For men looking to maintain optimal health as they age, nutritional supplementation is an absolute must. Unfortunately, the supplement landscape can be very confusing, as companies have rolled out thousands of different supplements purporting to improve health. Here are five of the best supplements for men that have been proven to produce tangible benefits in scientific studies.
Among the most prevalent health issues men face as they get older are erectile dysfunction and reduced libido. Supplementing your diet with zinc may help to prevent or alleviate these issues. Zinc can act as an aphrodisiac, helping to increase arousal and stimulate healthy sexual function. Studies in both rats and humans have demonstrated that zinc supplements can increase libido and proper erectile function.
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for overall health, supporting everything from healthy testosterone levels to bone strength. Unfortunately, studies suggest that the majority of Americans are deficient in this key vitamin. Some researchers even believe that the official recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D is severely underestimated, leading to high deficiency rates.
Collagen is a variety of proteins critical in maintaining healthy muscles, skin, and connective tissue. Collagen levels flag severely with age, making it an important target for supplementation. Supplementing with collagen can help to keep your muscles healthy and your skin supple as you age, ensuring that you look and feel your best for as long as possible.
One of collagen’s most important benefits is its ability to support rigorous physical exercise through improved joint health. Studies have shown that collagen can reduce joint pain in athletes. This, in turn, makes it easier to keep up the exercise regimen needed to maintain good health as you age.
An often ignored vitamin, K2, is a fat-soluble compound that plays an important role in calcium metabolism in the human body. While most people take calcium supplements as they get older, high calcium intake can lead to issues of its own. Deposition of calcium in arteries and kidneys, in particular, leads to several cardiovascular and renal conditions.
Vitamin K2, however, helps prevent calcium accumulation in soft tissues while allowing it to be deposited in the bones. Unfortunately, modern food processing has primarily stripped the typical human diet of its natural vitamin K2 content. As a result, it’s available mainly in supplement form. While everyone can benefit from K2 supplementation, the vitamin is most important for men because males seem to be at higher risk of calcium-associated cardiovascular disease.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Found naturally in fatty fish, omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for maintaining good cardiovascular health and managing inflammation in the human body. These fatty acids have also been associated with a reduced risk of cognitive degeneration conditions, including Alzheimer’s.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also among the nutrients in which the modern diet is most deficient. Researchers believe that these fats were consumed about evenly with the omega-6 fatty acids found in most land animals as humans were evolving. Today, that ratio has fallen off dramatically, with the typical Western diet having up to 16 times more omega-6s than omega-3s. High omega-6 to omega-3 ratios may be responsible for increasing the number of diseases plaguing the modern world, including cardiovascular disease and even cancer.
While there are many other supplements out there, these five are among the most essential for male health. By taking these supplements regularly, you can give your body the key nutrients it needs to maintain good health, even as you get older. While you may already get some of these nutrients from a balanced diet, supplementation can help make sure you aren’t deficient in the building blocks your body requires.