The Best Supplements for Men to Maintain Optimal Health
By Harris Wheless
Research has found that men in the United States have a range of nutrient deficiencies, including a lack of vitamin D, E, A, magnesium, calcium, and everything else in between. Because of this, many people are in search of the best supplements for men in an effort to balance out their diet and nutrition.
Why Do Men Have Nutrient Deficiencies?
When eating a typical western diet like most American men, it can be difficult to obtain all of the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Nutrient deficiencies are not exclusive to men, but they can be different than common deficiencies found in women. Several of these nutrients play important roles in the human body’s general functioning, and if you aren’t getting of them, it can negatively impact your overall health. For this reason, dietary supplements are often taken to incorporate necessary nutrients and promote better health.
What Supplements Should Men Be Taking?
To help combat the lack of vitamins and nutrients in men’s diets, we’ve compiled this list to highlight supplements that may have the most benefit on men’s health.
Fish oil—Fish oil supplements are primarily composed of oil extracted from the tissue of oily fish like cod or krill. About 30% of fish oil is made up of the omega-3 fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have anti-inflammatory and anxiety reduction capabilities. The World Health Organization has stated that “a healthy, balanced diet should include at least 2 portions of fish a week, including 1 of oily fish.” Fish oil can have a significant impact on heart health through lowering cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and blood pressure. Studies have also shown that fish oil can have positive effects on weight loss and vision, as well as bone and skin health.
Beta carotene—Beta carotene is part of a group of pigments called carotenoids, which give color to foods like corn, carrots, and tomatoes. Eating these foods or taking a beta carotene supplement can assist you in getting the nutrients you need for optimum functioning. Carotenoids make up about 50% of the vitamin A a typical American diet requires. More consistent vitamin A intake can promote healthier skin, a stronger immune system, and better eye health. Beta carotene can also act as an antioxidant and protect against cell damage. Additionally, research shows that beta carotene can decrease the risk of certain types of cancer and heart disease.
Calcium—Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body, and is essential for general wellness. About 99% of the calcium found in the body resides in the bones and teeth. Bone density declines as you enter your 30s, but maintaining a high intake of calcium can strengthen your bones and slow bone density loss. Calcium also plays an important role in regulating muscle contraction, including the beating of the heart muscle. The process of normal blood coagulation (clotting) contains a number of steps, which calcium plays a key role in as well. Many dairy foods, drinks, fruits, and vegetables are rich in calcium. But if you’re not getting the calcium you need from your diet, consider trying a calcium supplement.
CBD—CBD is one of a class of cannabis compounds called cannabinoids, which is extracted from hemp and used as the main ingredient in some wellness supplements. CBD supplements are available in a variety of forms, including CBD oil, topicals, capsules, and edibles. Once CBD enters the body, it boosts the endocannabinoid system’s (ECS) regulatory capabilities. The ECS is the system within your body that makes sure other bodily systems function properly. Because of this, taking CBD can have a wide range of effects. For instance, CBD can benefit the heart and circulatory system by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. This can also have a positive effect on other symptoms like stress and anxiety.
Creatine—Creatine is the supplement of choice for a lot of men who engage in organized sports. It is an amino acid naturally found in the body’s muscle cells and helps the muscles generate energy during physical activity. Creatine can be found in red meat and seafood, and has also been shown to positively impact cognitive health. Studies show that creatine can enhance exercise performance, strength, and muscle mass. This muscular boost is especially useful when it comes to short periods of high-intensity activities, like weight lifting or sprinting. It can be used by serious athletes, or those who just play recreationally. Creatine can also be of help to those who have weakened muscles as a result of aging or a medical condition.
Vitamin D—Many men who eat a western diet of processed and refined foods fail to reach the daily recommended vitamin D intake. In fact, it is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the United States, with one study finding that nearly 40% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Sunlight is one good source of vitamin D. Higher vitamin D levels can result in stronger bones and teeth, better lung function, improved cardiovascular health, and increased health of the brain, immune and nervous system. Many medical professionals recommend that men ages 50 and up increase their vitamin D intake. High vitamin D levels have also been found to reduce the risk of cancer and other conditions.
Magnesium—Magnesium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in the human body. It helps you maintain a normal blood pressure, keeps your heart rhythm constant, and your bones strong. But on average, American men only consume 80% of the recommended 400 mg of magnesium a day through food. Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation increases free and total testosterone levels and prevents high blood pressure, which can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Increasing your magnesium intake can also reduce inflammation and lessen your chance of developing heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
What Else Improves Nutrient Intake?
American men are commonly deficient in many of the nutrients that these supplements can help provide. Taking a dietary supplement or a daily multivitamin can have a great long-term effect on your overall health. It’s also important to eat high quality, rich foods that give you the essential vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy.
Depending on your age, state of health, and specific nutrient deficiencies, some of these supplements may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re concerned about certain symptoms you’ve noticed that could be the result of a nutrient deficiency, talk to your doctor about possible approaches to increasing your nutrient intake. Many of these supplements have minimal side effects and a good safety profile. Don’t feel discouraged if one of them doesn’t provide you with the results you were hoping for. Try another, adjust your dosage, or schedule another consultation with your doctor so you can work out the solution together.