Why are vitamins and supplements so important for men’s health? One reason is that no matter how hard you try and how dedicated you are to following a healthy diet, you just can’t get all the nutrients you need, especially if you are fighting disease, recovering from treatment, or just wanting to maintain maximum immunity as part of a healthy lifestyle.
You also work late, travel a lot, don’t have time to prepare healthy meals, and eat on the run: there are dozens of excuses for not getting the optimal nutrition your body needs.
In addition, there are the everyday stressors that take a toll on everyone’s health and wear down the immune system: environmental pollutants, work-related stress, inadequate sleep, not enough exercise, financial worries, and other lifestyle matters. Add to this the stress of having a disease and you have the recipe for a compromised immune system that needs support.
Depending on which supplements you take, they can:
- Strengthen your immune system;
- Enhance your diet;
- Improve your energy and sense of well-being;
- Help with your sexual performance:
- Protect against cardiovascular disease and stroke;
- Aid in protecting you against chronic disease
The following is a list of the five supplements every man over 50 should consider taking. Of course this is not a complete list, as there are many other supplements that may help support your health, but if you had to narrow it down, these five general types of supplements can help promote your heart health, prostate health, hormonal balance, and sexual health — all things that are especially important as you age.
Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients for men. Researchers have found that diets rich in magnesium reduce your risk for colon cancer and inflammatory diseases like diabetes and having a magnesium deficiency is also linked to some cancers. This important mineral also plays a role in curing chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, which strikes nearly 50% of men over 50.
Athletes and strong exercisers should also take magnesium to aid in muscle repair, injury prevention, and to reduce inflammation. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium is 400 to 420 mg but personally I take approximately 1500mg a day – mainly because of the level of intensity in my exercise program.
Omega-3 fatty acids need to be obtained from supplements as they cannot be produced by your body. There are many health benefits of omega-3 including lowering cholesterol, supporting overall cardiovascular health, preventing cancer cell growth, and helping to regulate food consumption and metabolism. These fatty acids calm the inflammatory response in the body, helping to prevent tissue damage as well as other diseases associated with inflammation.
Related: The best supplements to crank up your husband’s sex drive
Besides helping to prevent prostate cancer, omega-3 may also help men prevent other prostate conditions such as enlarged prostate due to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis.
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA, DHA, and ALA. EPA and DHA offer the most health benefits. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish like salmon, herring, and trout twice a week, and recommends that people with heart disease take 1 gram EPA+DHA and people with high triglycerides to take 2 to 4 grams EPA+DHA under the care of a physician.
3. Natural testosterone support supplements
When your hormonal balance gets, well, unbalanced, there are a number of supplements that can help you regain that balance to support your metabolism, libido, erectile function, energy mood, and strength. The important difference between taking natural supplements and testosterone therapy is that vitamins and supplements help boost your body’s natural production of testosterone, bringing it to normal, healthy levels, whereas testosterone therapy has you taking testosterone itself, which stops your body’s own production of this important hormone. Testosterone therapy can also lead to dependence on the therapy and lead to other dangerous side effects.
Supplements and vitamins that can support your sexual health and testosterone production (plus free bound testosterone) include the following:
- Plant sterols like beta-sitosterol
- Tribulus terrestris
- Vitamin D
- Green tea
- Gingko biloba
- Avena sativa
- Beet root
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and one of its active components is curcumin, a polyphenol with many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These spices have long been used in Indian and Chinese medicine, but thousands of modern studies around the world have uncovered numerous health benefits of this natural ingredient.
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For starters, turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps with osteoarthritis, joint pain, and immune response. It also acts as a blood thinner, and has been found to help men with depression and diabetes. Of particular interest to men, curcumin has been studied for its effect in reducing well-established prostate cancer tumors and helping support prostate health for BPH and prostatitis patients.
5. Prostate supplements
There are a number of prostate supplements to help promote both prostate and urinary health. Curcumin, as mentioned above, is one, but other well-researched natural ingredients can also help support an aging prostate. There are also supplements for prostatitis that can be part of a holistic healing approach to managing pelvic pain and male urinary health.
Many prostate supplements work even better when the ingredients are combined with others, including the following:
- Graminex pollen extracts
- Saw palmetto
- Vitamin D
- Pygeum africanum
- Stinging Nettle
- Green tea
Another important supplement that supports prostate health, gut health, and overall immunity is a quality daily probiotic.
Okay, so technically I’ve provided more than five supplements and vitamins every man should take. However, these five categories of supplements are important for supporting your health from the cardiovascular, prostate, hormonal, inflammation-fighting, and immune-supporting perspective. If you are looking to support your health, start with eating a healthy, well-rounded diet and then boost those benefits with therapeutic doses of supplements formulated for men over 50.
For more great posts on male health, check these out:
Top 3 foods for better male sexual health
8 worst foods for prostate health