A blog from Schubbe Resch Chiropractic and Physical Therapy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Nutritional Supplementation for Men

In an ideal world, we would be able to get all the nutrients we need from a balanced healthy diet. In reality, this is almost impossible today, due to the depletion of nutrients in the soil. In addition we are bombarded with unhealthy food choices that crowd out healthy ones. This can produce some major gaps in key nutrients that ward off disease. Everyone needs to supplement their diet with extra nutrients. The correct supplements can help your heart, ward off diabetes, boost your immune system, and protect the health of your prostate. With so many supplements out there, what are the best to take? These 5 are all important nutrients that are difficult to get from diet alone.
  1. A quality multivitamin is the base of proper supplementation. The nutrients in your body are all meant to be in balance and taking too much of just one vitamin can offset this balance and cause problems. This does not mean a one-a-day or others that boast “100% of the RDA”. The RDA is meant to ward off serious disease only. Our bodies need more than 100% of most vitamins and minerals. Cheaply made multivitamins also contain binders and fillers that make absorption of the vitamins in it nearly impossible.
  2. Vitamin D-1000-5000 IU/day. Vitamin D is essential for your body, and acts as more of a hormone in your body than a vitamin. One of its primary functions is to help your body absorb calcium, but it has many other effects in your body. Studies have shown vitamin D decreases risk of heart attack, decreases colorectal cancer risk, decreases hypertension, and also elevates mood to alleviate depression. Vitamin D is produced by our bodies in reaction to sunlight. There are three problems with this. First of all, we live in a northern climate where we don’t get enough exposure to the ultraviolet rays that allow for vitamin D production in our bodies. Secondly, we put on sunscreen to block those ultraviolet rays to protect against skin cancer, also blocking our bodies ability to produce vitamin D. Lastly, as we age the body’s ability to make vitamin D decreases, making supplementation a must.
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids-500-1500 mg/day. These are found in cold water fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines. Our bodies need a balance of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in red meat, grains, and dairy products. Because the standard American diet is so high in omega-6’s, we either need to decrease our omega-6 consumption or increase our omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. A quality fish oil supplement helps keeps cholesterol levels in check, lowers blood pressure, and decreases risk of blood clots. Studies show that men with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids have the lowest risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to help improve memory and decrease pain and inflammation.
  4. CoQ10-20-100 mg/day. CoQ10 is produced by the body, but this important nutrient decreases as we age. CoQ10 is important for energy production, immunity, and heart health. Deficiency of CoQ10 has been linked to diabetes as well as infertility in men. CoQ10 boosts ecSOD, an enzyme that protects blood vessels from damage. Being on a statin drug blocks your body from making any CoQ10. So supplementation is a must in that situation, aim for 200 mg/day.
  5.  Chromium picolinate-200-400ug/day. Chromium is a trace element that is involved with blood sugar regulation as well as cholesterol regulation. Deficiency of chromium is linked to an increased incidence of both diabetes and hardening of the arteries. Long term studies on chromium show that this supplement helps ward off weight gain with age. Other nutrients may be of benefit in specific conditions. Saw palmetto is an herb that has been shown to decrease male pattern baldness and decrease benign prostatic hypertrophy. Aim for 300 mg/day. Glucosamine and chondroitin help to decrease the pain and inflammation in joints associated with osteoarthritis. Studies show 1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200 mg of chondroitin per day is beneficial. Do you have headaches? 250 mg of magnesium per day can alleviate frequent headaches. Magnesium also helps to prevent diabetes as well as increase your body’s production of serotonin, a feel good hormone.
 These supplements are not an exhaustive list, but are often difficult to get through our daily diet, and often decrease in production as we age. These do not take the place of a quality diet, but can enhance your energy levels, ward off serious disease, and keep you healthier longer when taken on a regular basis.

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