As we’ve learned throughout this health-blog journey, the spectrum of nutrients needed to sustain the human body is an all-encompassing cross-section of nature itself—but we’ve also found that not all bodies require the same level of nutritional support. Variables such as age, environment, and lifestyle all factor into the daily nutritional needs of all of us.
Article at a Glance:
Nutrients For Men’s Health
- Vitamin D deficiency could be a cause of low testosterone
- Low testosterone levels could signal an array of health conditions
- Vitamin D also supports heart health and bone health
- Magnesium could address low-T in men
- Magnesium could also support muscular health
- Cardiovascular conditions could also improve with magnesium
- Zinc is found in high levels in oysters, nature’s aphrodisiac
- Studies show that zinc can benefit testosterone levels for men of all ages
- Zinc could also help athletes recover from intense workouts
- A healthy prostate is crucial to men’s overall health
- Saw palmetto shows efficacy for maintaining and protecting a healthy prostate
- Studies also show saw palmetto could help with hair loss
- Pycnogenol is a natural antioxidant, helping to manage inflammation
- Studies show that in combination with the amino acid L-arginine, Pycnogenol could improve erections
- A larger study showed that Pycnogenol could potentially support healthy circulation
While you’re at it, add another deciding factor to the nutritional equation: Gender. Men and women, while created equal and both deserving of a healthy lifestyle, often require a varied collection of nutrients. And while most nutrients are beneficial to both men and women, there are some that feature specific physiological reactions depending on whether the recipient is male or female.
Vitamin D For Men’s Health
With more and more people spending longer hours indoors—and covered in sunscreen when they are outdoors—it’s no surprise that vitamin D deficiency is an increasing problem all across the country. This is important for anyone looking to boost their health, but it is especially crucial for men, as the “sunshine vitamin” has special implications for men’s health.
Studies suggest that a lack of vitamin D could be a cause for low testosterone, while vitamin D supplementation could do the trick to bring these levels back to normal for men. Low testosterone, also called “low-T,” hits men as they age. According to a Study of Aging, incidents of low-T in men increased to about 20 percent of men over 60, 30 percent of men over 70, and 50 percent for men over 80.
But why exactly should you be concerned about your testosterone levels? Well, this has nothing to do with your status as a “real man,” but instead has everything to do with low testosterone potentially leaving you open to a bevy of health complications. These complications include sleep apnea, along with a wide range of conditions like loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, diminished cognitive function, depression, lethargy, osteoporosis, and loss of muscle mass and strength.
Health Benefits Of Magnesium For Men
Magnesium is one of the most overlooked nutrients in the annals of health. But as it turns out, men should be especially aware of this oft-overlooked mineral. For starters, magnesium could potentially lend support to men’s sexual health, as it’s demonstrated an efficacy in addressing low testosterone levels in older men. This could have a direct link to erectile function, as declining levels of the male sex hormones could have a role in blood vessel relaxation, which could contribute to erectile dysfunction in aging men.
If you feel like you’re not getting enough magnesium, you’re not alone. In fact, the USDA says that close to 60 percent of the U.S. population is missing out on the recommended amount of this crucial mineral. With that percentage of people not getting enough magnesium, supplementation might be key. Research shows that magnesium supplementation could potentially support testosterone levels in your blood, particularly when coupled with exercise.
Meanwhile, another study showed that magnesium supplementation could also support muscular health, another area of health that should be maintained as you age.
There also seems to be a correlation between low magnesium levels and cardiovascular conditions—which affects men in greater numbers than women. Magnesium provides a counterbalance to calcium, helping your heart muscles to relax while calcium stimulates the muscle to contract. And in a large-scale heart study, magnesium intake was associated with lower levels of artery calcification, which could play a role in certain cardiovascular conditions.
Health Benefits Of Zinc For Men
You’ve probably heard about the connection between oysters and sex drive. For centuries, it’s been believed that slurping down bushels of oysters increases the libido and stirs the sex hormones. Well, this isn’t a ploy by oyster catchers to sell more shellfish—oysters are high in a particular mineral known for its ties to men’s health.
A trace metallic element that is naturally occurring in the earth and is found in certain veggies, meats, and seafood, zinc is another healthy nutrient that’s related to testosterone levels in men. more zinc per serving than any other food, but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the American diet. Other beneficial food sources include beans, nuts, certain types of seafood (such as crab and lobster), whole grains, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Zinc seems to benefit men no matter what their age is, as one study showed a clear relationship between the mineral and testosterone levels for two vastly different age groups. In that study, researchers showed that increased zinc intake in both young men and elderly resulted in more robust testosterone levels.
More than a decade later in a 2009 animal study, researchers again tested the correlation between zinc and the male libido, concluding that zinc produces a positive effect on not only arousal, but the male’s ability to maintain an erection. Zinc could also potentially benefit athletes as well, as one study demonstrated that supplementation of the mineral could help replenish testosterone concentrations after an intense workout.
Saw Palmetto For Prostate Health And More
The palm tree is as synonymous with the southeastern U.S. as heat and humidity is within the region. And one particular type of palm native to the area has been linked with men’s health—specifically prostate health. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a fan palm that grows close to the ground and is commonly seen in Florida and the greater gulf region. In terms of health benefits, it’s the berries of the plant that garner attention.
A healthy prostate is crucial to maintaining overall men’s vitality, including sperm health. But before we get to the prostate, let’s discuss the ancillary benefits that saw palmetto could potentially provide to men. Studies show that saw palmetto could be used to balance hormone levels and combat hair loss in men. Specifically, saw palmetto could potentially block the production of 5-alpha reductase, an enzyme that transforms testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, a hormone linked to hair loss. One study demonstrated an effectiveness at improving growth in more than half of men with male pattern baldness.
Saw palmetto could also address urinary tract symptoms common in older men. One study demonstrated promise, with 92 men seeing improved urinary tract performance after taking a mix of herbal supplements that included saw palmetto. In terms of overall prostate health, research shows that saw palmetto could support it, potentially helping to prevent certain dire health conditions in the prostate.
Pycnogenol And Men’s Circulatory Health
Pycnogenol might sound incredibly clinical, but it is actually the trade name for the extract of a French maritime pine park (Pinus pinaster), and is a natural source of the same kind of antioxidants found in wine, grape skin, nuts, chocolate, and more.
For men’s health specifically, Pycnogenol has been studied as a possible answer for erectile dysfunction, due to its prowess in improving blood circulation. In one study, researchers tested the antioxidant’s usefulness in combination with L-arginine—an amino acid—in maintaining normal blood flow. The results showed a significant improvement in sexual function in men with low quality erections.
As for the greater question of circulation, results from a six-year study suggest that supplementation of Pycnogenol could potentially help to improve blood flow. Researchers analyzed the history of individuals with problems in their circulatory system and concluded that Pycnogenol proved effective in improving blood flow and preventing recurrences of circulatory problems.
The Road To Wellness For Men
Overall health should be a concern for both sexes, that’s for sure. But as stated earlier, different people require different nutrients for an array of unique conditions. Men should include the above ingredients for a healthy lifestyle. As for women, click here for your top five nutrients.