How Can Probiotics Be Beneficial For Men And Women?
Health products have become some of the most popular, and confusing, items available. With so much diverse information and opinions on the internet it can leave one’s head spinning. Probiotics have risen to the top as a topic of interest.
Probiotics are essential to help create a healthy environment in the human body. However, not all probiotics are created equally. They also can be made from hundreds of different strains of beneficial bacteria that exist. We need all these different bacteria for so many functions in our bodies beyond the commonly known gut health.
Since we have literally billions of bacteria in our bodies, it is extremely beneficial to understand how probiotics work. Men and women generally benefit from the same strains, but there are certain issues with each sex that require specific strains.
What Exactly Are Probiotics?
Probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning “for life”) refer to beneficial microorganisms. Fermented foods contain large amounts of probiotics naturally. Fermentation is a preserving technique used to create foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and drinks such as lassi. These are common in European countries, Asia, and the Middle East.
In the Western cultures, some people have taken to these traditional probiotic foods. More commonly, though, people are taking probiotics as a pill or powder.
When selecting a supplementary probiotic, it is important to buy from a good company. When sold as a dietary supplement, the FDA does not have to approve or regulate them. Since health benefits are strain-specific, doing research and talking to a practitioner familiar with probiotics are best. Also, not all strains are necessarily useful and could be doing little to nothing for the specific issue they claim to be helping.
How Can Bacteria Be Beneficial?
Probiotics have been around much longer than it can seem. In the early 20th century Eile Metchnikoff proposed that ingesting beneficial microorganisms would benefit people's health.
Over time researchers investigated this idea eventually forming what we know today as probiotics.
Many people hear bacteria and think of the bad bacteria that can wreck havoc on the system. Yet, there are so much more beneficial bacteria produced naturally in our bodies that are essential for good health.
Some of the few benefits of beneficial bacteria are:
- Destroying disease causing microorganisms
- Digesting food
- Producing vitamins
- Contribute to the immune system properly functioning
- Aiding in mineral and vitamin absorption
Differences Between What Men And Women Need
When it comes to intestinal support men and women require basically the same types of probiotics. But there are absolutely some cases where they differ with what issues they have and the strains that they require.
Balance Is Key For Women
Women have complex reproductive systems that have a delicate balance to them. They are more susceptible to bacteria by the nature of their design. The type of flora that aids in digestion is completely different than the strains that play a role in women's reproductive health.
The microorganisms that reside there are responsible for a number of functions from balancing the pH levels to killing pathogens. Women also are more prone to Urinary Tract infections which can be regulated by similar bacteria strains.
With women’s monthly cycle comes varied hormone patterns. This contributes to bloating and constipation happening more frequently to women. There are certain probiotics that target this particular issue.
How Men Thrive
Men have their own set of particular health issues. When it comes to heart disease, men are much more likely to suffer from it. Who would have thought probiotics could help deter this problem? They actually help lower cholesterol levels in the blood. One way they achieve this is by producing an acid that signals the body to make less cholesterol in the liver.
A unique effect probiotics have only on men is bone building. Certain strains have actually proven to increase bone density. For some reason, it does not seem to have the same effect on women.
Men tend to suffer more from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Probiotics have a possibility to curb the issue by helping to improve the mucous lining of the intestines, improve the immune system, and inhibit disease-causing bacteria.
Some Things To Consider
There are some cases when probiotics should be taken with caution or possibly avoided altogether. If there are severe underlying health issues present then probiotics could prove to not be beneficial. Sometimes they can even cause infections to occur. Consulting with a healthcare provider is imperative.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should also be cautious about what type of strains they introduce to their bodies and be aware of the quality.
Why Are Probiotics Needed?
A large number of health issues are caused by the lack of beneficial bacteria in our system, allowing pathogens and harmful bacteria to flourish. Imbalance of the beneficial bacteria is mainly caused by three factors: poor diet choices, environment and antibiotics.
The modern diet has less fresh vegetables and fruits and mostly processed foods. Healthy fats produce and maintain cell walls. Altered fat, such as low-fat products, can lead to damaged cell walls. Beneficial bacteria and flora are no longer protected and toxins can spill into the bloodstream. Processed sugar also negatively affects the level of good bacteria in your gut.
Environmental pollutants are everywhere and come in so many forms. Municipal drinking water is chlorinated which will kill all bacteria both good and bad. Pesticides and herbicides are in most food and our water. Since they are designed to kill bugs and bacteria they also kill our internal beneficial bacteria.
Antibiotics can absolutely be of great help. Unfortunately, they are designed to kill off both
harmful and beneficial bacteria. When taken too often they have the potential to cause minor or serious health issues. They also present the possibility of completely destroying the good bacteria colonies.
Are Probiotics A Necessity?
Overall, probiotics are a great preventative health care option. Numerous functions in our body require the help of beneficial bacteria to work properly. Both men and women have aspects of their health that are helped by probiotics unique to each sex.
The modern world is so laden with harmful chemicals, pollutants, and processed foods that damage the good bacteria colonies in our bodies. Antibiotics kill both harmful and beneficial bacteria. After using antibiotics, probiotics can be taken to recolonize the gut with the good bacteria.