(Do Probiotics Increase Testicle Size,
written by David Jaynes)
You’ve heard of probiotics by now, probably in the context of fixing your “gut flora.”
That’s the bacteria culture living in your stomach that helps you break down and process food.
Yogurts like Activia advertise their value for digestive health.
But some probiotics can also help with the size of your testicles.
Studies suggest the right kind of bacteria in your system can stimulate your body to improve your testicular function, testicular size, and sexual health.
This research is newer and ongoing (though some of it we’ve known from folk medicine for a very long time), so let’s take a look at what we know as of today.
The bacteria living in your gut have a population of about 100 trillion, which amounts to 10 times as many bacterial cells in your body as you have human cells.
Though research and understanding of this gut flora climate is new, with numbers like that it should be no surprise that what comprises them will impact your health.
In the past ten years, we’ve discovered how important that gut flora colony is:
But “that’s not all!” More recent research has pointed to several ways your personal bacterial colony impacts your sexual health, including how probiotics can increase testicle size, health and even testosterone production.
We’ve known for a while that probiotics can help prevent or ease yeast infections and urinary tract infections, which is why women are encouraged to eat yogurt after taking a course of antibiotics.
More recently, specific research into the probiotic lactobacillus reuteri has found benefits for men.
Lactobacillus reuteri is a lactose-producing bacteria sometimes found naturally in humans, but more often growing in the digestive tracts of other mammals, and in birds.
Medical science originally used it for its anti-inflammatory properties, which helped ease symptoms of severe gastrointestinal ailments.
From that beginning, a team of researchers led by Theofilos Poutahidis of Aristotle University in Greece and MIT’s Alex Springer, looked at how lactobacillus reuteri might impact sexual health. They had observed how other anti-inflammatories sometimes had positive impact, and investigated that mechanic with mice (source).
The study took two groups of mice, giving one regular water daily and the other water laced with lactobacillus reuteri. They then looked at markers for sexual health in both groups of mice, including testicular mass, Leydig cell numbers, and sperm count.
Result: the mice given l. reuteri showed increases in all measured markers. They found probiotics increase testicle size, boost sperm production, and raise the number of Leydig cells in a subject.
This led Springer and Poutahidis to conclude that “dietary L. reuteri or other probiotic supplementation may provide a viable natural approach to prevention of male hypogonadism.”
In scientific research, that a thing is true usually gets discovered before they figure out why and how that thing happens. That’s the case with how probiotics increase testicle size, but here’s the best theory science has come up with so far.
It starts with cortisol.
Cortisol is one of your stress hormones, released as part of your body’s fight-or-flight response. Like adrenaline, it supercharges your body for immediate action by making you stronger and more resistant to damage.
Also like adrenaline, the same processes are hard on a body that doesn’t immediately get a lot of physical activity.
Specific to this situation, cortisol is known to absolutely shred your body’s testosterone reserves if it remains chronically elevated.
This can be partially explained because cortisol increases your levels of abdominal fat. Abdominal fat produces an enzyme that converts testosterone into estradiol, a form of estrogen.
Bottom line: more cortisol = less testosterone. And as you know, lower testosterone can lead to hypogonadism: the shrinking of your testes.
Dr. John Cryan of University College in Cork tested groups of mice by exposing them to stress (source).
As with the MIT/Aristotle study, one group had been given L. reuteri and one had not. He observed fewer symptoms of stress among the mice which had been given the probiotic, then he tested cortisol levels in both groups.
Turns out the mice with L. reuteri in their systems had cortisol levels 100 times lower than those without the probiotic.
That’s a pretty clear result: L. reuteri has a direct impact on cortisol levels.
This finding is consistent with the original medical uses of L. reuteri. The anti-inflammatory impact of this probiotic can be attributed to reducing cortisol levels (since cortisol is a key part of how your body swells in response to injury or irritation).
Do probiotics increase testicle size? Although medical research isn’t 100% certain on all of the mechanics that go into it, the conclusion is very clear.
Probiotics like L. reuteri reduce cortisol levels when you’re under stress. Lower cortisol means more serum testosterone. More available testosterone means larger testicles for men suffering from hypogonadism.
Better still, this natural method increases testosterone count steadily over time. Testosterone therapy typically floods the body with testosterone periodically, which can actually reduce your body’s natural testosterone production.
Although you got some L. reuteri from breast milk as a child, most adults have either none of that particular probiotic in their gut flora or very small amounts. To get its benefits, you’ll need to supplement your L. reuteri colony.
My advice: work probiotics, especially L. reuteri, into your daily regimen. Some brands of yogurt contain the bacteria. Just be sure to eat the low sugar versions, since sugar is another testosterone killer.
If you have trouble with dairy for whatever reason, you can also get L. reuteri and other probiotics in pill form. You’ll find them at most natural markets, or you can order them online.