Essential vitamins and minerals for men
Although men and women need the same vitamins and minerals, different physiological and lifestyle factors mean that they may need different amounts. For example, men burn more energy and have higher caloric requirements, and may process nutrients a little differently. Here are some of the most important vitamins and minerals to help maintain optimal health in men.1
Vitamin B12 is one of eight water soluble vitamins that make up the B‐group vitamins. It’s important for men’s health and is necessary for nerve function, mental ability, the production of red blood cells and the breakdown of fatty acids and amino acids for energy production.2 Vitamin B12 is found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, fish, and in smaller quantities in milk. It’s not found in many plant products therefore men who don’t consume animal products should supplement with vitamin B12 to meet their nutritional needs.3
Vitamin C, also known as L‐ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin that is important for overall men’s health. It’s necessary for collagen production, protein metabolism and proper immune function and also acts as an antioxidant.4 You can find vitamin C in all fruits and vegetables in varying amounts. Fruits that contain high levels of vitamin C include citrus and kiwi fruits, mango, papaya, pineapple, berries and watermelon. Vegetables that contain good amounts of vitamin C include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, capsicum, spinach and leafy greens. It’s best to eat these foods raw, but if you need to cook them, microwaving or steaming them, rather than boiling, will help to reduce the amount of vitamin C lost.5
Zinc is an essential mineral found naturally in foods such as oysters, beef, seafood, chicken, pork, beans, whole grains and dairy products. Certain foods are also fortified with extra zinc, such as breakfast cereals.6 Zinc is found in all tissues of the body, although the muscles and bones contain most of it. Zinc is also found in high concentrations in the prostate gland and semen and is an especially important nutrient for male fertility. It supports a healthy prostate, helps maintain healthy sperm count and mobility and testosterone levels.7
Selenium and vitamin E
Selenium is a mineral found in small amounts in the body. It acts as an antioxidant, especially when combined with vitamin E. Antioxidants help to reduce free radicals in the body, which can cause damage to cell membranes and DNA and may contribute to aging.8 Both selenium and vitamin E are also important in male fertility, with a recent study finding that supplementation with these nutrients may have beneficial and protective effects, especially on sperm motility.9
Magnesium is a mineral found in a wide variety of foods, including green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. It’s also found in fish, red meat and poultry.10 Men need to consume more magnesium than women. It’s particularly important for healthy functioning of the kidneys, heart and muscles. Muscles need magnesium in order to contract and relax, as well as for protein metabolism which facilitates muscle growth.11 If you’re concerned that you may not be receiving adequate nutrition from your diet alone, you may like to consider a nutritional supplement. Nature’s Own Mega Potency Men’s Multivitamin helps to provide nutritional support for men with busy lifestyles, in a convenient one‐a‐day dose. It includes B‐complex vitamins, vitamin C for a healthy immune system, antioxidants, as well as zinc to help maintain a healthy prostate.
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Published March 3, 2014
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