A fast paced life, which means stress, fast food, inadequate rest, excessive alcohol, coffee and cigarettes all impact Men’s Health. These factors are well known to adversely effect your body’s nutrient levels. Nutrient poor soils are less and less able to impart the necessary nutrient levels into our food. On top of this are the relatively recent stressors of unprecedented levels of electromagnetic radiation, the adverse effects of which are only just beginning to be understood. To help compensate for this way of modern living, the following five nutrients are essential to support men’s health.
1. B Complex VitaminsThe B complex vitamins are vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Folic acid, B12, biotin and inositol. An adequate supply and proper ratios of the B complex vitamins are essential for the energy production process in almost every cell in a man’s body including sperm cells. Deficient levels of the B complex vitamins can therefore affect every aspect of men’s health. Adequate levels of B vitamins are essential for coping adequately with stress. Factors that can reduce your B complex vitamin levels include stress, alcohol and caffeine. For your body to be able to use the B vitamins from food or supplements, the B vitamins need to be “activated” by your body. For this to occur efficiently you need the right ratios of B vitamins and adequate minerals, including Iodine and Zinc.
2. ZincZinc plays a crucial role in men's health and is involved in the functioning of over 300 enzymes in your body. It is essential for cell division, immune health, mental health, digestive function, brain and nervous system function, skin and connective tissue health and reproductive health. As men age, tissue Zinc levels tend to decline, which can increase the risk of benign prostate enlargement, prostate cancer and impotency. Zinc is essential for good sperm count and sperm motility. Zinc is also needed to reduce the amount of testosterone that is turned into oestrogen by an enzyme known as aromatase. High oestrogen in men can increase the risk of prostate disease. Zinc is an aromatase inhibitor.
3. Co Enzyme Q10CoQ10 is a substance found in almost every cell in your body and, like the B complex vitamins, is needed to produce energy to enable your cells to perform their specific functions. CoQ10 is also a powerful antioxidant. As we age our tissue levels of CoQ10 diminish. Supplemental CoQ10 can be help to manage several cardiovascular conditions. It is also useful for periodontal disease. Sperm count and sperm motility have also been shown to improve with CoQ10 supplementation. If you are taking medications from your doctor, it is important to check with a qualified naturopath or doctor before taking CoQ10.
4. Fish oil (Omega 3 fatty acids)Omega 3 fats are essential for the proper functioning of every in the body. They have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect and can therefore reduce the risk of age related chronic disease, including prostate disease. Fish oil is well known to be beneficial for cardiovascular health; inflammatory joint conditions, brain health, cognitive function and emotional wellbeing. Sperm cells are rich in the Omega 3 fatty acid DHA and are important for sperm cell motility.
5. SeleniumSelenium is an essential mineral and is fundamental to human health. Selenium is needed for the function of a number of enzymes with a wide range of actions including thyroid function, antioxidant systems, immune function, cardiovascular function and male reproductive system health. Over the years there has been a marked decline in Selenium in Australian soils so Selenium supplementation is more important than ever. A significant source of Selenium in Australia is wheat but the increasing incidence of gluten intolerance means increasing rates of tissue Selenium deficiency. Adequate Selenium intake is essential for morphology (shape) and motility of sperm. Studies show that optimal levels of Selenium can also protect against prostate disease.
What else can help with Men’s Health?There are also a number of herbal medicines and plant extracts that have been found to be beneficial for different aspects of men’s health including:
- Milk Thistle
- Saw Palmetto
- The ginsengs
- Muira Puama
- Green tea