Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat Dirt, Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine, Keto Diet, Collagen Diet and the upcoming Ancient Remedies.
By Dr. Josh Axe
Probiotics are live microorganisms, including bacteria, yeast and other microbes, that live inside the gut and form the microbiome. The vast majority of adults (men and women) and children can both benefit from taking probiotics, considering that having higher levels of certain probiotic strains in the gut is associated with a range of health benefits.
Why should men take probiotics? The best probiotic formulations for men can help to maintain a healthy balance of gut flora, which means they help support nutrient absorption, play a role in supporting healthy immune system function and exercise recovery, and much more.
With all of the options available, it can be hard to determine which are the best probiotics for men. In this article, we’re breaking down what you need to know about selecting a quality probiotic supplement, including tips for identifying the most effective and durable strains.
Benefits of Probiotics for Men
Generally speaking, what are the benefits of taking probiotics? Probiotics can support healthy digestive function, healthy immune system, promote regular bowel function, and, depending on the strain, can even help you maintain a healthy body composition.
Here’s more about the general benefits of probiotics for men:
1. Promotes Gut Health and Proper Digestion
Adding probiotic supplements and fermented foods to your daily routine can help keep your digestion on track by maintaining normal gut transit time and reducing occasional constipation, gas and bloating.
2. Supports Healthy Immune System Function
It’s now known that gut health is closely connected to overall immune system function. In fact, did you know that up to 80 percent of the immune system is housed in the gut?
Many strains of probiotics have been shown to help support a healthy immune system and support healthy immune system function. Some types of probiotic formulas can also support a healthy inflammation response, another key aspect of immune health, and aid in oral health, too, by balancing microbes in the mouth.
3. Supports a Healthy Body Composition and Healthy Weight
Certain types of probiotics can help boost muscle mass and strength, while also supporting healthy weight management through several different mechanisms.
Probiotics can promote regular bowel function, support healthy elimination and relieve occasional bloating, all which can make you feel better in general.
Others facilitate the normal breakdown of complex carbohydrates and promote proper digestion and nutrient absorption, which could also be beneficial when it comes to building muscle and maintaining a healthy appetite.
4. Supports Healthy Male Sexual/Reproductive Function
Can probiotic formulations help with supporting healthy male reproductive function? Certain strains seem capable of helping to boost serum testosterone levels. This is beneficial not only for building muscle, but also for maintaining generally healthy sexual function.
5. Supports Cognitive Health
Probiotic formulations can also contribute to cognitive health by helping to facilitate a healthy inflammation response and supporting nutrient absorption, which helps fuel normal brain activity.
Some types of probiotic supplements, including our Ancient Probiotics and SBO probiotic formulas, also feature essential minerals and clinically studied botanicals — such as ashwagandha root extract, fo-ti root and organic mushrooms that help support cognitive health and cognitive functions.
For example, ashwagandha and organic functional mushrooms are generally known to support a healthy response to stress and support focus, a healthy memory, mental clarity and concentration.
Best Probiotics for Men
Available in capsule, powder and pill forms, probiotic supplements typically contain a wide range of unique microbial strains, each with its own unique set of benefits. So which strains should men look for in a high-quality supplement?
Research suggests that some of the best probiotic strains for men include:
- Bacillus coagulans
- Bacillus subtilis
- Saccharomyces boulardii
- Bacillus clausii
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Lactobacillus bifidobacterium
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Lactobacillus fermentum
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
Another important factor that men should take into account when choosing a probiotic supplement is how “survivable” the probiotics are. The goal is to supplement with beneficial microbes that actually make their way to the right parts of the gut, without being partially killed off by stomach acid and heat.
Some probiotic supplements provide microbes that unfortunately “die off” before even making it to the large intestines, so choosing a “survivable” supplement, such as Ancient Nutrition’s SBO Probiotic formulas, helps to ensure that your probiotics make it to their destination to provide their benefits.
Soil-based organisms (or SBOs) are species of yeasts that are often hardier than other types of probiotics and resistant to harsh environments. Another benefit of SBO probiotics is that they don’t require refrigeration, but rather they can be stored at room temperature.
Ancient Nutrition’s SBO Probiotic Men’s Formula
Some types of probiotic supplements are formulated specifically to support men’s health, not only by providing healthy microbes but also other beneficial botanicals and herbs.
Ancient Nutrition’s SBO Probiotic Men’s formula features a combination of soil-based organisms, zinc, selenium and an organic fermented blend of ashwagandha, fenugreek, ginger, fo-ti root and organic mushrooms (including turkey tail, reishi and maitake mushrooms).
Here are some of the highlights of this product:
- Formulated specifically to help support men’s health by helping to boost muscle mass, strength, serum testosterone levels and recovery, while also supporting digestive and immune system health.
- Provides 25 billion shelf-stable CFUs* (*at time of manufacture) per serving. “CFUs” stands for colony forming units, which represents how potent the supplement is.
- Includes four beneficial strains: Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus clausii.
- Features soil-based organisms (SBOs), prebiotics and postbiotics to create a “trifecta effect” that supports absorption. Prebiotics provide the fuel necessary for probiotics to grow and thrive, while postbiotics help to maintain a balance of gut flora.
- Features SBO probiotics that are more likely to make it to the gut and are able to colonize. SBO probiotics also don’t need to be refrigerated and can withstand harsh environments, including stomach acid.
- Provides botanicals such as ashwagandha root extract, which provides specific benefits for men including support for healthy male reproductive function, muscle recovery, athletic performance and a positive mental outlook.
If you’re a woman looking for a quality probiotic supplement, consider Ancient Nutrition’s SBO Probiotic Women’s formula, which features a blend of 25 CFUs* (*at time of manufacture) of SBOs per serving in combination with organic fermented blend of superfoods such as chasteberry and ashwagandha to help reduce stress and promote a positive mindset.
How much probiotics should a man take?
Always read the directions on the specific product you purchase, since dosage recommendations vary depending on the product and potency. A general recommendation for Ancient Nutrition’s SBO Probiotics is for adults to take three capsules daily with 8 ounces of water.
What's the best time to take probiotics? To help support absorption and colonization in the gut, we recommend taking probiotic capsules on an empty stomach, either when you first wake up or right before bed (roughly 2–3 hours after your last meal).
Additionally, including fermented foods in your diet, which feature many different types of probiotics, is another way to obtain a diversity of healthy microbial strains, which helps to maintain overall healthy gut flora. Some of the best probiotic foods to choose from include kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, natto and miso.
Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including dietary supplementation.