Nutrition for Him

Male-friendly supplements and herbs
help boost a man’s well-being.


September 2013


Stress, toxins, meals eaten on the run, nights out with the guys, evenings when the tube and the couch seem a lot more welcoming than the gym and the track: There’s a lot in modern life that can take a toll on male health. Throw in aging’s insidious effects and soon enough a man might wonder where that rough-and-ready-for-anything guy in his early 20s went to.

Fortunately, natural ways to feel more energetic and vital abound. In addition to the standard advice—clean up your diet, desert the couch (however reluctantly), find ways to blow off steam—there are certain nutrients, herbs and supplements that have been shown to improve energy and libido levels while protecting against the kinds of chronic disorders that can send you to the sidelines in a hurry. Here are some of the most useful.

Nutrient/Herb What It Is How It Helps Men
Adaptogens This category of herbs includes eleuthero, ginseng and rhodiola, all native to northern East Asia, as well as India’s ashwagandha Adaptogens help the body cope with physical and mental stress, boost performance and endurance, and fight fatigue; traditionally used as aphrodisiacs; have shown immune-stimulating properties in studies
Alpha Lipoic Acid
One of the body’s own powerful antioxidants; found in both animal and plant sources, with animal sources yielding higher amounts Recycles other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and glutathione, which may have an anti-aging effect; serves as a cofactor for enzymes that control cellular energy production; fights the side effects of high glucose levels
Amino Acids
Protein building blocks that include alanine, arginine, glutamine, glycine,
histidine and phenylalanine, as well as carnitine, an amino acid derivative
Helps build the body’s structural proteins, including those in muscle; arginine promotes healthy circulation and erectile function; carnitine has boosted athletic performance and cardiovascular function in studies
Bee Pollen
A powdery substance that supplies the male reproductive element in plants, as gathered by bees and stored in their hives An especially rich source of amino acids, minerals and B vitamins as well as numerous enzymes and coenzymes; serves as an antioxidant; used to increase energy and endurance
Cassia Nomame
An herb native to Africa, Asia and Australia Protects against free fatty acid development by blocking fat absorption in the intestines; this action promotes production of HGH, a hormone essential for cellular regeneration, particularly in muscle and bone tissue
Fenugreek
A spice used in Indian curries and stews Used traditionally as an aphrodisiac and reproductive-system tonic; contains furostanol saponins, substances that help boost testosterone levels and promote sperm production; also helps balance blood sugar levels
Grape/Apple
Polyphenols
Antioxidant compounds found in grapes, apples and other plants as well Used to counteract peroxynitrite, a free radical that reduces testosterone levels; lowers inflammation and supports healthy cardiovascular function; has increased athletic performance in studies
Lycopene A carotenoid found in tomatoes, watermelon and other fruits and vegetables An antioxidant that has been found to inhibit human cancer cell growth; high levels have been linked to reduced prostate cancer risk as well as reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Saw Palmetto/
Pygeum
Two herbs often used together; saw palmetto is native to the southern US, pygeum to Africa Used to help reduce the symptoms, such as frequent or difficult urination, of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH);
in studies saw palmetto has inhibited production of DHT, a substance linked to baldness
Tongkat Ali An herb, Eurycoma longifolia, native to Southeast Asia Traditionally used in Malaysia to increase energy and vitality, and as an aphrodisiac; has improved libido, erectile function and sperm production in studies; also helps reduce stress and lift mood
Tribulus Terrestris An herb long used in the traditional healing systems of China and India Has increased serum levels of luteinizing hormone, leading to higher levels of testosterone, and improved libido in studies
Zinc A mineral most highly concentrated in animal foods as well as some seeds and vegetables Essential to production of both testosterone and sperm, as well as sperm motility; also helps regulate genetic activity, maintain healthy immune function and smell and taste sensitivity, and support healthy glucose levels

GlucodOX

A proprietary combination of guggul, the resin from a tree commonly found in northern India, and a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil

Is used to promote insulin sensitivity (which helps control blood sugar levels) and support cellular energy production, to inhibit cholesterol production and to help regulate fat storage

Muira Puama

A tree native to the Amazonian rainforest

Traditionally used to treat diminished libido and erectile dysfunction; has been found to support better brain functioning in animal studies; may also help fight stress and depression

Pumpkin Seed

Seeds from the popular orange winter squash

An excellent source of zinc, manganese and other minerals; contains phytosterols that may help ease symptoms of benign prostatic enlargement

Selenium

A vital trace mineral (meaning it’s needed in extremely small amounts)

Is a vital component of several antioxidant enzymes; helps regulate thyroid hormones, which control the body’s energy metabolism; studies have found a link between low selenium intake and increased risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer

Velvet Bean

A climbing vine found in Africa, India and the Caribbean

Traditionally used as an aphrodisiac and nerve restorative, and for the treatment of reproductive system disorders; has been found to support production of HGH and testosterone; has helped counteract the effects of diabetes on the male reproductive tract in animal studies

NOTE: Always consult with your healthcare practitioner for help in designing a supplementation program, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.

 

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