Only 1 in 5 Australian men rate their health as excellent - and it’s time to change the statistics about Men's healthMen have a shorter life expectancy than women, and a higher lifetime risk of many cancers and chronic 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.
Men need to beware of the top health challengesTop conditions to keep in mind as an Aussie male include heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, respiratory disease and prostate cancer. 1 The antioxidant nutrients including Vitamins C, E and Aand Selenium have been shown to be beneficial for preventing chronic disease risk in relation to heart disease and cancer, as well as degenerative eye diseases such as cataract formation or macular degeneration, and conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. 2
Heart problems and Diabetes in MenIf you’re at risk of heart problems, supplementation with Vitamins B6, B12 and Folate may help support heart health.3 For those concerned about diabetes, research has shown that low Chromium levels are linked to poor glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes. Chromium enhances the action of insulin and improves glycaemic control. 2 For improving men's health, 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
Men's Health Facts - in Australia
- Diabetes is amongst the top 10 leading causes of death for men in Australia. 1,10-11
- Just 5% of adult males consume adequate quantities of fruit and vegetables. 1,12
- Almost 40% of men with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels also have low testosterone levels.13
- 50% of men who are obese or have diabetes will also have low testosterone.13
- Two-thirds of Australian adult males and 25% of boys (aged 5-17 years) are overweight or obese.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
Mr Vitamins recommends:
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The health of Australia’s males. Canberra: AIHW. June 2011, http://www.
- National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand. Australian Government, 2005.
- Micronutrients and cognitive function. Linus Paulding Institute: Oregon State University, 2011. Viewed 5 August 2013 http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/cognition.html
- Woolf K, Manore MM. B-vitamins and exercise: does exercise alter requirements? Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab 2006;16(5):453-484.
- Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements, 3rd Ed., 2014. http://evolveebooks.elsevier.com/books/9780729539104/id/ch0Clev3sec177
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Most common men's 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
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Australian social trends 4102.0, June 2010.
- Low testosterone (hypogonadism). Urology Care Foundation, April 2013. Viewed 8 August 2013 http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=132&display=1
- 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