Time to feature men’s health in the conversation about gut health.
A gut is a gut, right? As it turns out, men’s and women’s guts work differently. Studies have shown that the exact same diet eaten by men and women affected the gut microbiome differently. This is largely due to the difference in primary hormones in men and in women. While women’s reproductive process and health are much more detailed than the male’s process, men are at increased risk of various diseases due to anatomy, higher testosterone levels, and low levels of heart-protecting efforts of estrogen.
Let’s dive a little deeper into two unique men’s health issues in which gut health may be a contributing factor.
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. However, the rate is slightly higher in men than in women. Heart disease is a broad term with many origins, but the majority of issues arise from atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is when blood vessels become thick and stiff which can restrict blood flow to and from the organs and tissues of the body. This is most commonly due to the buildup of plaque in arteries – a substance made up of cholesterol and fat. This causes arteries to narrow and block blood flow causing blood pressure to rise.
Growing evidence supports the theory that heart disease is linked to the missing metabolites produced by gut bacteria from the foods we eat. The missing metabolites may be due to a lack of high fiber foods, or due to missing beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer affecting men’s health worldwide. It is associated with chronic inflammatory urinary tract conditions such as chronic prostatitis or benign prostatic hypertrophy. In indirect ways, the gut microbiome is thought to influence metabolic processes that lead to chronic inflammation: a key factor to cancer growth. The recently discovered urinary microbiome is full of potential to better understand a connection as well as less invasive diagnostic tools.
As science continues to develop, the hope is to utilize the microbiome’s regulatory capacity to improve ways to improve and manage cancer treatments for all types of cancer, including prostate cancer. Much work needs to be done in order to better understand this connection.
Get men’s gut healthy!
A healthy gut provides a great health foundation for every man, woman, and child. We have strayed from our nomadic roots that required work in the dirt and preservation through fermentation. Our industrialized selves have to choose a diverse diet that includes fermented foods and drinks by choice, rather than a requirement. Although chips, fast food, and candy bars do fulfill the caloric requirements, they leave the body and gut lacking the nutrients they need to thrive. Supplement your good gut bacteria daily with Flourish living probiotics and get a consistent head start on your journey towards better men’s health!
The content in this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Katongole, P., Sande, O. J., Joloba, M., Reynolds, S. J., & Niyonzima, N. (2020). The human microbiome and its link in prostate cancer risk and pathogenesis. Infectious agents and cancer, 15, 53. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13027-020-00319-2
Neugent, M. L., Hulyalkar, N. V., Nguyen, V. H., Zimmern, P. E., & De Nisco, N. J. (2020). Advances in understanding the human urinary microbiome and its potential role in urinary tract infection. MBio, 11(2). doi:10.1128/mbio.00218-20
Trøseid, M., Andersen, G. Ø, Broch, K., & Hov, J. R. (2020). The gut microbiome in coronary artery disease and heart failure: Current knowledge and future directions. EBioMedicine, 52, 102649. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.102649