Top 10 Supplements For Men

The ones they really need

Top 10 Supplements For Men

The 10 best daily supplements that men really need.

Men have unique nutritional needs, just as women and children do. But when it comes to the supplements men should take, most of the focus tends to be on supplements to enhance athletic or sexual performance.

Although energy- and performance-enhancing supplements are indeed popular, they should not come to a man’s mind first when he asks himself, “Which supplements are for me?” Here’s what should.

1. Multivitamin-multimineral

No pill can substitute for the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle. However, declining nutrient density in foods and environmental stressors such as pollution make it important for men to ensure they are meeting their basic nutritional needs and securing a reserve of disease-fighting antioxidants and other nutrients.

The easiest way to do this is to take a high-quality, daily multivitamin-multimineral (multi) supplement. Multis contain vitamins, minerals, and accessory nutrients or herbs. They combine multiple beneficial nutrients in a single, convenient product to prevent nutritional deficiencies and achieve higher intakes of selected nutrients that benefit health.

But buyers beware! As with anything, quality varies in nutritional supplements, particularly multis. Buying a cheap multi inevitably means that some nutrients will not meet label claims, or will not be present in optimal amounts.

2. Vitamin C

Probably the best-known nutritional supplement, vitamin C has wide-ranging benefits for men, yet its value is often obscured by hot new supplements hitting the market. Vitamin C can stand toe-to-toe with any new super-ingredient. It’s a superior antioxidant and vital for healthy connective tissue.

Every man, regardless of his age, needs to keep heart health in mind. The development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is accelerated by oxidative stress, and antioxidants such as vitamin C are important in halting its progression.

Antioxidants inhibit LDL oxidation (the primary event in atherosclerosis plaque formation) and keep white blood cells from adhering to the inner lining of blood vessels. They also prevent dysfunction in the lining of blood vessels, which can otherwise cause problems with male sexual performance.

Recommended daily intake
Although 100 to 200 mg per day may be sufficient for the prevention of heart disease, research points to benefits for cold and flu prevention in the range of 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day. Most doctors recommend 500 to 1,000 mg per day for general maintenance.

3. Vitamin E
Along with vitamin C, vitamin E protects against heart disease (most importantly, by preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol).

There is much research on vitamin E, though it is sometimes contradictory and confusing. Some studies show vitamin E prevents heart disease, whereas others find no benefit. Vitamin E needs to be taken in conjunction with other nutrients because various nutritional deficiencies can impair the body’s ability to utilize vitamin E optimally.

Vitamin E offers a wide range of health benefits beyond preventing heart disease: it may prevent Parkinson’s disease, boost immune strength against colds and flu in seniors, and even fight allergies.

Recommended daily intake
The natural forms of vitamin E are more active and better absorbed. Look for a product providing at least 400 IU per day of mixed tocopherols (and tocotrienols if possible).

4. Pomegranate

Pomegranate is a rich source of antioxidant polyphenols. The most abundant of these is punicalagin, thought by many to be responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits.

Punicalagin may inhibit colon cancer cell proliferation and inflammation, and may destroy colon cancer cells through a process known as apoptosis. Punicalagin may also slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by inhibiting an enzyme called beta-secretase.

Pomegranate is rich in anthocyanins, the purple pigments that give colour and antioxidant power to blueberries, bilberries, and acai. Pomegranate contains ellagic acid, an antioxidant and potential cancer fighter. Like punicalagin, ellagic acid may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Clinical and lab research found that pomegranate increased the doubling time for PSA (a marker of prostate cancer progression), meaning that pomegranate delayed progression of the disease.

Recommended daily intake
Pomegranate is available in many forms. For capsules and tablets, most manufacturers recommend 250 mg (the most common amount found in a single capsule) one to four times per day. Since few published clinical trials of pomegranate supplements exist, try to get a similar amount of active constituents as would be found in 1.5 to 1.7 oz (45 mL) of juice (that is, about 94 mg of punicalagin, 8 mg of ellagic acid, and 23 mg of anthocyanins).

5. Coenzyme Q10
Also known as ubiquinone or ubiquinol, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is used by nearly all cells in the body, particularly those with high energy requirements, to transform food into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy on which the body runs. Energy-dependent tissues such as the heart and brain have especially high requirements for CoQ10.

CoQ10 is depleted by cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Any man taking statin drugs for cholesterol should also take CoQ10 to prevent adverse effects of those drugs.

But the benefits of CoQ10 go far beyond mitigating adverse effects of drugs. CoQ10 affects cellular energy and health across a wide range of systems.

  • It may improve high blood pressure.
  • It may reduce the frequency of migraines in chronic sufferers.
  • It may improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms and slow the disease’s progression.
  • It has even been shown to reduce death rates and the recurrence of cardiac events in those who have suffered a heart attack, especially when combined with selenium.

Recommended daily intake
Typical levels of supplementation range from 30 to 90 mg per day, although people with specific health conditions may benefit from higher amounts (taken under a doctor’s supervision).

6. Rhodiola

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries in the traditional medicine of Russia, Scandinavia, and other countries.

Adaptogens help the body cope with stress. Rhodiola is a popular tonic remedy for decreasing fatigue, improving attention span, and enhancing memory. Also an antioxidant, rhodiola stimulates immune function and may increase sexual energy.

Recommended daily intake
Take 200 to 600 mg per day of an extract standardized to contain at least 3 percent rosavins and 0.8 to 1 percent salidroside.

7. Asian ginseng

Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) has been a part of Chinese medicine for two millennia. Although traditionally used to enhance mental and physical vitality in the elderly, ginseng is beneficial for younger men as well.

Healthy college students were better able to perform mental tasks, reduce mental fatigue, and improve blood sugar metabolism when they took a ginseng supplement. Men who have sexual difficulties due to inability to achieve an erection may also be helped by Asian ginseng.

Recommended daily intake
Ginseng root extracts standardized to 5 to 7 percent ginsenosides may be taken in amounts ranging from 200 to 500 mg per day.

8. Green tea

Green tea has been consumed for centuries, particularly in Asia, prized for its benefits in promoting heart health and preventing cancer. Recent research supports these traditional uses, as extracts of the plant (Camellia sinensis) have been shown to lower cholesterol, and tea intake has been associated with lower blood pressure.

Though the jury is still out, the majority of studies point to some cancer-prevention benefits of regular green tea consumption. Evidence is strongest, though not conclusive, for green tea and reduced risk of gastrointestinal tract, breast, lung, and prostate cancers.

Green tea extracts, which concentrate active polyphenols (a type of antioxidant), are also available and may be effective against the same complaints as the green tea beverage. Healthy adults who took a standardized green tea extract during the cold and flu season had 22.9 percent fewer illnesses lasting two or more days, and only 5.7 percent of them sought medical care, compared with 12.7 percent in the placebo group.

Gargling with a green tea extract has also been shown to enhance the efficacy of the influenza vaccine.

Recommended daily intake
Most of the research on the health benefits of green tea is based on amounts of green tea ordinarily consumed in Asian countries, which is about 3 cups (750 mL) per day. For purposes of comparison with standardized green tea extracts, this amount of tea provides approximately 240 to 320 mg of polyphenols.

9. Lycopene

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant from the family of red, orange, and yellow fat-soluble pigments called carotenoids. Carotenoids, typified by beta-carotene, are best known for lending carrots their orange colour. Carotenoids are found in all plant food, and are most plentiful in those that have the brightest colour.

The best food source of lycopene is tomatoes, but it is also present in watermelon, pink grapefruit, and guava. Why should men get enough lycopene? Because published research found that higher intake of tomatoes or higher blood levels of lycopene correlates strongly with a reduced risk of cancer, especially cancer of the prostate.

Recommended daily intake
The ideal amount of lycopene to take each day is not known, but some research suggests that optimal cancer prevention requires at least 6.5 mg per day.

10. Saw palmetto

As men pass the age of 50, one of the more common health complaints is benign (noncancerous) enlargement of the prostate gland. This condition, which causes increased frequency of urination during the night and other irksome symptoms, is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and is treatable with both drugs and natural therapies.

Probably the best studied of these natural remedies is saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). Taking a daily, standardized extract of saw palmetto may improve symptoms of BPH, according to several well-controlled clinical trials. A high-profile study published in 2006 in the New England Journal of Medicine, however, found no benefit for men with BPH, and this study received much attention in the media. Although the study was one of the most rigorously controlled to date, it raised questions, since its results were inconsistent with other research.

What explains the discrepancy between the results of that study and those of previous studies? One possible explanation is that the 2006 study excluded men with mild BPH, even though previous studies have found the herb effective for mild to moderate BPH. The exclusion of this most common group of sufferers likely skewed the results, giving a falsely negative impression of the plant’s capabilities.

Recommended daily intake
For men with mild to moderate BPH, the best advice is still to consider this safe and effective herbal remedy. For early-stage BPH, 160 mg of liposterolic saw palmetto herbal extract in capsules can be taken twice per day. Some research suggests that 320 mg once per day may be equally effective.


A good multi

What should you look for in a good multi? Here is a breakdown of ingredients and the optimum levels that should appear in a quality multi.

Ingredient  Amount
Vitamin A (as mixed carotenoids)  5,000 IU
Thiamine  1.5 mg
Riboflavin  1.7 mg
Niacin  20 mg
Vitamin B6  10 mg
Folic acid  400 mcg
Vitamin B12 50 mcg
Pantothenic acid  10 mg
Biotin  300 mcg
Vitamin C  100-200 mg
Vitamin D  400-1,000 IU
Vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols)  30-400 IU
Calcium  800-1,000 mg
Magnesium  250-400 mg
Zinc  15-25 mg
Iodine  150 mcg
Selenium  100-200 mcg
Copper  1-3 mg
Manganese  2-5 mg
Molybdenum  75 mcg
Chromium 

120-200 mcg


Combinations to avoid

Some supplements should not be taken by certain individuals who are taking other therapeutic medications. 

  • Multis containing vitamin K should be avoided by people taking warfarin.
  • Multis with iron should be avoided unless a doctor has specifically identified an iron deficiency.
  • Vitamin E and Asian ginseng have blood-thinning effects and should not be combined with Aspirin, warfarin, ticlodipine, or other blood thinners.
  • Pomegranate may interfere with metabolism of carbamazepine, a drug used to control seizures and epilepsy, and of midazolam, a Valium-like sedative. Until more is known, it is recommended that people taking these drugs consult with their doctor before taking pomegranate.
  • Green tea should not be combined with codeine, atropine, Cardec DM, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, Lomotil/Lonox, theophylline/aminophylline, or warfarin.
  • CoQ10 should not be combined with warfarin.

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