A man in his early forties and up can expect his prostate health to slowly become a concern. It is one of the most common concerns among men, especially if they have a family member with prostate enlargement problems or prostate cancer.
There can be signs of problems with your prostate such as:
- You feel a frequent need to urinate.
- You get a burning sensation when urinating
- Getting up “too many” times in the night to visit the bathroom
- Seeing red blood spatters in your urine
- Feeling pain when releasing your semen
Not all male adults will have prostate problems, but a considerable portion of the male population will have a type of prostate problem by age 60, and the proportion may even get close to 90% by age 85 years old. Amazon have an excellent Probiotic for your Prostate click here.
There are many types of prostate problems, including prostate enlargement and prostate cancer, but all of them have something in common: they affect your quality of life, and they are closely related to urinary symptoms. No wonder why getting closer that age men are continuously looking for alternatives to prevent prostate problems, which may also include the use of probiotics.
Probiotics for men’s health
As a new field of investigation, probiotics has opened a world of possibilities by modulating the gut microbiota to improve various conditions in the human body. Probiotics have been found to be useful in reducing certain types of cancer especially using probiotics after chemotherapy, regulating brain function, improving gut health, boosting the immune system, and controlling the symptoms of many chronic diseases. The US Prostate Cancer Government website has more information for you.
But probiotics do not only cover general aspects of health such as modulating your immune system and improving intestinal transit. They do have an application in the field of men’s health.
Most men would agree that one of the most important traits in men is strength, and one of the most common causes of death is cardiovascular problems, mainly because cardiovascular events are more common in men compared to women.
Recent studies about the use of probiotics in sports show that they reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections, which is a pretty common problem in physically active individuals, especially marathonists and men who engage in strenuous physical exercise. There is also data pointing out at a significant role to reduce cardiovascular risk. But what about prostate health?
Is there a link between Probiotics and Prostate health?
Among the broad spectrum of prostate problems that may ultimately affect men’s health, there is an enlargement or swelling of the prostate gland due to bacterial infection, a condition named bacterial prostatitis.
Similar to many other prostate health problems, bacterial prostatitis is strongly associated with the urinary system, and it does not only trigger urinary symptoms, but it may be caused by urinary infections as well. An infection in the urinary tract is a common problem among females, but a larger urethra in men and other barrier mechanisms make urinary problems less likely in men. However, studies show that men with urinary infections are likely to have a dysbiosis in the distal urethra.
To make it simple and easy to understand, let’s break down the male urethra in half, and say that the outer part is called distal urethra, and the inner portion is called proximal urethra. The outer portion has a lot of bacteria, and they are important to prevent disease because they colonize the area and do not allow any harmful bacteria to fit in. The inner portion is aseptic or sterile, which means it does not have any bacteria because this portion is not in close contact with the outer world and the constant flow of urine (which is sterile in principle as well) flushes out any bacteria that may attempt to colonize the area.
A dysbiosis is when the healthy bacteria in the outer portion of the male urethra does not provide enough support and allows harmful bacteria to colonize.
Moreover, such a dysbiosis is known to affect not only the urinary tract but the prostate as well. Since the prostate surrounds the urethra, any pathogenic bacteria colonizing the area migrate to the prostate and leads to infection, inflammation, swelling, and enlargement of the gland.
This is where probiotics kick in, and by modulating the immune system and the healthy bacteria in the prostate, these healthy bacteria start to thrive and become stronger against pathogenic bacteria that cause prostatitis.
Probiotics work as a preventative and therapeutic measure in cases of prostatitis. In preventative medicine, they prevent dysbiosis as stated above, and as a corrective measure in chronic prostatitis, it is known to reduce significantly the need of antibiotic therapy in these patients.
Reducing the side effects of commonly used drugs such as quinolones, with a high incidence of rupture of the Achilles tendon, and many other antibiotics that may ultimately trigger diarrhea and other alterations of the gastrointestinal function.
Still, as mentioned by various sources on the field of medical research, there is still missing data and much to uncover about how probiotics modulate prostate health. An interesting article on the subject published in the Medical Hypotheses journal mentioned that an excellent way to start these investigations would be using animal models with urethral dysbacteriosis. However, until more data becomes available in the future, we can safely use probiotics without any fear of adverse effects to improve prostate health and many other health concerns among young and older men.
What Probiotics are most effective for ME?
Good question, we all want the best for ourselves. So there are two different sources of probiotics, and we should always include either of them in our daily diet. Fermented foods and probiotic supplements are equally effective in modulating the gut microbiota, boosting immune function, and preventing prostatitis and other health issues.
You may choose vegetable sources of probiotics such as kimchee and sauerkraut or dairy-based probiotics as in yogurt and buttermilk. Supplement sources should be chosen carefully if you want to take high-quality products, and the best probiotic strains to look for if you want to improve your prostate health are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species.
Additionally, there are plenty of nutraceuticals and phototherapy alternatives you can use along with probiotics to improve your prostate health, as in zinc, cranberry juice, pomegranate, multivitamins, quercetin, saw palmetto, and much more!
Thushara, R. M., Gangadaran, S., Solati, Z., & Moghadasian, M. H. (2016). Cardiovascular benefits of probiotics: a review of experimental and clinical studies. Food & function, 7(2), 632-642.
Pyne, D. B., West, N. P., Cox, A. J., & Cripps, A. W. (2015). Probiotics supplementation for athletes–clinical and physiological effects. European journal of sport science, 15(1), 63-72.
Nickel, J. C., Shoskes, D., Roehrborn, C. G., & Moyad, M. (2008). Nutraceuticals in prostate disease: the urologist’s role. Reviews in urology, 10(3), 192.
Liu, L., Yang, J., & Lu, F. (2009). Urethral dysbacteriosis as an underlying, primary cause of chronic prostatitis: potential implications for probiotic therapy. Medical hypotheses, 73(5), 741-743.