Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Top 12 Men's Supplements by Dr. Jody Snider

Listen up, Gentlemen; a few of these supplements may just save your life. 

Here is a list of the best supplements (as well as some dietary tips thrown in for good measure) for men – of all ages!

Attention men in your 20-30’s, it’s time to start thinking about your HEALTH! 

I know, I know, until just recently you were young, and invincible, right? Now, suddenly, you can’t eat whatever you want, recovery from workouts is taking just a wee bit longer than it used to, and (yes, I’m just going to say it!), even you think it may be time to address this gas problem. You’re an adult now, and it’s time to take care of yourself!

Panax Ginseng: Like others in the ginseng family, panax ginseng is what is known as an adaptogen, meaning it helps support us through stress, improving energy, concentration and promoting a general sense of well being. Panax ginseng has been studied for its use in improving exercise performance, and has been shown to increase stamina and endurance, as well as recovery time post exertion. Panax is also included in a number of libido support formulas, uh,… not that you need any help in that department!

Amino Acids: If you are not getting adequate protein, you are not getting adequate amino acids – essential for repair, growth, brain and muscle function, energy, mood and our ability to use and lose fat. Acetyl L carnitine is a derivative of one particular amino acid called carnitine. It has been shown to improve fatigue and enhance fat burning during exercise, as well as improve memory (it has also been used to treat Alzheimer’s), support balanced blood sugar levels, and improve circulation and fertility. Amino acids are highest in animal proteins, such as meat or dairy. A high quality whey protein powder is a fast and effective way to boost these levels if diet is less than optimal. If you have to stay away from dairy, many combination vegan protein powders on the market today contain a full spectrum of both essential and non-essential amino acids.

Fish Oil: I can’t say enough about fish oil. There are so many (MANY!) health benefits associated with taking fish oil, high in omega fatty acids EPA and DHA, it difficult to know where to start. Fish oil has been shown to lower triglyceride levels, and increase the “good” HDL cholesterol. It’s an anti-inflammatory extraordinaire, supporting joint health, intestinal health and immune function. Even strong men get the blues, and EPA from fish oil has also been shown to help treat mild to moderate depression. Consider it your new liquid multi - for the multitude of benefits 1-3 tsp./day possess.

Probiotics: You are now officially old enough to talk about bowel health without cracking jokes. Chronic gas and/or reflux, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation these may all be signs that your bowel is not functioning optimally. Start by improving your healthy gut flora with a good quality probiotic. Look for a multi-strain combination (anywhere from 5-10). Probiotics support healthy digestion, as well as being an integral part of the immune system.

Keeping Fine-Tuned & Fit  at 40:

Lucky you, you seem to be getting more handsome and confident the older you get, but what about your body, how do you feel? Is your weight catching up to you? Are your joints starting to ache a little more now? We should never feel older than we look! Now and is the time to start thinking about disease prevention and improving quality of life in the decades to come!

Soluble Fibre: In addition to promoting regularity and healthy detoxification, soluble fibre also helps to ensure balanced blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol levels, and support healthy weight loss (or prevent weight gain!). A diet low in fibre and high in fats is one of the leading risk factors in the development of colorectal cancers. Foods high in soluble fibre include oats and oatmeal, legumes, such as beans and peas, along with many fruits and vegetables, such as apples, avocados, and carrots. Again, if your diet needs a little boost, try adding a scoop of ground flax or other soluble fibre supplement to your morning cereal.

Lycopene: It’s never too early to start thinking about prostate health. Lycopene is a carotene with mighty antioxidant powers. It is found in bright red fruits and vegetables, highest in cooked tomato products, such as stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce or salsa. Research suggests that lycopene may be a powerful cancer prevention tool, proving most effective in the prevention of prostate, lung and stomach cancers. Lycopene can be found in many supplements aimed at increasing antioxidants, or to enhance prostate health. When eating cooked tomato products, make sure to eat with a small amount of fat (think high quality olive oil) to enhance lycopene absorption.

Magnesium: Magnesium supplementation is pretty much a no-brainer! Magnesium can do wonders to reduce muscular tension, cramping and pain due to strain or over use, as well as reducing incidence and severity of tension related headaches. It is also incredibly important to the nervous system, cardiovascular system, and to help support balanced blood sugar levels, as well as helping to prevent diabetic related neuropathies. We are generally deficient in magnesium, and it is difficult to get enough through diet alone, making supplementation a great option!

Green tea or EGCG: So, you’ve put on a few pounds. It’s nothing to worry about, right? Well… weight gain has the potential to be extremely harmful if it gets out of control. Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, many cancers, as well as both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, to name only a few. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is an extract of green tea that has been associated with increased thermo genesis and weight loss. It is also high in antioxidants and green tea consumptions in general, including EGCG consumption, has been linked to decreased cancer incidence, healthier cholesterol levels, and less cardiovascular and liver disease.

50 + & Still Going Strong!

50 is the new 40 (whatever that means!). Hopefully this is a time when financial concerns are a little less concerning, family life starts to get a little easier, and you can stop and smell the roses just a bit. Slowing down doesn’t have to mean stopping, it may simply mean more time to spend with family and friends and a chance to focus on hobbies that you’ve been putting off due to a hectic schedule, like gardening, golf or fishing. It’s a time to FEEL GOOD and ENJOY what you’ve worked so hard to accomplish!

Saw Palmetto: Urinary frequency, urgency and hesitancy are arguably the most common complaints of men in the 50 + age group. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) may be a common condition at the root of these symptoms, but it certainly doesn’t have to be your new normal! Saw Palmetto is rich in phytosterols, independently known to balance our inflammatory response and support healthy cholesterol levels. Saw Palmetto has been shown to produce similar results as finesteride, a commonly used pharmaceutical medication treating symptoms associated with BPH, along with being better tolerated than the medication.

CoQ10: CoQ10 provides energy, in the form of oxygen delivery, to all the cells of the body, particularly important for muscle cells. The heart is a muscle, and in turn, COQ10 is vital to optimal cardiovascular function. As we age, our natural production of Coenzyme Q10 declines. Statin medications, often prescribed to decrease high cholesterol levels, also greatly interfere with our body’s ability to make it’s own CoQ10. Look for ubiquinol COQ10 varieties, as they are believed to be better absorbed and utilized in the body.

Vitamin D: It comes as no surprise to most North Americans that we are generally deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is another big player in the fight against and prevention of a variety of common cancers, including colorectal cancers, breast cancer, cancers of the prostate, pancreas and more. Most people also know about the importance of vitamin D in bone health, helping with the absorption and utilization of calcium. Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked with increased incidence of depression. It’s also essential for a strong immune system, with adequate vitamin D levels now known to be one of our best defences against cold and flu.

Curcumin: When those mild joint aches start to turn into stiffness and pain, it’s time to turn to curcumin. Another plant based anti-inflammatory, and so much more, curcumin is an extract of turmeric, a spice used in many fragrant and colourful Indian dishes. Curcumin goes far beyond joint health. Having an affinity for the liver, curcumin supports both phase I and II detoxification of the liver, enhancing overall function. There is also a lot of buzz around this powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant for use in cancer prevention and treatment of autoimmune disease.

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