The best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need is through food. In theory, a balanced diet should provide everything a man’s body requires to operate efficiently and minimize the risk of disease. But men don’t always do what’s best for themselves. In order to meet federal dietary guidelines, there are supplements men should take to make up for the lacking nutrients.
While improving our diet is the best solution, it may be necessary to turn to supplements. Research on the effectiveness of these dietary additions has produced mixed results, there is general agreement that most men should consider taking certain supplements.
5 Supplements Men Should Take
1. Vitamin D
Your body needs vitamin D to help it absorb calcium from the intestines. But, some studies suggest that it may also reduce the risk of certain neuromuscular problems as well as prostate cancer and possibly other cancers. Although your body makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, the increased skin cancer risk may not be a positive trade off. And, it is hard to get enough vitamin D from your diet, so a supplement is a good option.
Most men don’t consume enough dairy or other calcium-rich foods to get the amount of calcium their body needs. So, a calcium citrate or calcium carbonate supplement may make sense. But, there is evidence that suggests that high levels of calcium may increase the risk of prostate cancer, so you should not exceed the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).
Increasing your fiber intake through a supplement like psyllium may have a positive impact on health issues including heart disease, diverticulitis, obesity and others. Plus, it will help you stay regular. Fiber is found in foods like vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts. However, many men don’t get enough of these to meet dietary recommendations.
4. Fish oil
There is ample evidence that people who eat fish regularly reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. For those who don’t, a fish oil supplement may provide similar protection. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends 1,000 mg a day of the marine fatty acids DHA and EPA for people with coronary artery disease.
Research and debate continues on whether there are significant health benefits from taking a daily multivitamin. But, most agree there is no harm in doing so. If you take one, just be sure that you adjust the amount of any other supplements you take accordingly so you don’t get too much of a good thing.
Talk with Your Doctor About Your Nutritional Needs
The information above applies to men in general. It’s best to consult your physician about your specific situation before you start taking any supplement. In some cases, the current level of a substance in your body (vitamin D, for example) can be measured so that a proper supplement amount can be chosen.