Men, You May Have an Important Microbiome, Too

June 25, 2018

Probiotics are the new answer to many health problems: they can heavily influence our weight, our mood and thoughts, our digestion, and so much more. They can protect us from invading pathogens, or open the door wide (if we have bad bacteria). So here’s something not at all surprising: they likely also play a role in men’s health and fertility.

The most famous microbiome is in your gut. It starts by aiding digestion, acts as immune defense against the incidental germs you eat, and then spreads its influence throughout your body. Your skin has a microbiome too, and it can impact your wound healing and general risk of infection, and more. Women have a unique microbiome in their vaginal cavities, and it’s reasonably well studied, from how it impacts the risk of yeast infections and cervical cancer to the health risks or advantages it transfers to babies at birth.

Now, new research suggests men’s testicals also have a microbiome. While it’s still early and more studies are needed to confirm, an early study shows that men with azoospermia (a type of infertility where they have no detectable sperm) have a different microbiome than more fertile men. If studies follow the same trends as they have on general skin bacteria and women’s biomes, men’s testicular microbiome may have implications for STD risk, greater fertility implications, and more.

How can you support a healthy microbiome? Two ways: eat plenty of probiotics, they restock your body on good bacteria, which can be killed off by illness, medications, or certain lifestyle habits; then follow up with a prebiotic diet and lifestyle. Prebiotics are foods like vegetables that encourage the growth of good bacteria, so they can crowd out the bad bacteria and survive all that life throws at us. Unsurprisingly, good habits like exercising, eating lots of fiber and veggies, meditating and other de-stressors, etc., also help to encourage good bacteria growth (and as they grow, they’ll naturally motivate you to crave good foods and activities).

Looking for a start on getting more good bacteria? Try a high-quality supplement packed with a diverse array of probiotics, like Flora MGR.

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