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Vitamins and minerals can help keep your hair looking luscious, your testosterone levels and fertility in good shape, and your whole body in sweet working order. But the most important vitamins for men over 30 or over 50 can vary, due to our changing needs and ability to absorb vitamins through our diet as we age.
Sometimes, our westernised diet can be found lacking in certain vitamins, so taking a supplement might help boost your energy levels or keep your immune system in good nick. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition, vitamins alone are unlikely to help — medical treatments can be advised online by one of our clinicians.
Research into the effectiveness of supplements is diverse, and it’s a long-standing argument between dieticians as to whether taking supplements is really necessary. It’s rare to be able to overdose on vitamins, so there’s not necessarily any harm in taking a supplement.
The overarching advice is to get the nutrients you need from your diet first. If it transpires that you have a deficiency, or a certain vitamin may help a medical condition, or generally make you feel “better”, a supplement may be a worthwhile investment.
Men’s health is a varied subject. Whether we’re talking about erectile dysfunction, hair loss, weight gain, mental wellbeing, or fertility, though, one thing is always the same. Making sure you’re eating a healthy diet, full of vitamin-rich foods, will help you.
If you’re taking prescribed medications for a condition, having a healthy diet will ensure the treatment has the best possible chance of working. If you’re not suffering from a particular problem, eating a healthy diet will keep you in good shape. Obvious really.
Vitamins play an important role in our daily diets, and there are recommended daily intakes for all sorts of minerals and compounds many of us will never have even heard of, let alone searched for on the back of a cereal packet. Vitamins to help male fertility, boost your energy, or help combat hair loss are out there, but which ones? And what should you be eating to make sure you’re getting all the goodies on the vitamin front?
Here’s our round-up of the most important vitamins to include in your diet for men’s health. Yum.
Most Important All-Rounders for Men’s Health
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids (For a healthy heart)
Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Famous for helping maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, Omega-3s will help keep joints creak-free and generally keep you feeling good too.
As far as erections go, a strong heart, healthy arteries, and good blood pressure are essential, so keeping our cardiovascular system in tip-top shape is important, whatever age you are.
Most commonly found omega-3s in supplements are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) but making sure these ‘good fats’ are part of your diet is crucial, so maybe think fewer trips to the chip shop for your weekly fish dose, and instead get busy in the kitchen with some salmon, sardines or mackerel. Other good dietary sources are chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts.
2. Magnesium (For a bit of everything)
Magnesium naturally occurs in many food items, such as spinach, almonds and bananas; the recommended daily allowance of magnesium for adults is 310mg – 420mg, depending on age and gender.But even if you eat plenty of these things, you may still not get enough in your diet.
It’s thought that approximately two-thirds of us in the western world have a magnesium deficiency. This is because, due to modern farming techniques, many crops are grown in magnesium depleted soils meaning the foods don’t contain as much of this precious mineral as is needed.
Magnesium is required to transport calcium and potassium across cell membranes. Sounds science-y, and it is. But put plainly, magnesium is essential to support a multitude of bodily functions. It helps regulate blood pressure and glucose levels, nerve function, energy production, and promotes good sleep. It’s also important for bone strength and can help with constipation, joint pain and muscle aches, so a deficiency can have a negative impact on your daily health.
If you have low magnesium levels, you may get headaches, feel anxious or stressed, which is unfortunate, as anxiety eats up a lot of energy. And if you’re magnesium deficient in the first place, this can create a vicious cycle. A supplement may be what you need.
Best Vitamins For Men Over 30
3. Vitamin D (For testosterone and strong bones)
Studies have shown that Vitamin D — sometimes referred to as the sunshine vitamin — can help boost testosterone levels, which may be particularly useful in this time of life if you’re trying to impress a new partner with your high libido and masculinity.
Vitamin D has also recently been linked to cancer and diabetes prevention (although more research is needed to validate this info) and helping to improve the mood of those suffering from depression.
Many of us living in the UK may be deficient in vitamin D thanks to our lacklustre temperate climate and the relatively small amount of sunshine we get to enjoy throughout the winter months. A deficiency may present itself as having sleep issues, fatigue, weight gain, and low testosterone levels, which may lead to decreased sex drive. Vitamin D helps us absorb calcium from our food, so a deficiency can also lead to weakened bones and being more prone to breaks or fractures as we get older.
Foods high in vitamin D include meat, eggs and dairy products which may make it harder for those who enjoy a plant-based diet to get the amount they need through diet alone. Many nutritionists claim all adults could benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement from October to May. Those who are in sheltered accommodation or with darker skin may need it all year round.
Best Vitamins For Men Over 50
4. Vitamin B12 (For blood flow and cognitive health)
Our ability to absorb important vitamins and nutrients from our foods can decrease over the age of 50, especially when it comes to vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 controls energy levels by promoting healthy blood cell production and heart health. So it’s an important one for daily health, as well as keeping your sex life going, as we all know a healthy blood supply and flow will help you get and maintain an erection.
Vitamin B12 for men over 50 is also important for optimal brain function. While experts claim taking a vitamin B12 supplement may reduce the risk of developing dementia or other cognitive conditions as you age, a study has shown that B12 supplements are unlikely to reverse the effects of diagnosed dementia. To make sure you get your dietary fill, eat red meat, liver and kidneys, shellfish and dairy products. If you follow a plant-based diet, green cabbage and spinach are good sources too.
Vitamins for Hair Growth
5. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is found in many fruits and vegetables, like sweet potato, broccoli, spinach and apricots, so getting your daily dose should be easy if you’re eating right. While there are a few vitamins that help hair growth, vitamin A is perhaps the most important.
The many compounds found in vitamin A, including retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and provitamin A carotenoids make this vitamin a potent one. Studies have found that just the right amount of vitamin A (a daily dose of 900mg for men over 18 years) can help activate the stem cells in your hair follicles, promoting healthy hair growth.
Furthermore, vitamin A can promote normal sebum production (the oily stuff produced by pores on your scalp) which helps make your hair look, and feel, silky smooth.
Vitamins For Men’s Fertility
6. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants going. Protecting our immune system and fighting illnesses is one thing, but is it a vitamin to aid men’s fertility?
Some small, but interesting, research is suggesting that vitamin C could play a part in improving sperm quality and mobility in infertile men. Necking a pint of orange juice may not be the first thing you’d think to do if you’re hoping to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet in your home any time soon, but it might just work.
Antioxidants play an important role in reducing oxidative stress; the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in our body. This imbalance can contribute towards some major health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers. So even if you’re not hoping to expand your brood right now, ensuring you get enough of this super nutrient is vital for a long and healthy life.
Along with orange juice (and other citrus fruits), great dietary sources of vitamin C are cauliflower, kale, and avocados.
Energy Boosting Vitamins for Men
7. Vitamin B6
Feeling tired? Well, there are a handful of vitamins to boost your energy — and vitamin B6, in particular, is an important one to know about because it can’t be produced naturally by your body. You have to get enough through diet or supplementation.
This vitamin plays a role in not only producing red blood cells and neurotransmitters (key to energy and healthy cognitive function), but it also helps control high levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which can be linked to depression and low moods.
Alongside this, it helps fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism too, which is important for keeping you in shape, and can also help keep your heart and arteries healthy. Some studies have even shown that a healthy dose of vitamin B6 can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as colorectal cancer, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Good dietary sources of vitamin B6 include milk, eggs and meat, as well as veggies including peas, avocado, and sweet potato.
Oxygen is carried through our blood by iron, so it’s not shocking that this trace mineral is super important when it comes to keeping you feeling youthful and spritely. You want to impress your date with your vim and vigour? Well it’s time to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, an iron deficiency can leave you feeling fatigued, with headaches and dizziness par for the course. While iron deficiency is more common in women, it can still happen to men too, especially if you’re not eating the right stuff. But thankfully, iron-rich foods are plentiful; green leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale and cabbage, dark chocolate, and red meat being the big players.
Keep those T levels up
The powerful threesome of Maca, Ginseng & Zinc is there to help you boost testosterone levels and, in turn, virility. Low T can be a libido killer.
Many vitamins will provide benefits across multiple strands of men’s health, so getting a varied diet of fresh fruit and veg, good quality meat and dairy products will ensure all-round good health. And if you’re worried about a specific problem you’re facing, a clinician may be able to point you in the right direction of specialised vitamin support or medical treatment to help.