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Boosting men's health: your ultimate guide to essential supplements



Boosting men's health: your ultimate guide to essential supplements
Date: 2014-06-09
Author: - Editor
Access: Public


Only 1 in 5 Australian men rate their health as excellent - and it’s time to change that statistic. 1

Men have a shorter life expectancy than women - living to age 79 compared to 82 years for women - and a higher lifetime risk of many conditions. 1

However, many of the common diseases that affect Australian men are potentially preventable by improving diet and lifestyle and ensuring regular health-screening practices.

Things to keep top of mind as an Aussie male include maintaining a healthy heart, lungs, respiratory tract and prostate.1

The antioxidant nutrients vitamins C, E and A are beneficial for men’s health, acting as free radical scavengers and helping to reduce the risk of cell damage.Vitamin C protects against lipid peroxidation, oxidative DNA damage and oxidative protein damage by scavenging peroxyl and hydroxyl radicals.  Vitamin E is an important lipid-soluble antioxidant, protecting polyunsaturated fatty acids of cell membranes and LDL from oxidation. Vitamin A is required for the maintenance of healthy epithelial and mucosal surfaces (including the respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary mucosa). 2 

Selenium is one of the body’s key antioxidant nutrients. In men, selenium is essential for testosterone synthesis and the formation of healthy sperm and sperm motility. Low selenium levels are associated with suboptimal sperm health.

If you’re wanting to maintain a healthy heart, supplementation of vitamins B6, B12 and folate may help support cardiovascular health.3

For those concerned about maintaining blood glucose levels, research has shown that chromium provides nutritional support for healthy blood glucose, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.2

Regular physical activity assists in maintaining a healthy body weight and reduces the risk of many chronic conditions and injuries. Research suggests that exercise may increase the requirements for riboflavin and vitamin B6. Thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B6 assist the body’s energy-producing processes. 4

Day-to-day stress is also a major factor in many men’s lives. Methods to combat stress may include exercise (which releases endorphins, the body’s natural stress-fighting hormones), relaxation, regular sleep patterns and proper nutrition. The traditional Chinese medicine herb Schisandra chinenesis (schisandra) assists with sleeplessness and irritability. 5

The herb Rhodiola rosea (rhodiola) supports brain health, relieves fatigue, improves energy and provides support following intense physical and psychological stress. 6-9

Facts

  • Just 5% of adult males consume adequate quantities of fruit and vegetables. 1,12
  • For almost 40% of men, maintaining healthy blood pressure or healthy cholesterol levels is linked to testosterone levels.13
  • 50% of men who are overweight will also have low testosterone.13
  • Two-thirds of Australian adult males and 25% of boys (aged 5-17 years) are overweight.14

Men’s healthy lifestyle tips

  • Moderate alcohol intake
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • A balanced diet
  • Good quality sleep
  • Herbal and nutritional supplementation
  • Regular health checkups with your healthcare practitioner

Speak to your healthcare practitioner for more information about boosting men’s health. Make sure to always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare practitioner.

To find a healthcare practitioner in your local area, visit our Find A Practitioner service!

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The health of Australia’s males. Canberra: AIHW. June 2011,  http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=10737419201
  2. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand. Australian Government, 2005.
  3. Micronutrients and cognitive function. Linus Paulding Institute: Oregon State University, 2011. Viewed 5 August 2013 http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/cognition.html 
  4. Woolf K, Manore MM. B-vitamins and exercise: does exercise alter requirements? Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2006;16(5):453-484.
  5. Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements, 3rd Ed., 2014. http://evolveebooks.elsevier.com/books/9780729539104/id/ch0Clev3sec177 
  6. Panossian A, Wikman G. Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity. Curr Clin Pharm 2009;4(3):198-219.
  7. Shevtsov V, Zholus B, Shervarly V, et al. A randomized trial of two different doses of a SHR-5 Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo and control of capacity for mental work. Phytomedicine 2003;10:95-105.
  8. Olsson E, Scheele B, Panossian A. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardised extract SHR-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta Med 2009;75(2):105-112.
  9. Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, et al. Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue - a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine 2000;7(5):365-371.
  10. Men’s health policy information paper executive summary: Current status of men’s health in Australia. Department of Health and Ageing, Australian Government. Viewed 29 July 2013, http://www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/mhipExecSum-09~mhipExecSum-09-ch3 
  11. Most common health concerns for the male Australian population. Virtual medical centre, 2013. Viewed 29 July 2013 http://www.virtualmedicalcentre.com/healthandlifestyle/most-common-health-concerns-for-the-male-australian-population/17
  12. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Australian social trends 4102.0, June 2010.
  13. Low testosterone (hypogonadism). Urology Care Foundation, April 2013. Viewed 8 August 2013 http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=132&display=1
  14. Aussie men could take better care of themselves. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Viewed 29 July 2013, http://www.aihw.gov.au/media-release-detail/?id=10737419283 

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