Supplements for Men

The statistics on men's health are alarming. Almost half of men in the western world are overweight, 13% of them obese. 80% of men don't exercise the recommended three times a week and 60% of middle-aged men don't exercise at all.

Many men drink alcohol, smoke and eat a high-fat, processed food diet. Two thirds of men do not consult doctors on a regular basis. It's no wonder that high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, stress, coronary disease and certain cancers are on the rise among males.

Larger, active men require more than the RDA/DRI of vitamins and minerals to fuel their bodies. Those who smoke, drink alcohol, endure stress or suffer from certain ailments could benefit from greater doses of some vitamins, minerals, herbs or other dietary supplements. There is no shortage of vitamin formulas geared towards men and their particular health issues. Be weary of those claiming to prevent hair loss, enhance the libido or turn you into Charles Atlas. However, some of the following nutrients may be beneficial.

Bee pollen and royal jelly may help reduce symptoms of stress, give one a boost of energy and strengthen the immune system. Some swear that ginseng improves stamina and ginko biloba increases mental endurance.

Vitamin C and the B vitamins are depleted when one is stressed - a metabolic reaction to the fight-or-flight response - so it is wise to ensure you top up on these nutrients. A deficiency of biotin, in particular, may lead to decreased muscle tone, hair loss and flaking skin. Antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E plus zinc may improve one's sperm count.

Coronary heart disease is responsible for one third to one half of all male deaths. To counteract this, a Mediterranean diet containing oleic acid-rich olive oil, allicin-rich garlic, omega-3 essential fatty acids-rich oily fish, fresh produce, high fiber, plenty of antioxidant-rich foods and red wine may be beneficial.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80% of men will eventually encounter prostate problems. Enlargement of the prostate gland causes frequent, often painful urination. The herb saw palmetto has had some success in relieving the inflammation of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and influencing hormone levels that affect this condition.

There is some excitement surrounding research on lycopene, a powerful carotenoid found in tomatoes that may play a role in fending off prostate cancer.

As a final note for men, evening primrose oil can help heal razor rash.

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