These are the key food and supplements we recommend to our male clients, 40 and older to optimize hormone health and vitality.
Omega-3 fatty acids from Fish oil: Working more omega-3 fatty acids into a balanced diet—by eating fatty fish such as wild salmon and supplementing with fish oil—is one of the healthiest things a man can do. Researchers believe fish oil helps lower heart disease risk through several mechanisms: It mildly thins the blood, helps prevent arrhythmias, lowers triglyceride and homocysteine levels, and protects the cardiovascular system from inflammation. And in a recent study, a low inflammatory diet plus a hefty 5-gram daily dose of fish oil slowed prostate cancer cell proliferation in patients awaiting surgery.
Dose: Depending on your risk factors, take 500–700 mg EPA and 300–500 mg DHA daily. Our Favorite product to recommend is Thorne’s Super EPA or if you hate swallowing pills, try DFH OmegaAvail liquid fish oils.
Vitamin D: Despite a flood of recent research news, many people still have inadequate levels of this critical vitamin, which supports bone and muscle strength and bolsters immune function and so much more! We test all clients and most initially have very low levels. Why is this an issue for men? In several studies, low blood levels of vitamin D have been associated with increased risk for heart disease and various cancers including prostate cancer.
Dose: 2,000-10,000 IU (or greater) D3 daily to reach optimum blood levels. According to the Vitamin D Council, they recommend around 50-75 ng/mL or higher. We encourage all men to get their levels tested at least twice a year and optimize your dose accordingly.
Zinc: This mineral is involved in almost every aspect of male reproduction, including testosterone metabolism, sperm formation, and sperm motility. A prime example of the usefulness of zinc was illustrated in a study of 37 infertile men with decreased testosterone levels and associated low sperm counts. The men were given 60 mg of zinc daily for 45-50 days. In the majority of patients, testosterone levels significantly increased and mean sperm count rose from 8 million to 20 million. Key food sources for zinc include pasture raised Bison, pumpkin seeds, crimini and shiitake mushrooms, spinach, and venison.
Dose: Depending on your needs, take 30-45 mg per day.
Co-Enzyme Q10: Your body produces coenzyme Q10; it helps cells manage your body’s energy supply. Recent studies suggest that coenzyme Q10 may fight cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease, and may thin the blood to help prevent heart disease. Q10 is also packed with free-radical-fighting antioxidants, which can slow the signs of aging.
When you’re young, your body produces the necessary levels of CoQ10, but your body’s production declines as you age. To ensure you have adequate amounts of the essential nutrient, you can boost your diet with foods that contain higher levels of CoQ10 such as pasture raised organ meats (the heart and the liver of all animals are the richest sources since this is where the nutrient is stored), sardines, mackerel. Since it’s not likely to effectively boost your CoQ10 levels through diet alone, you men should add a high-quality supplement to your daily regimen.
Dose: Researchers recommend 100-200 mg a day. Tip: If you’re taking statins, which does reduce Q10, consider upping your intake to 200-300 mg.
Grape Seed Extract: Research shows that grape seed/skin extracts may benefit connective tissue, joints, strengthen the elasticity of the blood vessels to reduce risk of stroke and blood pressure, lowers plaque, reduce inflammation of all tissues and decrease overall cancer risk. For example, a study of 35,239 men aged 50-76 who took various types of specialty supplements were followed for a decade to see if there was any relationship between specialty supplement use and prostate cancer. Men who used grape seed extract had a 41 percent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, the only specialty supplement with a clear risk reduction for this type of cancer. This study also has shown that resveratrol boosts the effectiveness of grape seed extract at killing colon cancer cells. These nutrients have a synergistic effect, since they are both found in grapes. In fact, these two nutrients acting together were able to stop colon cancer even when the cancer cell growth was stimulated with growth hormone. 2
Dose: We highly recommend 1-2 gel caps/day of Grape Seed Supreme caps by Designs For Health (DFH) to get the grape seed extract and resveratrol two-punch combo.
Eat your Broccoli- It cotains Dindolylmethane or DIM. DIM is a key substance found naturally in all of cruciferous vegetables (e.g. cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts). As men age, testosterone converts to estrogen naturally which then breaks down into “bad” and “good” estrogen metabolites. DIM blocks estrogen receptor activity. This raises the ratio of testosterone to estrogen. DIM allows more free testosterone to be available in the body which helps elevate mood, build muscle and strengthen bones. Research from the University of California, Berkeley has also concluded that DIM exhibits potent anti-cancer properties. So men, eat plenty of coleslaw and look for a product that will provide additional DIM in your supplement program.
Enjoy Tomatoes! Lycopene is a natural chemical compound found in such fruits as tomatoes, pomegranate, and pink grapefruit. This compound gives the fruit its rich, red color and is a powerful antioxidant. Men studied who had diets high in lycopene-rich foods were found to have less incidences of prostate cancer. In a 2003 Harvard study, 47,000 men who ate 10 servings of tomatoes per week cut their risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer by 50 percent
Dose: Enjoy a daily serving of tomatoes or other red colored vegetables and fruits like pomegranates, pink grapefruit and raspberries. . A serving is a ½ C of fresh tomatoes or ¼ C of puree or tomatoe sauce
- Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2011), OECD Health Statistics, OECD Publishing.
- Netter A, Hartoma R, Nahoul K. Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count. Arch Androl. 1981 Aug;7(1):69-73.
- Brasky TM, Kristal AR, Navarro SL, Lampe JW, Peters U, Patterson RE, White E. Specialty supplements and prostate cancer risk in the VITamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort. Nutr Cancer. 2011 May 63(4):573-82.
Cancer Prevention Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington.
- Giovannucci E. A review of epidemiologic studies of tomatoes, lycopene, and prostate cancer. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2002 Nov;227(10):852-9.
- World’s Healthiest Foods website: http://www.whfoods.com