Best men’s health supplements
From exercise nutrition to prostate support and overall wellbeing, men’s health supplements can help keep you (or a man in your life) in tip-top condition. Some of these may sound familiar, but you might not know the science behind why they’re so good for men. Plus, we’ve included a few that are probably new to you either in benefit or formulation. So, let’s get started!
And remember, anytime you’re choosing a supplement, be sure to look for quality, science-backed ingredients, good manufacturing seals, and transparency in labelling.
- Vitamin D: a key factor in testosterone levels
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body produces upon exposure to sunlight. People with limited exposure to sunlight may have low levels of vitamin D. In its active form, vitamin D functions as a steroid hormone in the body. Experts say it’s essential for male sexual function
Increasing vitamin D stores may boost testosterone and improve other related health measures, such as sperm quality One study found a link between vitamin D deficiency and low testosterone. When participants spent more time in the summer sun, their vitamin D and testosterone levels increased
In another yearlong study, researchers split 65 men into 2 groups, one of which took 3,300 IU of vitamin D daily. The supplement group’s vitamin D levels doubled, and their testosterone levels increased by around 20%, from 10.7 nmol/L to 13.4 nmol/L.
To get more vitamin D, increase your sun exposure. You can also take around 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily and eat more vitamin-D-rich foods.
- Magnesium is crucial to overall wellness
The brain chemical serotonin needs adequate amounts of magnesium to help maintain a balanced mood and proper nervous system function. Too little of the mineral can result in a drop in levels of serotonin and, as a result, contribute to depression, according to a study from the Medical University of Vienna.
Other research has demonstrated how magnesium can be helpful in treating depression. In 2008, for example, a randomized clinical trial showed that magnesium was as effective as imipramine (a tricyclic antidepressant) in treating depression. The authors noted that “since inadequate brain magnesium appears to reduce serotonin levels, and since anti-depressant have been shown to have the action of raiding brain magnesium,” they hypothesized that giving magnesium to people with depression would be beneficial.
Furthermore, far too many people don’t get a sufficient amount of sleep, and magnesium could help you remedy that problem. The hormone melatonin plays a major role in the sleep/wake cycle, and magnesium is necessary for melatonin to function properly and thus facilitate sleep.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was performed in elderly individuals who had insomnia, a condition that affects nearly half of older adults. The participants received either placebo or 500 mg magnesium daily for eight weeks. Those in the magnesium group showed significant increases in sleep time, sleep efficiency, and melatonin when compared with the placebo group.
Boron is a natural element that’s found in large quantities in mineral deposits in the earth all over the world. This element metabolizes vitamins and minerals in your diet, which can improve blood flow that contributes to healthy sexual function and maintaining balanced androgen hormones like testosterone and improves cognitive functions like hand-eye coordination and memory. Furthermore, it increases the effectiveness of vitamin D, which can also contribute to healthy testosterone levels.
It is important to note that boron has been known to be fatal when taking more than 20 grams in adults or 5 to 6 grams in children.
4. Omega-3’s: for head-to-toe health
The two-key omega-3 fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in these omega-3s. Some plants are rich in another type of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, which the body can convert to DHA and EPA. Good sources of these are flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil.
Omega-3 fatty acids play important roles in brain function, normal growth and development, and inflammation. Deficiencies have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, some cancers, mood disorders, arthritis, and more.
Choosing the right supplement
Looking for an over-the-counter omega-3 supplement? Here’s what to look for:
- A 1-gram dose, unless your doctor recommends more.
- A combination of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Each of these fatty acids provides different health benefits.
- A quality supplements. Good quality indicators are seals that are FDA-approved.
If your triglyceride levels are abnormally high and you have an elevated risk for cardiovascular disease, talk to your doctor about whether a high-dose omega-3 prescription might be an option.
5. Saw Palmetto Extract: a traditional remedy for prostate health
Saw palmetto is a shrub tree with dark red berries, native to the United States, Europe, and Africa. The palmetto berries were a popular source of food and medicine for Native Americans long before European settlement. They also have a long history of use in traditional medicine, often being prescribed for reproductive and urinary tract issues.
The berries have been traditionally used for prostate health for many years, and early clinical data suggests the saw palmetto extract may help support a healthy prostate; however, larger, more recent clinical data did not support its efficacy.
More research is needed to better understand saw palmetto’s possible mechanism of action. It’s theorized to help with hormone balance in a way that protects the prostate from enlarging. It is worth discussing the potential benefits of supplementation with your medical provider.
If you decide to take saw palmetto extract be sure to look for a high-quality product, as the extraction process and formulation can play a huge role in saw palmetto’s results.
A healthy diet is the first step to good health, however, in some cases, supplements may prove to be beneficial in supporting you through your busy lifestyle. Please consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.