of taking probiotics is that they can improve your metabolism. Probiotics introduce good bacteria into your gut, which helps regulate your digestive processes. As a result, your body will digest food more efficiently, improving satiety’s nutrient absorption and feelings.
Of course, taking probiotics doesn’t offset the impacts of eating double bacon cheeseburgers every day. However, probiotics can help supplement a balanced diet in controlling your metabolism as you age. It’s estimated that the average man’s metabolism slows by 10% each decade. Taking probiotics can help mitigate the impact of age-related weight gain.
Boost Your Immunity
There’s a unique interaction between your gut health and immune system. Ensuring that your gut is healthy with good bacteria will boost your immunity and help you offset common illnesses. While this was always a selling point, especially during cold and flu season, the COVID-19 pandemic has made this feature of probiotics even more compelling.
This aspect of probiotics is especially important for men who engage in intense physical exercise. It’s common to experience a slight dip in immunity after an intense training session. Taking probiotics helps offset this side effect and helps you recover for your next workout.
Offset Stress-Related Stomach Issues
Men often feel a physical manifestation of stress through indigestion, stomach upset, and even ulcers. During stressful periods, your body releases hormones that cause stomach issues. Having strong gut bacteria can help process and regulate those hormones, minimizing the physical effects.
Again, it’s important to note that taking probiotics isn’t a magical cure for all things stress-related. You shouldn’t plan on popping probiotics and chewing antacids to get through each day. Instead, put stress management protocols in place and use probiotics as a backup.
The link between gut health and mental health is still a bit of a mystery. Scientists believe that one of the key elements tying the two together is the hormonal regulation aspect of gut health. Dopamine and serotonin levels are regulated from the gut. These two hormones play a significant role in mental health disorders – namely depression and anxiety – it’s no wonder that gut health and mental health are interwoven.
While probiotics aren’t a cure for depression or a reason to go off prescribed medication, they can be a powerful tool for overall mental health and well-being.
Scientists are exploring the connection between gut health and cognitive function. While it’s clear that there’s a connection, there’s still work to be done to understand the depths of that interaction. Some scientists argue that it’s a form of causation, while others say it’s a correlation – in other words, you feel better overall, and thus, your focus improves.
However, scientists who have studied the impacts of probiotic-enriched food on Alzheimer’s patients’ cognitive abilities saw a notable improvement. Protect your brain by adding probiotics to your diet.
Promote Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in American men, responsible for the deaths of one in four men each year. According to the CDC, more than half of the men who die from heart disease had no prior symptoms or indications that they had a health concern.
As probiotics help improve digestive function, they also impact cholesterol levels and regulate hormones. Again, taking probiotics isn’t enough to prevent a heart attack, especially if you’re a life-long drinker or smoker. However, the positive impacts on cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels are worth it.
Another interesting aspect of the interaction between probiotics and heart health is the negative bacteria that are commonly detected around heart disease patients’ heart valves. Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) are often found in the oral cavity and have been connected with heart disease development. If you’ve heard of those cases where seemingly healthy young men die from a bad tooth, this is why. The bacteria travel through the bloodstream to the heart and wreak havoc.
Fortunately, the healthy bacteria in your digestive system helps fight S. mutans bacteria. Ensuring that you have a healthy digestive flora is another level of defense against heart disease. However, you should still floss your teeth.
Improve Skin Quality
Probiotics help fight inflammation, offsetting the effects of skin ailments like adult acne, eczema, and psoriasis. If you battle with these issues, taking probiotics can help.
Many people with eczema and psoriasis are aware of the impacts inflammatory foods have on their condition. Taking probiotics is a natural way to manage these issues and reduce flare-ups.
There’s a common misconception that taking probiotics can help reduce belly fat. Unfortunately, there’s no way to target specific fat deposits; anyone who tells you otherwise wants to sell you something. However, you can keep bloating to a minimum with probiotics, making you look and feel slimmer by reducing the gas in your stomach.
Probiotics help keep bloating to a minimum by improving digestion. While this is indirectly linked to weight loss through the impacts on your metabolism mentioned above, it’s more a cosmetic effect on belly size.
Support Prostate Health
As probiotics regulate hormone levels, including testosterone, they can help support prostate health. Again, scientists are still trying to determine the nuances of this connection. As with heart disease, some studies indicate that bad bacteria in the urinary tract can trigger initial prostate issues. Inflammation and hormonal imbalances pay credence to other hypotheses.
Again, there are many things you can do to promote prostate health before you start taking supplements. In fact, that applies to all of the reasons on this list. Prioritize healthy movement, proper nutrition, and stress management to stay healthy. Then, consider adding probiotics to bridge the gap.