How Probiotics Improve Both Men’s and Women’s Health

Posted by Kevin Garcia on

HiLife Vitamins- How Probiotics Improve Both Men's and Women's Health

Every day, tiny living microorganisms appear in our lives. And while we may not see them until clicked under a microscope, these microbes -- termed Probiotics -- help create the imbalance (or lack of balance) in our digestive system. These organisms are vital for both men’s and women’s health in preventing diseases and improving quality of life.

 

Probiotics function to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria within our bodies. Yes, our bodies need bacteria to thrive in certain proportions or ratios to ensure we feel our best and can accomplish our long-term goals.

 

When this balance is thrown out of alignment (too much of one or a few bacteria over another), we become ill. And while the jury is still out in terms of exactly how men and women react differently to certain probiotics, there are many elements to consider when deciding on the right probiotic.

 

Women’s Health

 

Aside from the presence of a woman’s reproductive system within the abdomen, several other factors distinguish digestive health between the two biological sexes. For one, women have slightly different tolerances to certain medications than men. Largely due to a difference in enzyme systems, women’s ability to metabolize certain medications differently than men increases their susceptibility to inflammation and damage.

 

Another important factor is how women suffer from certain digestive issues more frequently than men. Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease are all more common in women than in men. This distinct difference opens the door to the need for probiotics.

 

Men’s Health

 

Men, on the other hand, tend to complain of acid problems over digestive issues. Acid reflux, also termed Heartburn, is an all-consuming discomfort after specific foods have been eaten. This is due to certain foods’ ability to knock our ratio of bacteria out of whack. For example, an abundance of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori puts men more at risk for duodenal ulcers -lesions in the upper part of the small intestine.

 

Both men and women can experience benefits (beyond digestive distress) of probiotics depending on their unique situation. In men, probiotics can support prostate health while in women, the microbiome facilitates estrogen metabolism. Other probiotic benefits we can see in both sexes include:

 

The Treatment and Prevention of Diarrhea

 

Antibiotics can negatively affect the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, leading to severe medication-induced diarrhea. However, several studies suggest probiotic use may reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea by an average of 42%.

 

Probiotics can also aid other forms of diarrhea as a large review of 35 studies found certain strains of probiotics can reduce the duration of infectious diarrhea by an average of 25 hours.

 

The Mind-Gut Connection

 

Often, our gut is referred to as our second brain. This is because an increasing number of studies can link our gut health with brain function in both animal and human studies. Specifically, supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains over a one or two-month period can improve anxiety, depression, autism, OCD, and memory.

 

Probiotics May Reduce Allergies

 

Certain probiotic strains and digestive enzymes are shown to reduce the severity of allergic reactions. Eczema, for example. This type of allergic reaction appears as a rash and can cause great discomfort in newborns and children alike.

 

One study found that eczema in infants improved when given probiotic-supplemented milk as compared to without. And this trend is seen pre-natal as well as post-natal.

 

Another study followed children of women who took probiotics during pregnancy, finding that those children had an 83% lower risk of developing eczema in their first two years of life. However, as with most infant-population studies, the link is still weak and more research needs to be done.

 

In more common allergies, such as dairy allergies, some probiotics may also reduce inflammatory responses to reduce symptoms. Again, more research is needed to provide a single type or group of probiotics that may provide these benefits to the masses.

 

Improved Immune System Function

 

One way probiotics improve allergic reactions, reduce intestinal discomfort, and more is by boosting our immune systems. As the majority of our body’s immune receptors lie along our intestinal walls, probiotics may help give your immune system a boost by inhibiting the growth of harmful gut bacteria.

 

As well, some probiotics promote the production of natural antibodies to boost immune cells like the IgA-producing cells, T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells, mitigating the risk for some cancers.

 

Reduced Weight Gain and Belly Fat

 

Through several different mechanisms, probiotics may prevent the absorption of dietary fat, leading to weight loss in some individuals. As well, probiotics may help us feel fuller longer, causing a reduction in the calories eaten (creating a caloric deficit triggering weight loss).

 

In one study, dieting women who took a specific staring of Lactobacillus for 3 months lost 50% more weight than women who didn’t take a probiotic. Another study described how even low doses of Lactobacillus may reduce belly fat by 8.5% after 12 weeks. However, not all bacteria strains are created equal as some studies found certain Lactobacillus strains lead to weight gain.

 

How to Incorporate Probiotics Into Your Routine

 

Probiotics come in many forms, from food to supplements. There is an excellent selection of supplements on HiLife Vitamins with thousands of customer reviews. Look for pills that are double-capsuled to ensure the bacteria aren’t destroyed on the way to the gut. As well, most of the studies showing benefits used dosages of 1-100 billion live organisms (or CFUs) per day -start somewhere in the middle at around 50 billion CFUs and see how you react.

 

If aiming to consume probiotics from food, they are often found in fermented products such as yogurts, pickled vegetables, tempeh, miso, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Incorporate one or two into your daily routine to see how your body feels. However, always consult with a physician before making any dramatic changes to your diet, as too much of one strain can throw the body out of balance.

 

 

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