Do probiotics help with testosterone?
The probiotics for men market seems to get bigger every year. Even though there is usually no difference between standard probiotics and so-called “men’s probiotics”, new products are brought out every year and marketed as exclusively for male consumers.
We’ve already explained elsewhere that there really is no qualitative difference between probiotics for men and standard probiotics (or probiotics for women for that matter).
However, there is good reason to try and specifically market probiotics as “for men”.
First of all, men tend to use probiotics less frequently than women, who typically eat fermented foods and lots of prebiotic fiber on a semi-regular basis.
Much more importantly, though, is the fact that men arguably tend to benefit much more from the use of probiotics than women. In particular, older men may benefit enormously from the use of probiotic supplements because of their ability to increase testosterone.
Do probiotics really increase testosterone?
Can probiotic supplements raise testosterone levels in older men?
Let’s look at the research and find out!
Gut bacteria and testosterone
Your gut bacteria, known collectively as the gut microbiome, is a small ecosystem living inside your body. These gut bacteria are constantly interacting with the enteric nervous system, sometimes called the “second brain” because of the sheer number of neurons contained in the gut.
Through this “second brain”, the gut is constantly interacting and communicating with the brain itself; regulating neurotransmitter syntheiss, controlling digestion, and controlling hormone levels.
It isn’t difficult to soo then how manipulating your gut bacteria might directly and significantly increase testosterone levels!
Probiotics and testosterone
That’s all very well in theory, but do probiotics actually raise testosterone in practice?
Clinical trials have found that supplementing with probiotics can quickly elevate serum testosterone levels.
For example, one animal study found that rats given a probiotic drink daily for several weeks showed significantly higher serum testosterone levels and larger gonads than the control group.
Human trials have found similarly encouraging results. In several human trials, probiotic supplements have been shown to improve sperm quality and increase serum free testosterone levels in men.
The mechanism of action at work here is not clearly known. But what is obvious is that the use of probiotic supplements reliably leads to higher testosterone levels.
Of course, it is unlikely that the probiotics themselves are bringing about this effect. instead, the improvements in gut microbiome health is likely the reason for the improvement in free testosterone.
In our opinion, the most efficient and safest way to keep your microbiome healthy for the long term is to use a good prebiotic supplement.