Seven ‘Natural’ Supplements Every Man Should Know About
Posted under: Mind, Body, Lifestyle
While I’m not a big fan of stuffing pills, if I have to or think I should I would prefer to go with the ‘natural’ stuff – food supplements.
The good news (and bad news) about food supplements is that there is a lot of it out there to choose from, relatively easy to get your hands on and is largely unregulated by government agencies who might typically oversee such things. Legitimacy of claims is oftentimes at best anecdotal, quality of products unknown and consistency varies considerably from supplier to supplier.
Welcome to the ‘wild wild west’ of food supplements! Let’s give it a shot! Here are seven natural supplements I think we should know about.
- Resveratrol is the latest darling of the natural supplements industry, helped by publicity from celebrity physician Dr. Oz on Oprah and with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America. If you haven’t noticed Dr Oz ads have been popping up all over the web in recent weeks (2009). First reported in the popular press under the theme of ‘why red wine was good for you,’ the research has moved quickly to more serious themes, such as a treatment for cancer and diabetes. Early evidence in animal studies suggests resveratrol can trigger a chemical called sirtuin that stimulates ‘anti-aging’ responses in the body. It is apparently getting A LOT of attention from the scientific community, too. The pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline acquired rights to the technology in 2008. More information is provided here.
- Acai ‘berry’ has recently seemed to be singing second fiddle to resveratrol but the spam and ads are still plastered everywhere touting the benefits of this fruit from Central and South America. Even Walmart is hawking the stuff. As the Acai fruit is high in antioxidants, it is believed to be effective in fighting cancer and anti-aging. Most benefits being promoted seem to surround its supposed effects on weight loss. More information is provided here.
- L-Arginine, also, Arginine (sometimes referred to a ‘natural’ Viagra), is an amino acid necessary to produce nitric oxide, which is believed to be a blood vessel dilator. WebMD (linked below) indicates that it might help with heart, kidney, erectile dysfunction (ED), hormone and immune system function. Watermelon contains another amino acid called citrulline which is converted to arginine in our blood system, thus another potential natural source of this ‘viagra’. More information is available here.
- St John’s Wort is often described as a natural anti-depressant and mood enhancer. This one has been around a long time and has considerable acceptance within the medical community as a non-prescription medication. Never used it myself as I didn’t know I was depressed until I wasn’t any longer. If you would like more information on this supplement, click here.
- Omega-3 fatty acids have also been recognized for some time to provide a number of benefits including reducing risk of stroke and heart disease to unclogging the kitchen sink. Well, don’t recall actually reading about that kitchen sink thing, but many benefits have been noted. Additional benefits claimed include reduction of symptoms related to depression, hypertension, joint pain, and much more. I’ve never used this, but after studying this for this article, I can see that I should consider it. Eating what are referred to as ‘fatty fish’(salmon, mackerel, and tuna) twice a week is a recommended part of the diet, or flax seed is considered a non-fishy alternative. Sounds yummie! Extensive discussion on this can be found here.
- Ginseng is used along the same lines as Arginine and is argued to help with erectile dysfunction, among other claims. It and other supplements are discussed on WebMD here.
- Ginkgo Biloba is most often touted as a ‘memory enhancer’ but due to its apparent properties that increase blood flow, it is similar to Ginseng and Arginine in that respect. Some evidence suggests it is more effective as a treatment for ED for people using antidepressants. Find more information on WebMD here.
Why are so many men interested in enhancing their blood flow? Well, aside from the potential heart-related benefits of such, it mostly relates to enhancing blood flow to the penis. So, there you have it! We’ve been caught! So, while we’re looking at her, we’re wondering if ‘he’ will join in at the appropriate time…. Mercy! Do we have our priorities! Oh, and one other thing, caution should be used when combining blood-flow enhancers such as arginine, ginkgo, ginseng and others discussed above, especially if you are using medications to control for high blood pressure, taking Viagra and like medications, or nitroglycerin as they could cause a serious drop in blood pressure. As always take seriously my disclaimer below, because it is serious!
Disclaimer. Like all other information on this site, this information is for informational purposes only. This content is not in any way a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.