As men reach middle age, their nutritional needs begin to change. For instance, a man at 50 years of age needs vitamin C to help reduce his risk of developing both lung cancer and cardiovascular disease; coenzyme Q10 to help combat age-related dementias and lycopene for both prostate cancer prevention and to offer prostate health support. Vitamins that are aimed at men's health can offer significant benefit and help a man lead a healthy, full and productive life well into his golden years.
To help decrease the odds of contracting heart disease or cancer, consider taking a vitamin C supplement. In 1987, the results of a 25-year-long study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; of the 870 men who participated in the study, the men who supplemented with more than 83 mg of vitamin C a day, were 64 percent less likely to develop lung cancer than the men who supplemented with less than 63 mg per day. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C for men 19 years and older is 90 mg; for men who smoke, the RDI is 125 mg.
To help combat the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease and reduce your risk of developing age-related dementia and cancer, consider supplementing with the antioxidant, fat-soluble nutrient vitamin E. The role of Vitamin E in preventing many illnesses has been researched profusely in the last two decades. One study, published in 1993 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that men who consumed higher intakes of vitamin E (60 IU) lowered their risk of coronary artery disease over men who consumed less than 7.5 IU per day. The RDI for vitamin E is set at 22.5 IU for men 19 years of age and older.
For prostate support and help defend against prostate cancer, consider supplementing with 8 to 10 mg of the antioxidant caretonoid lycopene daily. The results of a study conducted by the Department of Urology at St George’s Hospital in London in 2002 and published by Nature Publishing Group demonstrated that supplementing with lycopene helped to inhibit the growth of tumors in men who had prostate cancer. Although there exists no RDI for lycopene, typically consuming 8 to 10 mg a day can offer both cancer prevention and prostate support.
To help defend against developing cardiovascular disease and hypertension and reduce the odds of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, consider supplementing with coenzyme Q10. Although no RDI exists for CoQ10, the Linus Pauling Institute suggests taking 100 to 300 mg a day. A 1999 study published in the journal Biofactors demonstrated that in those with hypertension and coronary artery disease, supplementing with 60 mg of CoQ10 twice daily helped to lower both diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid
Vitamin B12 is necessary for many functions of the body, and it is a common deficiency for many men over the age of 50. Although required for the body to be able to use iron properly, Vitamin B12 is also utilized for red blood cells and is a vital component for a properly functioning nervous system. Folic acid is needed to form both red and white blood cells; it works in conjunction with vitamin B12 to metabolize protein. Supplementing with vitamin B12 can assist in defending against cardiovascular disease as well as Alzheimer's and possibly other forms of dementia, particularly when coupled with supplementation of folic acid. A study that was published in the medical journal Neurology found that individuals who had lower levels of either folic acid or vitamin B12 were 50 percent more likely to succumb to Alzheimer's disease. The RDI for folic acid is 400 mcg per day for men over 19. For vitamin B12, the RDI for men 50 and older is 2.4 mcg.
Tips and Cautions
Always talk with your health care provider before starting a vitamin regimen, particularly if you're on statin drugs or other cholesterol-lowering medications. Never take more than the recommended dosage of any vitamin or mineral. Always read the package label thoroughly on dosage recommendations.