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Best Probiotic for Men

Probiotics offer many benefits to regular users, but some strains might provide particular benefits for men. Here are our top seven.

Last Updated: Jul 29, 2022
Best probiotic for men

If you don’t already take probiotics, there’s a good chance someone in your life has recommended them. Their popularity as a remedy for everything from digestive issues to depression has ballooned in recent years, especially as we’ve become more aware of the microorganisms that live with us symbiotically.

But there are so many species, subspecies, and strains of probiotics to consider, and many companies put together dozens of different probiotics in specific combinations to address certain needs. That can make it tough to know which ones are best for you.

That’s why our team assembled this guide — based on our extensive research and testing experience with probiotics — to tell you which probiotic brands offer the best potential to improve a man’s health.

If you’re pressed for time, here’s a quick look at our top recommendations:

Summary of recommendations

Our Top Picks

Viome Precision Probiotics

Viome’s Precision Probiotics are a custom probiotic blend made to address your specific microbiome needs.

Viome has a wide variety of species and strains to target your specific health concerns. Pair with the popular Gut Intelligence test to evaluate your entire gut microbiome. Get free retesting on subscriptions and free shipping on all orders.

Current Deals: Get $20 OFF with code INNERBODY

How we evaluated probiotics for men

Evaluating probiotics for men required us to consider all the things we usually take into account when assessing probiotic quality but to do so through the lens of men’s health. Below are the criteria we employed.

Effectiveness

Winner: Viome

Our determination of effectiveness came from both our experience trying the probiotics and our research into their individual components. A little later, we’ll dig more deeply into the science of the microbiome and how certain subspecies and strains perform in the gut. What’s important to know for now is that some studies have connected specific probiotics with the prevention of heart disease (a top killer among men), the promotion of a healthy colon and prostate (top cancer spots among men), and even male sexual wellness. We determined a probiotic’s effectiveness, in part, based on the inclusion of these subspecies and strains, as well as their quantity.

Cost

Winner: up4

Several factors go into our accounting for cost — not just the price of a bottle. We also consider things like the number of strains and the quality of strains used. We also consider probiotic abundance, which you’ll see quantified in CFU (colony-forming units) or AFU (active fluorescent units). Generally speaking, more colony-forming units means those good bacteria have a better chance of out-competing the bad bacteria for food. Some companies also offer things like subscription savings or free shipping above a certain dollar amount, which also influence our decisions.

Safety

Winners: Viome, Ora Organic, and Seed

Probiotics are typically very well tolerated. Many companies suggest beginning with fewer than the recommended daily capsule count (ideally starting with one capsule) and working your way up to the full serving size. That can significantly curtail digestive upset. Still, even if that’s the lion’s share of what anyone needs to worry about when trying a probiotic, we wanted to keep our standards high for companies employing serious safety practices.

The safety of a probiotic can be verified by third-party testing, but not all companies put their products through such scrutiny. We gave safety preference to companies who use third-party testing, as well as ones that base a personalized probiotic formula on the results of a blood test and stool sample, ensuring you only get strains that should be good for you.

Customer service and convenience

Winner: Ora Organic

Convenience in a probiotic is a little harder to measure than other aspects. Most are large pills that can be tough to swallow, so there is some preference given when we find a capsule that’s not too big. But customer service is easier to qualify, especially when using these companies’ websites. Easy navigation, customizable subscription options, and product variety each played a significant role in our assessment.

How our top recommendations compare

We’ve put together a simple chart below that shows you the cost, strain count, and CFU of our top picks, as well as whether their formulas contain prebiotic fiber.

  Lowest monthly price Strain count CFU (in billions) Contains prebiotics
Viome $60 N/A N/A
Yes
Ora Organic Trust your gut $40 11 52
Yes
up4 Mens $27 9 50
Yes
Seed DS-01 Daily Synbiotic $50 24 54
Yes
Garden of Life Raw Men $46 31 85
Yes
NaturesPlus GI Natural Men $31 21 60
Yes
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Men’s Care $34 12 90 No

*Viome’s customized approach means everyone will get a different number of strains and CFUs depending on their test results.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are strains of beneficial bacteria grown, packaged, and sold for human consumption. But how can bacteria be a good thing? Well, some bacteria play symbiotic roles in our health. When we eat we also feed them, and in return they do things like:

And that’s just a small sample of probiotics’ potential.

The other important thing to realize about probiotics is that they live on the same food that pathogenic bacteria do. That means if you have more good than bad, the good guys can starve out the microbes that could harm you, weakening their numbers and keeping you healthy.

Insider Tip: Probiotics on a nutritional label are divided into two or three parts: species, subspecies, and strain. For example, in Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 6475, ‘Lactobacillus’ is the species, ‘reuteri’ is the subspecies, and ‘ATCC 6475’ is the strain. Effects can be similar among different strains of the same subspecies, but there are some strain-specific effects, as well.

How do probiotics work?

Probiotics are all about the gut. As a category of supplements, probiotics work by providing benefits to multiple bodily symptoms simply by existing. They create vitamins, hormones, and enzymes as part of their normal life cycle, and they can outcompete dangerous bacteria for food, essentially cleaning your gut of bad actors.

The fact that all this starts in the gut is less and less surprising as more studies and data come out connecting gut health to everything from mood disorders to pulmonary disease. But what happens in your gut in the hours after you swallow a probiotic product?

To be clear, when we talk about your gut, we’re talking about your intestines, not your stomach. The most common probiotic strains can survive stomach acid, so many companies encapsulate them in simple materials that begin dissolving early in the GI tract. Other strains need extra protection, so some probiotics come in capsules with an enteric coating designed to protect them from stomach acid and dissolve later in the small intestines. This is where probiotics go to work — in the population of microorganisms in your intestines known as the gut microbiome.

Eight fast facts about the microbiome

While we could write thousands of pages about the gut microbiome, it would be more beneficial if we simplified what you absolutely need to know to understand what it is and how it works. Here are eight fast facts:

  1. While “gut microbiome” refers to all of the microorganisms in your gut, “microbiome” on its own refers to all the microorganisms in and on your body.

  2. The gut microbiome contains as many as 100 trillion microorganisms.

  3. The densest colonies of microorganisms in the microbiome exist in the colon.

  4. Once thought to be greater, the ratio of bacterial cells to human cells is roughly 1:1.

  5. Home microbiome tests can break down your specific microbiome and identify what’s already at play.

  6. Antibiotics have massive — often negative — effects on the microbiome.

  7. Noteworthy microbiotic differences exist between lean and obese individuals.

  8. In extreme cases, a fecal transplant can be used to alter or revive a person’s microbiome.

Who should take probiotics?

Because probiotics can potentially make such a positive difference for so many disorders, there are very few individuals who wouldn’t benefit from taking probiotics. However, some outcomes boast a lot more research than others. The microbiome may play a role in the development of autism, for example, but that role is poorly understood, and a pregnant woman shouldn’t take probiotics expecting them to ensure her baby’s health.

The more thoroughly researched roles for probiotics make them ideal for those who have digestive problems, including:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • GERD
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Ulcers
  • Lactose intolerance

It’s also common for gastroenterologists to prescribe a course of probiotics to begin on one of the last days of an antibiotic course. That’s because antibiotics lay waste to all the bacteria in your gut — good and bad alike. Taking a probiotic at the end of an antibiotic regimen helps ensure that good bacteria rush in to fill the void.

Of course, there are dozens, if not hundreds, more applications with encouraging research behind them. With time, we’ll likely see probiotics applied for more and more disorders beyond the digestive tract.

What makes some probiotics better for men?

A quick look at the above list detailing the most common concerns doctors may suggest probiotics to address reveals something undeniable: they have nothing obvious to do with men in particular.

But probiotics are one of the first treatments that gastroenterologists prescribe when treating IBS, and there is growing evidence connecting IBS and other digestive issues with erectile dysfunction. This suggests — though not definitively — that there is a link between digestive health and erectile function.

And among applications that might not yet have as abundant research behind them, there are probiotic strains that can help with several health problems of significant concern to men, including

To ensure our recommendations provided the most possible benefit for men, we matched up probiotic species in targeted research papers with those included in the probiotics we selected. Research into the potential of specific strains to address many of these issues remains statistically incomplete. More research and peer review is needed. But the science we have thus far suggests that these probiotics can help improve and safeguard a man’s health.

Viome

Best overall

Pros

  • Tests your unique microbiome
  • Designs custom probiotics
  • Large number of available species and strains
  • Custom supplements also availalble
  • Uses advanced AI to determine your health and needs
  • Also tests for cellular health, inflammation, and more
  • Free retesting with subscriptions
  • Free shipping on all orders

Cons

  • Can’t buy probiotics without testing
  • Purchases are subscription-only
  • Can get expensive
  • Requires a fecal sample

If you’re serious about using probiotics to maximize your health and wellness, Viome is undeniably your best bet. That’s because they don’t just offer a few combinations of strains with their own theoretical targets. Instead, they design a custom combination of probiotic strains and prebiotic fibers to match your exact physical needs. How do they do that? By testing your microbiome.

You can’t just go on Viome’s website and buy probiotics; you have to buy a test first. Their most basic home test — the Gut Intelligence Test — evaluates your entire gut microbiome, including bacteria, fungi, viruses, and more. They feed those results into their AI system, which compares your makeup to thousands of research papers and other test results to determine what those levels say about your wellness. Then, they create a custom probiotic recipe to take what’s already working about your microbiome and make it better, and to take what’s not working and fix it.

And that’s Viome’s most rudimentary offering. Their more advanced tests go well beyond your gut health, also testing your blood and saliva to measure:

  • Biological age
  • Cellular & energy efficiency
  • Immune system health
  • Inflammation response health
  • Oral health
  • Heart & metabolic health
  • Brain & cognitive health
  Gut Intelligence Test Health Intelligence Test Full Body Intelligence Test Precision Probiotics and Prebiotics Complete Plan
Cost $159 $229 $379 $59.95/month $179/month
Pro/prebiotics included?
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Supplements included?        
Yes
Free retest every year?      
Yes
Yes
Gut health
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Biological age  
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Cellular & energy efficiency  
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Immune system health  
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Inflammation response  
Yes
Yes
 
Yes
Oral health    
Yes
 
Yes
Heart & metabolic health    
Yes
 
Yes
Brain & cognitive health    
Yes
 
Yes

If you opt for the monthly Gut Health subscription, you’re still paying just a hair above average prices for monthly probiotics, but you’re doing so for a recipe that’s extremely likely to provide positive results. You’ll also get a free test kit sent to you every year so the company can make any necessary adjustments to your personalized formula as their probiotics improve your health.

For an even more detailed look into Viome’s offering, be sure to read our full Viome review.

Ora Organic

Best organic option

Pros

  • Uses organic prebiotic ingredients
  • Third party tests every formula
  • High potency probiotic available
  • Probiotics in capsule and powder form
  • Offers a kids formula
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Single-serving samples available
  • 60-day return policy
  • 20% savings with subscription

Cons

  • One-time orders ship free at $100 or more
  • Refunds only apply to first bottle shipped

Ora offers a high-quality probiotic for a reasonable price. The organic designation doesn’t actually come from the probiotic strains themselves, however. As organisms, they can’t technically be classified as organic or inorganic, but the included prebiotic ingredients can. Those organic ingredients in Ora’s probiotics include organic Jerusalem artichoke and organic tapioca. Plant-based materials used in the creation of their capsules are also organic.

Ora sells much more than just probiotics. They boast a lineup of supplements that cover the following categories:

  • Gut health
  • Workout and recovery
  • Beauty and skin
  • Women’s health
  • Stress and sleep
  • Immune support

Their probiotics fall under the gut health umbrella alongside digestive enzymes and apple cider vinegar tablets. We’ve put their probiotic supplements into this handy chart for you to compare:

  Cost Cost with Subscription Strain count CFU (in billions)
Trust Your Gut $34.99 $27.99 6 16
Trust Your Gut High Potency $49.99 $39.99 11 52
Trust your Gut Powder $34.99 $27.99 7 21
Trust Your Gut Pixies for Adults $32.99 $26.39 5 10
Trust Your Gut Pixies for Kids $29.99 $23.99 3 6

Noteworthy probiotic strains in Ora’s formulas that may be particularly good for men include L. reuteri UALre-16, L. paracasei UALpc-04, and B. longum UABI-14.

Ora offers a few of its products in single-serve samples you can order to check the taste. These include their Pixie probiotics for adults and kids. Ora Pixies are essentially single-serve probiotic powder packets that make traveling with a few days’ worth of probiotics extremely easy. The Pixies only come in fruit punch flavor, but the jar of Trust Your Gut probiotic powder is available in apple-raspberry or lavender lemonade.

up4

Best budget pick

Pros

  • Men’s formula contains 50 billion CFUs
  • Gluten-free and non-GMO
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Also contains several vitamins
  • Requires only one capsule daily
  • Nice men’s bundle available
  • 10% discount with a subscription
  • Free shipping on most orders

Cons

  • Poor chat support
  • Return window is not specified

up4 is a wellness company with a focus on probiotics and superfoods to increase your quality of life. Their catalog isn’t as extensive as some others, but they’ve conveniently organized it so you can find what you’re looking for in one of the following categories:

  • Overall health and wellness
  • Digestion and immunity
  • Urinary tract
  • High potency
  • Energy
  • Restore
  • Detox
  • Stress and mood
  • Metabolism support

They offer probiotics targeted to men, women, children, and the general population, with gummy versions available for adults and kids. Their men’s probiotic contains an impressive 50 billion CFUs, which is a lot when you consider its price point. You can also bundle their men’s probiotic with their Energy superfood supplement for even more savings.

Here’s how their best options for men price out with and without a subscription:

  Cost Cost with subscription CFUs (in billions)
Men’s Probiotic $26.99 $24.29 50
Built for Men Bundle $39.99 N/A 51
Probiotics Ultra $29.99 $26.99 75
Probiotics Gummies $19.99 $17.99 2

The vitamin content in up4’s Men’s Probiotic is of particular importance, especially its inclusion of vitamin D. D vitamin deficiencies are often linked with low testosterone levels, so in addition to protecting the heart and gut, up4 might offer benefits for sexual health as well.

One frustration our testers ran into was the company’s chat support. A simple question like “How much does shipping cost?” led to a five-minute wait, after which we were told to put a product in the cart and go to checkout to see how much shipping would cost. We did this, and every order we placed received free shipping.

Seed

Best for cardiovascular health and low-FODMAP dieters

Pros

  • Free from most allergens
  • Designated glyphosate-free
  • Great choice for low FODMAP diets
  • Comes with a convenient travel vial
  • Free shipping in the US
  • Powdered option for kids and teens
  • Great return policy
  • Strains validated by whole-genome sequencing

Cons

  • Can only be purchased as a subscription
  • A tad on the pricey side

Seed offers one of the most scientifically rigorous approaches to the development of a probiotic, and they pour that research and attention into a single product for adults and a single product for children and teens. They mind every important detail to ensure you get a product that doesn’t sacrifice convenience for efficacy or sustainability for quality.

For example, Seed uses probiotic strains that other companies avoid because they require special capsule coatings and, occasionally, refrigeration. But Seed developed an encapsulation system that protects these strains from stomach acid while preserving them at room temperature. They also provide you with a reusable jar in your first shipment and send all subsequent shipments in recyclable bags to cut down on waste.

The Seed website also offers plenty of useful information for anyone curious about their manufacturing processes or the microbiome in general. And if you’re unsatisfied with their product, you can get a full refund on your first shipment without even sending anything back to the company.

Here’s a look at how their adult and kids’ formulas compare:

  Monthly cost Strain count AFUs (in billions)
DS-01 for adults $49.99 24 53
PDS-08 for kids $39.99 9 20

The kids’ formula is less aggressive. It’s a powdered probiotic you mix into water, and it’s free of sugar, flavors, or preservatives. It also comes in a different container than the adult jar. Children receive a container that lets them track their daily usage, so they’ll always know whether or not they took today’s probiotics. It’s appropriate for children ages 3-17.

Noteworthy strains for men’s health found in Seed DS-01 include L. plantarum SD-LPLDL-UK and B. lactis SD-MB2409-IT.

For FODMAP dieters

The majority of prebiotics added to probiotic supplements come from chicory or artichoke root, which are high-FODMAP ingredients. Some companies merely label their prebiotics as oligosaccharides or fructooligosaccharides without claiming a source. Any of these prebiotics can have negative effects for people with IBS or similar digestive conditions.

Those on low-FODMAP diets often have to seek out probiotics without prebiotic fiber included, but Seed offers them another option. They use pomegranate as their sole prebiotic — a low-FODMAP ingredient with recently discovered prebiotic capabilities.

Garden of Life

Best raw option

Pros

  • Probiotics grown naturally in a raw foods environment
  • Up to 85 billion CFUs
  • Great for lactose intolerance
  • Extensive vitamin and mineral profile
  • Free shipping on orders over $25

Cons

  • Raw options are not vegan-friendly
  • No strain-specific information
  • No subscription options
  • Large serving size

Garden of Life is a far-reaching wellness company that offers everything from probiotics and vitamins to protein bars and collagen peptides. They have an extensive probiotic selection, but we’re focusing mostly on the products that explicitly target men.

Garden of Life offers three different probiotic supplements, two of which are raw and one of which is sold under their Dr. Formulated banner. Like Ora’s organic designation, the raw designation for these Garden of Life probiotics is more about the other ingredients than the probiotics themselves.

That said, Garden of Life’s other ingredients are part of a stew they use to breed their probiotics. That’s how you end up with so many vitamins and minerals, and it’s also why there are more prebiotics in these products than many competitors.

Here’s how Garden of life’s three male-oriented probiotics price out alongside a high-potency genderless option:

  Cost Strain count CFUs (in billions)
Dr. Formulated for Men $34.39 15 50
Raw Men $45.59 31 85
Raw Men 50 and Wiser $45.59 32 85
Platinum Series Restore Immunity with Zinc $47.99 13 200

The major difference between the regular Raw Men and Raw Men 50 and Wiser is that the strains included in the latter have more clinically studied benefits for colon health. Also worth noting is that the Dr. Formulated men’s probiotic is the only one of the three that does not contain dairy. The raw probiotics use dairy to generate lactose digesting enzymes to help people with lactose intolerance. While not vegan-friendly, that actually makes them a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant, as they can help ease lactose digestion.

NaturesPlus

Best for sexual health

Pros

  • Contains saw palmetto
  • 60 billion CFU
  • Good choice for prostate health
  • Gluten-free

Cons

NaturesPlus offers a wide range of supplements for children and adults, including vitamins, melatonin, collagen, and more. Their men’s probiotic boasts 60 billion CFUs of 21 bacterial strains, but it stands out for its inclusion of saw palmetto in the formula.

Saw palmetto extract is perhaps most widely used in sexual health and hair loss supplements. Multiple clinical trials illustrate its ability to improve male sexual function and regrow hair, but from a health and wellness standpoint, it’s saw palmetto’s connection to prostate health that we believe to be most important.

Saw palmetto is often used as a non-prescription supplement to medical treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), often referred to as an enlarged prostate. BPH is extremely common and gets more common as men age. It can cause sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence, and extreme discomfort. It can also be a prelude to prostate cancer.

We found the best prices for NaturesPlus products on iHerb, where one bottle of their GI Natural men’s probiotic costs $32.09 as a one-time purchase or $30.49 with a subscription. Shipping is free at those prices.

Renew Life

Best post-antibiotic

Pros

  • 90 billion CFUs
  • Flexible delivery schedules
  • Relatively small capsules
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
  • 10% off with a subscription

Cons

  • May be too aggressive a dose for sensitive stomachs
  • Does not contain any prebiotic fiber
  • Described as “best if kept refrigerated”

Renew Life focuses on digestive wellness and immunity, with a range of probiotics and vitamins attuned to specific needs. In addition to traditional capsules, the collection includes gummies and powders for all ages and chewable tablets for kids.

With 90 billion CFUs, we think Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora Men’s Care is best suited for those with some experience taking probiotics. This is doubly true when you consider that all those probiotics are packed into one capsule. That means you can’t wean yourself onto this one the way you could a probiotic that required two or three capsules per serving. And dropping too many CFUs into a stomach that isn’t used to it can lead to some discomfort.

That said, those 90 billion CFUs make this product the most potent men’s offering on our list. And because the company still limits its strain count to just 12, you have a greater chance of those beneficial bacterial colonies taking root and growing than you would with fewer CFUs of more strains. There’s simply less competition among the good bacteria. That’s also why we consider this a smart choice to take after a course of antibiotics, as you can aggressively recolonize with good bacteria.

One bottle of Renew Life Ultimate Flora Men’s Care costs $37.49, but you can save 10% with a subscription, bringing the cost down to $33.74. Subscribing also unlocks free shipping. One-time orders incur a $5.99 shipping fee.

Frequently asked questions about probiotics for men

Do probiotics for men really work?

Based on the research we’ve reviewed and the testing we’ve performed, we can confidently say that probiotics for men work well for digestive regularity and comfort. Our testing periods were not long enough, nor was our sample size large enough to accurately determine efficacy for testosterone levels, prostate health, or cardiovascular health. But research indicates specific subspecies and strains will positively affect these areas, and we only included products containing those subspecies in our guide.

Are probiotics safe for men?

Probiotics are generally very well tolerated. Common side effects revolve around the digestive tract, with nausea, bloating, or diarrhea among the most regular. But these often fade as the body adjusts and your microbiome evolves to include these more beneficial bacteria. Of course, you should speak with your doctor before starting any new regimen.

What’s in probiotics for men?

Probiotics formulated for men include multiple strains of beneficial bacteria in sufficient quantities to starve out bad bacteria for a limited food supply in your gut. Many strains in male-oriented probiotics boast clinical evidence showing their ability to prevent heart disease, improve male sexual function, and safeguard the colon against cancer.

How long do probiotics take to work?

You may feel some of the effects of probiotics within an hour of your first dose. But the most important effects take several weeks to set in, as the colonies of good bacteria in your gut take time to outnumber the bad.

Can I take probiotics on a low FODMAP diet?

Probiotics on their own are low-FODMAP and beneficial for patients with IBS and similar digestive issues. However, many probiotics include prebiotic fibers that are not FODMAP-friendly. A few companies make a point to include FODMAP-friendly prebiotics like pomegranate. If you can’t find these, you should look for a probiotic that does not include any prebiotic fiber.

Why you should trust us

At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service we review, including thermogenic probiotics. All told, our team has collectively spent hundreds of hours testing and researching probiotics to provide an accurate, unbiased analysis of how they compare, free of marketing jargon and gimmicks.

Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions to live healthier lifestyles. We evaluate the service based on adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this guide was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

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