Best Supplements for Men, According to Experts
When it comes to men's health, eating well and maintaining a regular exercise schedule are great ways to pursue a healthy lifestyle at any age. But sometimes it's okay if we need an extra boost in the form of vitamins or supplements.
Finding supplements for men has a lot to do with keeping testosterone levels up. According to Anthony Capasso, MD, "maintaining healthy levels of testosterone is critical to men's health through all stages of life." Testosterone is important for many reasons, including heart health, memory and brain function, and overall better quality of health.
In order to help the men in our lives, we found research and talked with doctors and dietitians about the best supplements for men to take, from balancing testosterone levels to reducing risk of prostate cancer. And for more health tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Many of us are familiar with taking fish oil supplements for things like brain and heart health, but what about krill oil? Krill oil supplements are very similar to fish oil, except they come from crustacean species.
One lesser-known benefit of omega-3 fatty acids is the reduced risk of prostate cancer in men, as well as possible support of male fertility. Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD a registered dietitian and member of the Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board says that krill oil may be a better choice over fish oil supplements. "Krill Oil may provide superior absorption over fish oil because it delivers omega-3 EPA and DHA in its natural phospholipid form," says Manaker, "which will also ease digestion and eliminate the fishy burps that many people experience with fish oil."
Many doctors agree that ashwagandha, a natural herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, has incredible benefits for helping with anxiety and increasing testosterone. "A major problem men over 40 experience is the steady drop in testosterone levels," says Dr. Capasso, "and this causes men to start packing on more abdominal fat as they get older, which can lead to numerous health issues such as cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and ultimately premature death."
With this in mind, it's important for men to take supplements that help them maintain their normal levels of testosterone. "Ashwagandha unlocks reserves of the body's testosterone creating up to a 400% testosterone boost," says Dr. Capasso. Andrea Paul, MD adds that "unlike Testosterone Replacement Therapy, herbal products that increase testosterone (like ashwagandha) don't interfere with the body's natural production of it."
Magnesium has many common benefits for both men and women like improved heart health, decreased cancer risk, and improved mood regulation. According to Dr. Paul, magnesium is specifically important for men's health. "Many Americans are magnesium deficient, and supplementation of this mineral is associated with increased testosterone levels in both sedentary and active adults," says Dr. Paul. And according to Dr. Paul, men have a greater need for magnesium on average because they often (but not always) have more weight on their bodies.
It's also important to note what type of magnesium supplements you are taking. Dr. Paul says that "magnesium glycinate is better absorbed by the body than magnesium oxide, which is the cheaper and more common type used in supplements."
Vitamin D is an important supplement for health, as it can help with things like bone strength, reducing risk of cancer, and improving overall mood. According to Victoria Swift, MD, vitamin D is also a great supplement for men to take as they get older. "Aside from the benefits to overall health, vitamin D also enhances testosterone levels to prevent sleep apnea and low metabolism," says Swift.
Probiotics are an important supplement for men to take to improve and maintain their overall health. Probiotics are living microorganisms that help the existing beneficial bacteria in our gut, supporting our digestive and overall health in the process. They can be found naturally form in some fermented foods like yogurt and kefir.
Along with overall health benefits related to a balanced gut microbiome, recent studies have found connections between taking probiotics and improving male fertility and testosterone levels. A 2017 study in the American Society of Andrology found a significant increase in sperm count and quality after probiotic therapy.
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