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Spotlight on Men’s Health

Tuesday November 19, 2019
Spotlight on Men’s Health

In honour of International Men's Day we are turning to the issue of men's health. International Men’s Day encourages men to teach the boys in their lives the values, character and responsibilities of being a man. But what should men be teaching the younger generation about health?

 

Government statistics suggest women are much more likely to seek medical advice about health issues over men, even when they are in better shape! This draws upon a question, do men lack health awareness, or are they afraid to get help?

 

A Healthy Heart

 

Diet and exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease. An Omega-3 rich diet can help maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, whilst lowering blood pressure. Pycnogenol, offers a rich source of plant flavonoids which have shown to significantly improve the risk factors of cardiovascular disease, through antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet action (1).

 

Depression

 

Depression can take emotional and physical forms and there’s evidence to suggest men suffering with depression are more likely to have increased loss of control, become more irritable, and have a greater ‘risk-taking’ attitude. Physical symptoms include difficulty sleeping, loss of energy and appetite.

 

A nutrient dense balanced diet can help. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in reducing inflammation, and supporting normal hormone and neurotransmitter production. Supplementing with herbal adaptogen, Rhodiola rosea, has a long history of evidence to support a beneficial effect on mood, by increasing production of serotonin in the body (2).

 

Infertility

 

 

Image caption: Fertility for Men available at your nearest independent health store.

 

Approximately 30-80% of cases of male infertility involve high oxidative stress. Bad lifestyle choices such as smoking, obesity and alcohol abuse, increase oxidative stress levels. This in turn creates an unfavourable environment in the body for reproduction.

 

Consuming a healthy, nutrient dense diet could increase your likelihood of conception. Coenzyme Q10 has demonstrated a beneficial role on semen mobility, whilst zinc, vitamin E and C are important for semen quality, and selenium and l-carnitine can enhance both properties (3).

 

Stress

 

Stress can manifest psychologically and physiologically, often leading to burn out and fatigue. The use of mindfulness, meditation, exercise, or reading may contribute to stress management.  B-vitamins are essential to support your bodies hormone and energy production, whilst supplements with L-theanine and Lemon Balm focus on a calming effect and contribute to the feeling of wellbeing (4).

 

General vitality and immunity

 

 

Image caption: Vitamin C, D and Zinc can support a healthy immune system. 

 

Follow a nutrient dense diet that includes richly coloured vegetables and fruit, supported with legumes, organic proteins with healthy fats from avocado, nuts, seeds, or nutritional oils. Supplementing with a good natural multivitamin, alongside a probiotic to improve gut bacteria, will ensure optimum digestion and absorption of all the essential nutrients needed for vitality.

 

Taking Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc can help support a healthy immune system. There are lots of products available so it’s advisable to check the ingredients, potency and sugar levels as some brands can contain up to nine teaspoons of sugar.

 

Author: Katie Bell, MSc BSc. nutritionist and biochemist. She has worked as a Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition.


References
1. Pycnogenol and cardiovascular health. watson, RR. s.l. : Evid Based ntergretive medicine , 2003, Vol. 1. 27-32.
2. Clinical Nturopathy. Sarris , J . 1, s.l. : Elsevier, 2015, Vol. 5.
3. Antioxidant supplements and seme parameters: An evidence based review. Sedigheh, A. s.l. : Int J Reprod Biomed, 2016, Vol. 14. 729-736.
4. Herbal medicine for depression, anxiety and insomnia: a review of psychopharmacology and clinical evidence . Sarris, J, et al. 12, s.l. : Eur Neuropsychopharmacol, 2011, Vol. 21. 841-60.

 

The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.

 

TAGS: Men's Healthrhodiola, men's health

 

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