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Aug 7, 2020
The 7 Most Important Supplements for Men’s Health
These supplements are a rich source of DPA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, which provide critical support for heart and brain health. Omega-3s also have anti-inflammatory effects, so they may provide relief for aching muscles and joints. Research shows that fish oil can reduce the risk for prostate cancer, lower unhealthy triglyceride levels in the blood and protect the brain from stroke damage. Fish oil supplements are especially important for men who don't eat two or more servings of fish a week, but anyone can benefit from a daily supplement containing up to 3 g fish oil.
Folic acid, also known as folate, is a B vitamin with protective properties that ward off heart disease. Folate prevents the accumulation of a natural substance called homocysteine, which can harm the heart and blood vessels if the body produces too much. Doctors typically recommend a dose of about 400 daily micrograms of folate, usually included in a multivitamin. You can also find this nutrient in avocados, strawberries, oranges, asparagus, spinach and lima beans.
Getting enough zinc in your diet supports healthy testosterone levels, which naturally decline with age. High stress levels and obesity also limit the body's testosterone production, increasing the risk for heart disease, sleep apnea, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, certain cancers, low libido, fatigue, osteoporosis and depression. Add up to 50 mg of zinc to your daily vitamin regimen.
Like zinc, vitamin D can help restore depleted testosterone levels. This nutrient is also beneficial for older men since it supports heart health and strong bones. Some studies correlate low vitamin D levels with a higher risk for colon cancer. Take a daily supplement containing 1,000 IU of vitamin D. You can also get this vitamin from fortified cereal, yogurt, orange juice, eggs, low-fat dairy and fatty fish.
Although this mineral supports many critical functions, the U.S. Dietary Administration says that more than half of Americans don't get enough magnesium. Taking this supplement can improve nerve function, muscle health, synthesis of proteins and blood sugar control. It also joins vitamin D and zinc in promoting healthy testosterone levels. You can find magnesium in foods like bananas, black beans, spinach and almonds as well as in dietary supplements. The National Institutes of Health recommend 400 mg of magnesium daily for men ages 19 to 31 and 420 mg a day for older men.
This category, which includes nutrients such as alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, and vitamins C and E, has diverse and wide-ranging health benefits. Antioxidants protect the body from cell damage caused by environmental exposure, metabolism, stress, sun and even exercise. Research shows that vitamin C intake reduces the risk for cancer fatality in men. Studies on coenzyme Q10 show that this antioxidant reduces blood pressure, protects the blood vessels, and improves male fertility and sperm quality.
Looking for a brain health boost? This B vitamin supports memory and lowers the risk for dementia and depression, especially among older men who may naturally experience some cognitive decline. Doctors recommend 2.4 mcg of B12 each day, which will usually be included in a multivitamin. Fortified cereal is another common source of this important nutrient.
Talk to YOUR doctor before adding these or any other supplements to your self-care regimen. He or she can advise you about possible unwanted interactions depending on your specific health conditions or prescribed medications.
- Dr. Sterling