5 Supplements Critical for Men’s Health

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, hitthatswitch

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, hitthatswitch

We couldn’t let the ladies have all the fun – today Dr. Ross advises the gentleman on what supplements men should consider taking.

Below are general recommendations for anyone looking to improve their overall health and wellness. These five nutritional supplements should become part of a daily routine.

5 Supplements Critical for Men’s Health

1. High-potency daily vitamin/mineral supplement.

The foundation of everyone’s nutritional supplement program.  When I discuss nutritional supplements, I always emphasize that the government standards known as the RDA  or Recommended Daily Allowance are a very outmoded and inappropriate set of guidelines – alternately, the “Really Dumb Allowance.”  The RDA is like the “minimum wage” of nutrition.  We need to move beyond the concept of a 1-a-day vitamin pill.

It is also important to divide your nutritional supplements into twice-daily dosing rather than just once a day.  Taking supplements twice a day maintains higher levels of the nutrients in the blood stream over a longer period of time.  A product that I recommend to many of my clients is called Two-Per-Day, formulated by The Life Extension Foundation, contains the highest potency of supplements that can be contained in two tablets.

2. Extra antioxidants.

Highly reactive molecules called free radicals are one of the primary causes of the aging process.  Antioxidants are nutrients that neutralize free radicals, which helps prevent damage and destruction throughout your body.  Individuals can slow down their aging process by understanding how to utilize therapeutic doses of antioxidants. The primary antioxidants that I recommend are:

  • Vitamin C:  1,000 mg twice daily
  • Vitamin E:  400 IU of mixed tocopherols
  • Selenium:  400 mcg once daily
  • Vitamin A or beta-carotene 25,000 IU/day
  • Lipoic acid:  100 mg once or twice daily
  • Coenzyme Q10: 50 to 100 mg once or twice daily

3. Smart Solutions for Prostate Health.

As men age, our testosterone levels decline.  This is partially due to an increased activity of an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase as men age.  5-alpha reductase converts testosterone into dihydrotesterone (DHT).  DHT is 10 times more powerful than testosterone in terms of stimulating cellular growth, which contributes to swollen prostate gland (called benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH) and increased risks of developing prostate cancer.  Thus, the age-associated increase in the activity of 5-alpha reductase simultaneously lowers testosterone levels and increases DHT-associated BPH and prostate cancer risks.

Zinc is a mineral/nutrient that reduced the activity of 5-alpha reductase.  Studies report that men with BPH who take 45 mg of zinc daily results in improved symptoms of frequent urination and/or difficult urination, and an actual shrinkage of a swollen prostate.

Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is an herbal product that is best known for its ability to decrease symptoms of an enlarged prostate or BPH.  Saw palmetto’s multiple active ingredients probably result in several mechanisms of action.  Two known benefits are its anti-inflammatory activity and its ability to reduce the activity of 5-alpha reductase, which lowers the conversion of testosterone to DHT.   I only recommend saw palmetto extract products that are standardized to contain from 85% to 95% of the active fatty acids.  The dose is one or two capsules daily.

Lycopene is a product that is well known for its prostate benefits. Lycopene occurs naturally in tomatoes, watermelon, apricots and other fiery-hued. Numerous studies report men who consume higher amounts of lycopene-containing foods have lower incidence of BPH and prostate cancer.  I recommend taking a daily lycopene supplement containing from 10 mg to 30 mg for prostate health.

4. Omega-3 fish oils (EPA & DHA).

These should be part of everyone’s supplement program.  The American diet is dangerously deficient in these long-chain omega-3 fats.  They are critical for the structure of cell walls and cellular membranes in the body.  Suboptimal levels of these omega-3 fats means every cell in your body will be under-functioning.  Optimal levels of the omega-3 fats also reduces risks to many diseases from cancer, arthritis, strokes, heart attack and Alzheimer’s disease.

Many fish oil products contain oxidized oils and traces of toxins from the fish.  I recommend the Nordic Naturals brand of omega-3 fish oil products as independent 3rd party testing reports their products have the lowest level of toxins. I recommend that people take 1 or 2 capsules twice daily.

5. Vitamin D3.

Vitamin D controls the activity of thousands of genes, especially those that regulate our immune system. We get vitamin D from sunlight having direct contact on our skin. With our long hours spent indoors, globally we suffer from a serious nutritional deficiency of vitamin D.

Experts suggest maintaining blood levels of vitamin D (measured as 25-hydroxy vitamin D) between 50-60 ng/ml.  Most adults can benefit by taking 4,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily.  Better absorption of vitamin D supplements is obtained when it is taken at the largest meal of the day. I also recommend having your vitamin D level checked periodically to insure that the dose you are taking is sufficient.

How WellnessFX can help 

WellnessFX members have direct access to purchase supplements through our partners at Thorne Research. When you log in to your WellnessFX account, you’ll see an option to Buy Supplements up at the top to get you started. Still haven’t signed up for a free WellnessFX account? What are you waiting for?

If you to test your Vitamin D levels, our WellnessFX Baseline blood lab package includes 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D (as well as a closer look into liver and kidney health, electrolytes, inflammation, and more).

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.