Supplements are an excellent addition to a well-regimented men’s health routine. When combined with a good diet, stress management, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise, supplements can help keep the body functioning at peak performance for many years to come.
The best way to approach supplementation is through a carefully targeted approach.
What does this mean?
Look at the weaknesses your body may have, and take measures to strengthen those areas — especially if supplementing for the long-term.
Men and women have a lot of differences physiologically, and therefore it makes sense that some of the key areas of focus for supplementation can vary between the two genders.
In this article, we’re going to discuss our top 5 men’s health supplements, and outline a few of the reasons why men are choosing to use these supplements on a daily basis.
Let’s get started.
Supplementation Philosophy: Men’s Health
Men and women are biologically differentiated by the ratio of the two main sex hormones — testosterone and estrogen. Women have a higher estrogen ratio, which regulates female reproductive organs, and controls fertility.
Likewise, testosterone regulate the male sex organs and fertility, gives men larger muscle mass and more hair growth and drives the development of reproductive organs in adolescent years.
As men age, testosterone levels start to rise during early puberty and peak around the 25th year of life. For the next 5-10 years, testosterone levels remain stable before gradually dropping off at a rate of about 0.4–2% per year .
Testosterone remains highly important for a mans health throughout his entire life — so keeping testosterone levels at optimal levels is extremely important, especially after we reach peak levels in the 25th year of life.
When testosterone levels drop too low, we may start to experience issues with male reproductive organs — such as the prostate. We may also begin to lose our sex-drive or become depressed and low-energy. Most men will even begin to lose a lot of our muscle mass in exchange for unwanted abdominal fat.
This is just the tip of the iceberg — there’s a whole gamut of disorders linked with testosterone loss as men age — commonly referred to as andropause (like menopause but for male hormones).
In order to delay this natural process men are taking supplements to boost testosterone levels earlier in life and delay the loss of this critical hormone as we age.
Let’s get into our top 5 supplements for men’s health.
Top 5 Supplements for Men’s Health
1. Saw Palmetto
Contrary to the points above, not all testosterone is inherently good for us. Testosterone is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of different compounds, each with slightly different potencies.
One form of testosterone is particularly problematic — which goes by the name of 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is about 5 times as strong as free testosterone. An enzyme known as 5-alpha-reductase is responsible for converting unbound (free) testosterone into DHT.
This particular form of testosterone is believed to be the leading cause of a condition that affects older men called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
BPH causes a gradual increase in the size of the testosterone-sensitive prostate gland in older men  — eventually leading to a blockage of the urethra. This can make it very difficult to urinate and can be extremely uncomfortable.
Saw palmetto berries contain a collection of fatty substances that have the unique ability to inhibit 5-alpha-reductase  — thereby reducing the progression of BPH in older men. These benefits require a long duration of use — over the course of several weeks.
Saw palmetto is used as a male health tonic throughout life — but is especially for older men.
Magnesium is involved in hundreds of different enzymatic reactions around the body — many of which are involved in the maintenance of the male reproductive organs.
One such role of magnesium is in the production of testosterone. When magnesium levels drop, testosterone drops along with it.
Magnesium deficiencies are common due to the many roles this mineral has in the body and the lack of magnesium-rich foods in the modern diet. Men are especially prone to magnesium deficiencies thanks to a higher muscle mass. Muscle requires magnesium to rebuild, so after a strenuous workout, our magnesium levels may begin to fall. If we don’t replenish this vital nutrient, it can lead to issues with testosterone production.
One study found that men using magnesium supplements had higher testosterone levels than those without the supplement — researchers also noted that people who supplement magnesium AND exercise regularly had the greatest improvement overall .
Magnesium is a great supplement to take for daily health because it’s a safe, affordable, and simple way to avoid a long list of negative health effects related to magnesium deficiencies — including testosterone loss.
3. Longjack (Tongkat Ali)
Longjack is a Southeast Asian herb traditionally used to promote vigor and health in men.
This herb has many suggested health benefits on the body. It’s reported to have aphrodisiac, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antioxidant, and androgenic effects on the body. The most important for the context of this discussion is the latter.
The idea is that by supplementing longjack, men may be able to boost their serum testosterone levels naturally — optimising peak testosterone levels in younger men, and reducing testosterone loss in older men.
More research is needed to confirm these findings, but men around the world continue to report improvements after using this simple herbal supplement.
4. Tribulus terrestris
Tribulus comes to us from the Ayurvedic medical system of India — where it was primarily used to support male fertility and the cardiovascular system (which are intimately connected).
Although the herb has a long history of use for supporting hormone levels in both men and women, it’s been shown to have little direct benefit on testosterone levels .
However, the herb has been shown to offer improvement in libido, and the ability to have an erection in impotent men . This is due to a combination of hormone-supportive and cardiovascular benefits of the herb.
The cardiovascular system is a critical component of the male reproductive organs, especially the penis. Patients suffering from heart disease, even mild forms (common in older males) often experience impotence and erectile dysfunction .
5. Pine Pollen
The pollen of the pine tree is one of the only sources of testosterone in the plant kingdom — it has a lot of it. Just 10 grams of pine pollen was found to contain 0.8 mcg of testosterone .
It’s not likely this testosterone is absorbed — the compound id first broken down before being absorbed in the gut. However, the amino acids that makeup testosterone are now readily available for the body to produce on it’s own.
Although you can’t use this stuff like an anabolic steroid to force testosterone levels higher (like some companies are claiming), it serves as an excellent nutritional tonic to help you maintain peak testosterone levels throughout life.
For best results, it’s suggested you take pine pollen over longer periods of time (weeks or months).
Final Thoughts: Using Supplements For Men’s Health
One of the key areas of focus in the maintenance of male health and fertility is supporting the production and metabolism of testosterone. The goal is to support optimal levels of the hormone in early life, up until around age 25. After this point, the goal is to slow the natural decline of this essential male hormone — which is reduced at a rate of around 1–3% per year for the rest of your life.
Men who don’t take measures to maintain testosterone may experience a faster decline of this critical hormone past the age of 25 or 30. This may lead to long-term health issues like muscle wasting, loss of libido, depression, impotence, and cardiovascular disease.
Using the supplements above along with other lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, regular exercise, stress management, eating a well-balanced diet, and getting adequate sleep — you may be able to achieve peak testosterone levels and maintain these levels as you age.
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