Society has become increasingly focused on gut health in the past several decades, and with good cause.
Obesity, disease, chronic illnesses and more have taken hold on a worldwide level, begging the question of why and how do we help ourselves?
There is no question that unhealthy packaged foods filled with additives and fillers have created health issues making us an unhealthy society.
With the evolution of fitness, diets and the health market in general, also the evolution of the medical industry to help target and identify solutions to our health issues.
The medical field is just beginning to understand all the complexities of our body’s digestive system, but it is clear that a major component in our digestion is microorganisms that are vital to our bodily functions.
Luckily, we are able to help maintain our microorganism communities with ‘Probiotic Supplements’ .
Generally, when we think of bacteria we think of nasty little organisms that are dangerous to our health. But, in fact, we all have living bacteria that reside in our body and aid us in our digestive process in our gastrointestinal tract.
These groupings of bacteria are known as “gut flora” and are located within our small and large intestines.
While we have yet to fully understand all the functions and abilities of probiotic bacteria, these “friendly” bacteria have shown a range of functions, such as: help in digestion and help protect our intestinal lining and protect against harmful bacteria .
There is thought to be about “100 trillion microorganisms from more than 500 different species” living in our bodies, according to Harvard Medical School.
During the mid-1990’s the medical community began to recognize and research the benefits of these different bacteria. Probiotics were then defined as: “live microorganisms, that when administered in sufficient amounts, confer health benefit on the host,” as defined by the ISAPP .
When our bodies run low on these digestive bacteria (for example when we take antibiotics or are sick) we can develop digestive problems and other health problems relating to our digestive system. But, now, we can replenish these microorganisms with probiotic supplements .
Many foods that we eat on a daily basis contain natural probiotics, such as yogurt, and non-oral products, such as skin cream, can contain probiotics as well.
Probiotics aid in the digestive process and help maintain a healthy gut “microbiota”. While there is still much research to be done on the effectiveness of probiotics, there are promising results that show beneficial results in alleviating the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other digestive issues .
In addition, there have been several health issues that have been shown to be treated by probiotics, showing relationships between digestive health and other conditions. Following are some of the conditions that have shown promise in treating:
- Infectious diarrhea or other diarrhea issues
- Skin conditions, such as eczema
- Celiac disease
- Urinary and Vaginal health
- Allergies & colds
- Oral health
- Infantile colic
- Liver disease
- Immune System health
There are many strains of microorganisms that are considered to be probiotic organisms.
When researching which probiotic formula to purchase it is important to note which probiotic strain and what it’s function is, different strains can treat specific parts of your body and specific health issues .
You can purchase different probiotics for women and for men, which can help treat specific health problems.
Following are some of the most common microbes and their functions :
The most common probiotic type and most often found in fermented food. This species has been shown to do the following:
- Lactase Productions, which breaks down lactose
- Produces Lactic Acid
- Controls harmful bacterium population
- Acts as muscle fuel
- Increases body absorption of minerals
- Found naturally in vagina, small intestine and mouth
Following are the different strains of Lactobacillus and what they support :
- acidophilus – Digestion, nutrient absorption, gas treats, cramps & diarrhea, urinary & vaginal support for women
- fermentum – Digestion, detoxification
- plantarum – Digestion, immune health
- rhamnosus – Traveler’s diarrhea, vaginal health in women
- salivarius – Immune health, oral health
- paracasei – Liver health
- gasseri – Vaginal health, occasional diarrhea relief
- reuteri – Oral health, immune health & overall digestion
Found most commonly in food and supplements. They have shown to be able to:
- Support Immune System
- Limit growth of harmful bacterium
- Breaks down lactose
Following are the different strains of Bifidobacterium and what they support :
- Bifidum – Overall digestive health, nutrient absorption & occasional traveler’s diarrhea relief
- longum – Overall digestive health, detoxification & immune health
- children – Overall digestive health, occasional bloating and constipation relief
Aids in the digestion of lactose. They have been shown to be able to:
- Help digest dairy
- Aid in vaginal health in women
Following are the different strains of Bacillus and what they support :
- Coagulans – Overall digestive health, occasional constipation relief & vaginal health
Found primarily in the mouth this species focuses on the following:
- Oral health
Following are the different strains of Streptococcus and what they support :
- Salivarius K12 – Overall oral health & immune health
- salivarius M18 – Healthy teeth & gums
How do probiotics help with men’s health?
Probiotics do more than just improve digestion and boost immunity. For men, a good probiotic offers health benefits to both the heart and the lungs, two leading concerns as we age.
In addition, probiotics can provide a balance of blood sugars and support optimal testosterone levels which tend to decrease with age. Other health benefits include maintaining a healthy urinary tract and reducing infectious yeast.
Men traditionally suffer more from loss of bone density, having a harder time recovering than women. Probiotics can reduce this risk for some men, preventing the development of serious conditions like osteoporosis.
Finally, and most importantly, probiotics have shown to be effective in stabilizing mood through healthy, balanced gut bacteria. Men are less likely to seek help with any mental health issues due to stigmas associated with emotions being a woman’s problem.
Probiotics offer men an effective way to manage their mental health as well as their gut health and overall well being.
High quality probiotics will boast high numbers (millions) of “cells” and list the amount of different bacteria strains in their formulas. But what does this mean?
Probiotic supplement potency is measured by “CFU’s”, or Colony Forming Units. Generally, you will want the highest number of CFU’s on the market .
Typically, you will see anywhere from 10-30 billion CFU’s in the popular brands, with the current trend showing brands formulating up to 1 trillion CFU formulas.
You will also notice that the number of probiotic strains will be disclosed as well. The most expensive brands will have upwards of 11 or more strains included .
The strains should be listed and many brands also include other supplements, such as iron or extracts, to help treat a specific issue.
Following is a list of things to remember before making your probiotic purchase:
- Enteric Coated – It is recommended to be coated with capsules that are acid-resistant to reduce chance of an upset stomach when taking your supplement.
- Shelf Life – Make sure you are aware of the expiration date and are not close to it. Probiotics can not last forever, and have a definite shelf life.
- Refrigeration – Some probiotics must be refrigerated, check before buying. Refrigeration slows growth of the microbes and extends your supplement life. It is recommended to buy cold probiotics.
- Properly labeled – Make sure to fully read the label, directions, probiotic strains and ingredients of the proposed probiotic. It is not recommended to buy any probiotic strains that are not in the Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus, E. Coli and Streptococcus species. Other probiotic strains may not be native gut flora and not beneficial.
- Prebiotics – Some quality probiotics include prebiotics which feed probiotics and help them populate in their final location.
- Ingredients – While additional supplements, vitamins and extracts can be beneficial, it is important to make sure your proposed probiotic does not contain unnecessary fillers.
Following are the top twenty probiotics for men on the market today:
#20 Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics 60
This probiotic contains the the super-strain Lactobacillus Acidophilus DDS-1 among it’s 10 strains of gut-friendly bacteria. Dr. Mercola Complete Probiotics 60 can stand up to the acid and bile of the human body. In addition, it aids in production of lactase to reduce lactose intolerance of some individuals.
- Extended shelf-life of 18 months
- Dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free
- Vegan friendly
- Dosage directions are inconsistent
- Has caused some users discomfort
#19 Probonix-Liquid Probiotic for Adults
Probonix offers several different age appropriate probiotic products. This liquid probiotic is organic and free of GMOs and contains 12 strains of gut healthy bacteria.
- Great for people with trouble swallowing pills
- Once a day dosage
- Packaging is not tamper-proof
- High risk of probiotics becoming inactive during shipment
#18 Digestive Advantage Dark Chocolate Bites
Digestive Advantage offers this delicious, chewable probiotic that withstands the acid in your stomach 100 times better than other leading products. Each chocolatey dose is high in antioxidants and only 30 calories per serving.
- Manufactured with 800 million viable cells of BC30
- Long-term digestive support
- Delicious chocolate flavor
- Product is highly sensitivity to heat and becoming a melted blob
- Not individually wrapped
#17 Healthy Directions Dr. Sinatra Heart Healthy Probiotic Solutions
Healthy Directions probiotic is good for gut health and has added heart health benefits you won’t find in other probiotics. This dual strain probiotic provides support to blood pressure, circulation and healthy lipid levels.
- Clinically proven to reduce bloating and digestion issues
- Supports colon health
- Created by top cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra
- Contains Milk and Soy
- Made with potato starch
#16 Daily Body Restore Probiotic
Daily Body Restore Probiotic offers relief from occasional constipation, diarrhea and digestive issues. It can be taken once a day, but dosing recommendations suggest taking with every meal.
- Quickly relieves stomach discomfort
- Powerful immune booster
- Does not require refrigeration
- Best results obtained by taking with every meal versus a once a day pill
- Cannot be taken within two hours of other medications
#15 Trunature Digestive Probiotic
This newly improved probiotic contains 12 strains of bacteria compared to the old version that only had 2 strains. Trunature promotes a healthy gut and immune system for overall health improvement. Additionally, it relieves side-effects from antibiotic therapies.
- Individually packaged blister packs, great for travel
- Replenishes and supports growth of healthy bacteria in the gut
- Provides complete feeling of well-being
- Lack of consistency in quality
- Results vary and may cause increased discomfort in some individuals
#14 Ortho Biotic
Made by Ortho Molecular Products, Ortho Biotic scores high in nutritional value and safe ingredients. It’s recommended by doctors for how effective it is on gut health and fighting adverse effects of antibiotic treatments.
- Improves immunity
- Proven efficacy for multiple digestive issues
- More expensive than brands of similar quality
Florastor contains a unique strain of probiotic called Saccharomyces boulardii lyo CNCM I-745. This particular bacteria has a 60 year track record of immune support and strengthening of the digestive balance. Florastor aids in water absorption and breakdown of carbs and fibers.
- Great for active lifestyles
- Works with antibiotics
- Available in capsule or powder
- Requires taking 2 pills, up to twice day for best results
- Contains lactose even though labeled as appropriate for lactose intolerance
#12 Earth’s Pearl Probiotic and Prebiotic
These pearl shaped pills provide both probiotics and prebiotics to give the ultimate balance to your digestion. They work fast to relieve gas pain and bloating found in unhappy digestive tracts. The tiny size and shape make this probiotic an easy pill to swallow and at a great price.
- Small, easy to swallow pearl shape
- Contains prebiotic fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut
- Increases absorption of vitamins and minerals
- Contains dairy
#11 BioSchwartz Advanced Strength Probiotic
BioSchwartz has created a probiotic that can withstand the harsh climate of the stomach and small intestine, allowing it to work it’s magic as far down as the large intestine. This gluten-free probiotic was developed by doctors to provide overall improvement to your health. It does not contain milk but is not recommended for those with severe dairy allergies or lactose intolerance.
- Made in the U.S.A. and independently tested for quality and potency
- Healthy strains remain active all the way to expiration date on packaging
- Contains the four most effective strains on the market
- Contains the filler Maltodextrin which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels
- Adverse side effects in some users including increased bloating, gas, and night sweats
#10 Renew Life Men’s Complete Ultimate Flora Probiotic
Ultimate Flora Probiotic was specially formulated to support the digestion and immunity unique to men’s health. This power packed pill provides 14 strains, each playing an important role in balancing gut health. When taken regularly, it offers relief from occasional discomfort in the digestive tract while strengthening overall immunity and digestion.
- Promotes colon health
- Soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free
- One pill, once a day
- Can be taken with or without food
- Best when kept refrigerated but not shipped in a way to prevent exposure to heat
#9 Island’s Miracle Probiotic 70
This probiotic’s delayed release system enables the live bacteria to reach its destination with potency still intact. Scientifically crafted with 15 important strains for ultimate gut health and immunity boosting properties. Island’s Miracle guarantees their probiotic will remain active and full potency up to the date of expiration.
- Contains prebiotics and probiotics for balance
- Delayed release formula
- High rate of satisfied customers
May require multiple pills per day for best results
Culturelle Probiotic is a lightly formulated probiotic that offers only one strain of probiotic.
It contains no artificial ingredients and includes chicory root extract, an extract that helps alleviate upset stomach and liver disorders.
This is a good probiotic for those who only require a little boost to the digestive system
- 10 billion cells per serving
- Reduces Bloating
- Reduces upset stomach
- No artificial ingredients
- Supports immune & digestive system
- Dairy, yeast, gluten & soy-free
- Includes 200 mg of chicory root extract per serving
- Only offers 1 strain in formula
PRO-45 Probiotic is a high fiber formula that offers 4 times more Prebiotic Fiber than other formulas on the market today.
Prebiotic NutraFlora Fiber aids in the reproduction of probiotic strains within your gut.
This is in addition to the 11 probiotic strains and 45 billion active live cells in this powerful formula.
This formula is non-dairy, gluten-free, soy-free, preservative free and vegan friendly.
- 45 billion cultures per serving, 11 strains of probiotics
- 4x more prebiotic fiber than other brands
- Delayed release capsules
- Increased heartburn in some users
Nutrition Essentials delivers a potent probiotic that promises to deliver 90% of living CFUs to your gut.
Known as one of the most reliable formulas on the market it is acid-resistant and coated.
It has also been shown to addresses immune and digestive issues and is one of the few probiotic supplements to come with a money back guarantee.
- 15 billion cells of CFUs per serving
- Money Back guarantee
- Maintains healthy digestive system
- Promotes Immune System health
- Highly priced
- Only contains 1 strain of fiber micro-organism
Formulated specially for men, this probiotic by Garden of Life is great for those lactose intolerant people who still love their dairy.
Containing 10% of daily iron, 13 different probiotic strains and delivers 15 billion cells per day.
In addition this probiotic has been shown to reduce inflammation and is vegetarian and gluten-free.
- 13 Different Strains, 15 billion cells daily
- Vegetarian & Gluten free
- Supports immune system & digestive system
- Contains 10% DV of Iron
- Reduces inflammation
- Have to take 3 capsules per day
The gentle formula it is stomach friendly and offers 10 different probiotic strains and delivers 25 billion cells per day.
T he only drawback to this probiotic is that it needs to be kept refrigerated.
- 25 billion organisms, 10 different strains
- Vegan, Soy-free & Gluten-free
- Aids in yeast infection issues
- Must be refrigerated
- Shown to cause bloating in some users
- Alleviates IBS symptoms
- No refrigeration needed
- Energy booster
- Aids in weight loss
- Easy to swallow pearls, easier than capsules
- Only 5 billion cells, 15 strains per serving, lower than other brands
- Reports of nausea
This potent probiotic formula includes diverse strains, such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria that are resistant to stomach acid and bile, and target support for the male colon.
This male probiotic supplement is truly the gold standard, and is certainly our premium choice in the search for the best probiotics for men.
- Supports overall digestive system, immune function, prostate & health
- 31 microorganisms, 85 billion probiotic cells per serving
- Rich in Vitamin C, E, D, B1, B2, B6, B9 & B12
- Rich in Iodine, Selenium, Manganese, Chromium & Molybdenum
- Gluten-free & Soy-free
- Enzymes to aid in dairy digestion
- Specifically formulated probiotic for men
- 1 serving requires 3 capsule intake
- Pricier than most others
- Can cause gas in some users
- Requires refrigeration
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While no product is completely perfect, the best supplements can get pretty close.
Complete Probiotics Platinum is as close to perfection as you will find.
Boasting over 50 billion live cultures in every daily dose and 11 gastroenterologist-selected strains.
It also includes carefully selected prebiotic fiber to keep the probiotic strains strong and promote optimal levels of beneficial gut bacteria.
- A supplement for any dietary concern: non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and have no preservatives.
- Delayed-release capsules ensure that the probiotics get past your stomach acid and into your small intestines, where the probiotics need to be.
- Helps support your digestion and immune health
- While the value is worth the price, Complete Probiotics Platinum does run a bit higher than the low-quality, bargain probiotics (however it’s still cheaper than many others on this list).
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