Vitamins for Men

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The most basic of these tools for male health is a good multivitamin formula...Learn more.

1. What Are Some Of The Ingredients To Look For In A Men's Multi-Vitamin?

The most basic of these tools for male health is a good multivitamin formula. No other supplement you can purchase will provide as much across-the-board health protection—that is, if you pick the right one. In particular, a men’s multivitamin ought to provide nutrients for heart health, given that men are much more likely to die prematurely of cardiovascular disease than are women. So look for a multi that has generous amounts of these nutrients on the label:

B-Complex Vitamins: A number of studies suggest that B-vitamins in greater-than-RDA amounts, especially B-6, B-12, and folic acid, can help lower levels of the toxic compound homocysteine, increasingly recognized by scientists and doctors as an even greater threat to a healthy cardiovascular system than cholesterol.

Vitamin E In The Natural Alpha-Tocopherol Form: Since the nineteen-fifties scientists have observed that higher intakes of this powerful antioxidant nutrient correlate with an overall lower risk of heart attack and stroke. (Vitamin E may also help to reduce the risk of prostate cancer as well.) Look for a multivitamin that contains 100 units or more of vitamin E.

Vitamin C (Also Known As Ascorbic Acid): The famed Nobel Prize-winning scientist Linus Pauling believed that vitamin C helped inhibit the buildup of plaque in the arteries by making the endothelium act like a nonstick Teflon surface. Also, at least one epidemiology study suggests that people who ingest 500 mg per day of vitamin C may possibly live up to two years longer than those who do not.

Magneisum: This mineral appears to be a major player in fighting atherosclerosis as well as in keeping blood pressure in a healthy range. Moreover, the more stress we are under, the more magnesium we require. Four hundred milligrams per day of magnesium per day is a good amount to consider taking.

Selenium: A trace mineral once thought to be toxic but now understood to be a vital nutrient, selenium appears to act synergistically with vitamin E to bring down overall risk of stroke and heart disease. And one landmark study conducted in the nineteen-nineties suggests strongly that consuming 200 micrograms per day of selenium may reduce cancer mortality over a ten-year period by an astonishing 50%.

Zinc: Although this mineral doesn’t seem to offer a great deal of heart protection, it is a key player in promoting a healthy immune system, as well as in preventing an enlarged protstate,. Somewhere between fifteen and thirty milligrams of zinc per day is a reasonable amount to look for in a good multivitamin.

2. What Else Should I Know About Multi-Vitamins?

Look for a multivitamin that is iron-free. Some scientists and researchers suspect that too much iron may oxidize cholesterol, which in turn could lead to fatty buildup in the arteries. Relay on food sources to maintain your iron levels, unless your doctor says otherwise.

For those men who don’t eat like an Eskimo, another crucial heart nutrient is omega-3, either from fish oil or from flax oil. This essential fatty acid has been shown in hundreds of studies to lower cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure, and to even act as a natural blood thinner that helps to prevent clots. If there is one supplement about which the scientific evidence for its benefits can be said to be overwhelming, it is omega-3.

Men over the age of forty commonly experience enlargement of the prostate, sometimes referred to as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or BPH. Men with BPH will find themselves having to get up several times in the night to go the bathroom, which in turn can affect getting a good night’s sleep. To help combat this, consider (in addition to zinc) using herbal formulas that contain standardized extracts of saw palmetto, pygeum, stinging nettle, and plant sterols. Also, an increasing amount of research points to lycopene (the substance that makes tomatoes red), green tea extract, and extra vitamin D as nutrients that may lessen the chances of developing prostate cancer.

If your energy level is flagging, consider trying one or more of the adaptogenic herbs, particularly Korean ginseng and rhodiola. Many herbalists contend that these nutrients not only raise energy levels but increase the body’s ability to withstand stress, be it physical or emotional.

Unfortunately, energy isn’t the only thing that can sometimes begin to flag in a man’s mid-life phase. While some decline in libido might be a good thing (it’s nice to be able to occasionally think about something besides the opposite sex), many men find that their desire drops too low. If that’s the case, one supplement to keep in mind is DHEA, short for dehydroepiandrosterone.

Some small-scale studies suggest that this inexpensive supplement may safely upregulate the body’s natural production of testosterone, levels of which usually begin to decline in middle age. Other potentially useful supplements to increase drive and potency include herbs such as horny goat weed (the name pretty much says it all), Peruvian maca, muira puama, and yohimbe. Many good combination formulas that include some or all of these nutrients are on the market.

We are lucky to live in a time in which so many good and useful supplements can be had for a reasonable cost. But bear in mind that pills alone can’t keep you healthy. A good diet, enough sleep, and yes, the occasional trip to the gym can do wonders for you as well. Supplements are only one link in the chain of wellness.

And remember—you can get the best men’s supplements at the best prices from!