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Men’s Health Supplements - An Ultimate Guide

Men’s Health Supplements - An Ultimate Guide

A majority of superheroes we see on the big screen are men. Somehow it subconsciously creates a perception that men are a little more invincible or have better resistance levels than their female counterparts.

Social media has made it worse, promoting two ends of physical expectations for men; the dad bod and the chiselled body. While we do not want to focus on physical attributes, it somehow reflects on what’s going on inside. Men are still prone to diseases, and they need to take vitamins and supplements to keep their bodies healthy no matter the age.

What Health Risks Should Men Take Note Of?

Women are generally more outspoken about health, diet and fitness. They are also more informed about diseases that target them at different ages and stages of life. Most men, on the other hand, are quiet about it, resulting in a lack of awareness, contributing to a silent health crisis that is affecting many men.

According to Men’s Health Network, the life expectancy of both males and females were about the same. As years progress (from the 1970s up till today) the life expectancy of men has dropped in comparison to women. Women outlive men by more than five years - we think it is time we addressed this!

Here are some health risks that men face, often due to poor health education, culturally induced behaviour patterns and stress:

1. Heart Health

Heart diseases are known as cardiovascular disease, and they include issues relating to congested blood vessels, stroke and heart attack. It has more fatal cases in men than in women. Cardiac Rehab Programme at the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) reported that they have three times more male than female participants.

Narrowing into our genetic make-up, the male hormone testosterone that stimulates high-risk behaviour and aggressiveness shows lines to increased risk of heart disease as compared to oestrogen (the female hormone).

It is more troubling when coupled with the hesitance of most men in seeking medical help when clues or the onset of heart disease appear.

Therefore, men must go for regular checks to calculate the risk of cardiovascular disease.

2. Respiratory Health

Every breath you take is dependent on your respiratory system which includes your nose, throat, windpipe and air. The lungs have delicate tissues connected to the outside world. 

There are many diseases related to the respiratory system; unfortunately, they affect more men than women. Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease is the number four killer in men. Almost 70,000 men die from it each year.

That is not all, according to the American Lung Association, more men are diagnosed with lung cancer, with smoking as the leading cause. If you are a smoker or are exposed to secondhand smoke, do take the opportunity to go for a CT scan to screen for lung cancer.

3. Liver Health

The liver is an organ about the size of a football (yes, it’s quite big!) and it helps food digestion and absorption. Think about it as a filtration centre. It stops toxins from entering into the system and turns food into energy. If the liver fails to function, best believe it’s going to be a big problem.

According to a study, men are two times more likely to be affected by chronic liver disease and cirrhosis (fibrosis in the liver caused by several liver diseases such as hepatitis and high alcohol consumption) than women. Liver transplants are also more common in men.

4. Blood Sugar Level

High sugar levels can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a permanent condition that occurs when blood glucose is too high. There are generally two types of diabetes. Type one can develop at any age but more frequently in children where the body cannot produce insulin. However, 90% of all diabetes cases are Type 2. 

If left untreated, it can lead to many other organ failures such as kidney damage, heart diseases and even blindness. Men experience erectile dysfunction and risk lower testosterone levels. It can often lead to increased depression and anxiety.

Diabetes onset seems to have more obvious signs in women than in men. Following a study on the sexes with diabetes, the results show women with Type 2 diabetes show more obvious signs of weight gain than in men. Therefore, there is a running risk that men may get diabetes “more easily” because weight gain is less obvious.

What supplements should men take?  

Here’s a disclaimer, supplements do not magically make up for poor eating habits, but it does fill in the gaps when you fall short of consuming the ideal nutrient intake needed - which we all fail on most days anyway.

Generally speaking, men require vitamins and supplements that help to build muscles, maintain strength, and boost reproductive functions. So let’s start with what you should already have in your supplement pantry. Here are three basic supplements you should consider taking.

1. Multivitamins

This is as straightforward as it can get. With our body in need of multiple vitamins, multivitamins make up an essential part of a diet. 

Among the vital vitamins and minerals you need are:

  • Vitamin A for eyesight and immunity
  • Vitamin B (the collection from 1 to 12) helps with energy metabolism and the production of red blood cells.
  • Vitamin C for antioxidants that may boost fertility
  • Vitamin D for bone health
  • Vitamin E to protect cells from damage

Remember to check its dosage so that you do not have to swallow multiple capsules at once.

If you are looking for a multivitamin to start your journey towards good health, try NATURE'S FARM® MEN'S SUPER MEGA. It is an ultra-potent multivitamin supplement for men. Packed with more than 40 ingredients that include vitamins A, B, C, D and E, it also contains minerals, amino acids and other actives that help strengthen the heart, liver and digestive tract.

2. Fish oil

Fish oil is rich in omega-3. It has been long documented for its anti-inflammatory properties. Fish oil also promotes heart health as it helps to lower cholesterol levels. It can maintain brain health and function, as well as support muscle growth.

That said, fish oil plays a significant role in the male body as DHA (part of omega-3 in fish oil) as it is a major component in the brain and testes.

If you want to increase your ability to concentrate at work, your brain needs the fatty acid that is DHA. It is usually promoted in formula milk but gentlemen, you need them throughout your life, as long as your brain is still functioning.

Healthy seminal fluid also contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. If you want to maintain a healthy sperm count and improve testicular function, fish oil is what you need.

Try adding Norwegian Fish Oil® Omega-3 Strong 1000mg into your daily supplement diet. It contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids with a guaranteed minimum of 220mg to a maximum of 250mg DHA. This fish oil supplement is also suitable for those who are at risk of heart diseases and uncontrollable blood pressure.

3. Probiotics

Don’t panic. We’re not asking you to ingest deadly bacteria into your system. Rather, probiotics belong to the family of good bacteria that helps to promote gut health (by controlling bad bacteria), strengthen your immune system and give you a boost in fitness gains.

Probiotics can be found in yoghurt, miso, and certain soy drinks. If you plan to take probiotics for a long time,you can consider taking a supplement that contains at least 10 billion live bacteria from the Lactobacillus group.

We recommend Nature’s Farm® Premium Probiotics+ that contains probiotics, prebiotics and digestive enzymes. It helps to replenish and maintain healthy intestinal flora. There are nine strains of scientifically proven probiotics and contain 11 billion active cultures.

What kind of vitamins should men take daily?

Daily intake of vitamins will help enhance the effects of supplements. Though there are tons of vitamins out there that claim to be necessary for men, these are the ones which stand out from the rest:

  • Zinc

Like women, men need to ensure that their hormonal levels are at its optimum as low testosterone rates can lead to depression, osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease, and possibly even death. Zinc can encourage testosterone production along with preventing it from converting into estrogen. 

  • Vitamin D

Sadly, you can’t stand under the hot sun and hope your body soaks up all the Vitamin D it needs without getting sunburnt. Aside from building strong teeth and bones, Vitamin D improves serotonin levels, decreases insulin, controls appetite urges and boosts sperm performance.

  • Antioxidants (Vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin E)

These three vitamins have one same function - they “reverse” the effects of ageing and prevent cellular damage due to pollution, ultraviolet exposure, exercise, stress, and the general wear and tear of the body. 

Do note that these vitamins and minerals may already be present in your multivitamins. Therefore, you should always be aware of what you are consuming, so you won’t be taking an additional dosage of the same vitamin or mineral.

What vitamins should I be taking for my age?

While the supplement and vitamins mentioned above are needed for all men, there are a few that may be especially beneficial for those of different ages. 

1. If you’re in your 20’s

You think you are at the prime of your life, but it is actually the time you build up your health to prevent the development of health issues in the future. At this time of your life, you are likely to be a student or working in a highly stressful environment - after all, starting out in the real world is tough!

Boost intake on these vitamins:

  • Vitamin B12 for increased energy
  • Vitamin D because you reach peak bone mass at around age 30

2. If you’re in your 30’s

You feel like you are just getting started, but you don’t have that energy you had in your 20s. Some of you might have started a family, and it seems to be more difficult than you envisioned. Some of you may be aggressively climbing the corporate ladder, and you might see some sneak peeks of old age. And the start of a declining sex drive? Yikes!

Boost intake on these vitamins:

  • Omega-3 to reduce the risk of heart disease and help with brain functions
  • Magnesium to increase testosterone levels and maintain a healthy heart
  • Vitamin D is a key factor to maintain healthy testosterone levels

3. If you are in your 40s

If you have been taking care of your health, you will continue to feel energised and healthy at this stage. Some may have begun to slack off in the health and physique department, but it is never too late to pivot towards a healthier you!

Boost intake on these vitamins:

  • Coenzyme CoQ10 helps against heart disease, migraines and muscle weakness
  • Vitamin A for eye health
  • Omega-3 for the heart and brain

4. If you are in your 50s and above

The onset of many diseases may start to roll around. Maintain regular exercise and health checks with your doctor.

Boost intake on these vitamins:

  • Vitamin B12 to support brain, blood cell and nerve health
  • Vitamin D helps with bone, muscle and immune system
  • Magnesium helps with energy production, blood pressure, and may help you sleep better

What are you doing today to invest in your health and well-being? You can start by going to your doctor, and getting a blood test to see how you fare. Then, start incorporating the habit of taking supplements into your diet. A good place to start is by taking a multivitamin (no matter your age), fish oil (because your brain is the control centre of your body) and probiotics (gut health is important).

If you are indulging in bad habits such as smoking or excessive consumption of alcohol, it is also a good idea to take a step back and evaluate these habits for the sake of your health.

References

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Guy, J. and Peters, M.G. (2013). Liver disease in women: the influence of gender on epidemiology, natural history, and patient outcomes. Gastroenterology & hepatology, [online] 9(10), pp.633–9. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992057/ [Accessed 5 Aug. 2019].

Healthline. (2013). Top 10 Male Health Problems: What to Watch Out For. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/top-10-health-risks-for-men#whats-next [Accessed 7 Jul. 2020].

Healthline. (2018). The 15 Best Multivitamins for Men. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-multivitamins-for-men [Accessed 8 Jul. 2020].

Heid, M. (2016). The 4th Most-Common Killer Of Men—and How You Can Avoid It. [online] Men’s Health. Available at: https://www.menshealth.com/health/a19522941/respiratory-disease-fourth-leading-cause-of-death/ [Accessed 8 Jul. 2020].

Lin Yangchen (2017). Heart diseases kill more men at earlier age than women. [online] The Straits Times. Available at: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/heart-diseases-kill-more-men-at-earlier-age-than-women [Accessed 7 Jul. 2020].

Men’s Journal. (2008). Best supplements for men that won’t have you worried. [online] Available at: https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/supplements-every-guy-needs/ [Accessed 8 Jul. 2020].

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2018). What is Diabetes? | NIDDK. [online] Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes [Accessed 8 Jul. 2020].

Peters, S.A.E., Huxley, R.R. and Woodward, M. (2016). Sex differences in body anthropometry and composition in individuals with and without diabetes in the UK Biobank. BMJ Open, [online] 6(1). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4716161/ [Accessed 8 Jul. 2020].

Rachel Allen (n.d.). 7 Men-Specific Health Benefits of Probiotics. [online] Hyperbiotics. Available at: https://www.hyperbiotics.com/blogs/recent-articles/7-men-specific-health-benefits-of-probiotics [Accessed 8 Jul. 2020].

Womenhavespirit.com. (2019). 7 Ways to Improve Respiratory Health | Trinity Health Of New England. [online] Available at: https://www.womenhavespirit.com/article/7-ways-to-improve-respiratory-health/.

www.medicalnewstoday.com. (2018). Diabetes in men: Signs and symptoms. [online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311173#risk-factors [Accessed 8 Jul. 2020].

www.menshealthnetwork.org. (n.d.). Goals & Strategy | Mens Health Network. [online] Available at: https://www.menshealthnetwork.org/goals [Accessed 7 Jul. 2020].
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