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Vitamins, minerals and supplements to support men's health

From prostate health to testosterone deficiency, YHL highlights some of the most common health issues that affect men. We've also gathered some expert advice for how to support these issues naturally through diet and supplements.

Male pattern baldness

"Male pattern baldness is primarily influenced by genetic factors and hormones, and nutrition alone cannot prevent or reverse it," says Abbas Kanani, a pharmacist at Chemist Click online pharmacy ( However, he adds that "protein-rich foods are important for hair loss prevention. Hair is primarily made of protein, so ensure your diet includes adequate amounts of lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. Promoting good scalp health and reducing inflammation through the consumption of essential omega-3 fatty acids potentially benefits hair growth. This can be found in fish, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds." Abbas adds that "iron deficiency (anaemia) can lead to hair loss. Eating lean meats, spinach, lentils, and fortified cereals as part of your diet will help to boost levels. You should also consider getting your iron levels checked by your GP to establish whether there are any underlying health issues. Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is essential for hair growth and deficiencies can lead to hair loss. Good sources include eggs, nuts, seeds, whole grains and cauliflower."

Testosterone deficiency

Testosterone deficiency is increasingly becoming recognised as a significant health problem in men. Fortunately there are certain vitamins and minerals which may help. Amanda Williams, CEO and nutritional therapist at supplement brand Cytoplan ( suggests the following nutrients: "Zinc contributes to normal testosterone levels in the blood and protects cells from oxidative stress," she says. "It has been shown to contribute to normal fertility and reproduction and is required for spermatogenesis (the creation of sperm). N-acetyl-carnitine is found in high concentrations in the male reproductive tract and appears to directly stimulate the production of testosterone. Selenium contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and contributes to normal spermatogenesis too. Vitamin C contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and can be found in very high concentrations within semen. Vitamin. B6 contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity while CoQ10 is found in high concentrations within sperm cells. Lycopene is found in high concentrations in the testes and semen too. It may be beneficial to look for a high-quality multi-nutrient formula, or male fertility supportive supplement that can promise a comprehensive level of these nutrients to support male health and testosterone production."

Heart health

"One of the main reasons why men tend to develop heart disease earlier than women is our hormonal differences," says Shona Wilkinson the lead nutritionist with supplement brand Dr Vegan ( "Unlike men, women are somewhat protected by oestrogen and progesterone up until menopause, which, alongside their reproductive duties, play a vital role in boosting blood vessel health and balancing cholesterol as well as helping reduce blood clot formation. Beyond menopause, the risk of developing heart disease becomes the same as for men. The male lifestyle also plays a significant role in their ability to develop heart disease. In general, men tend to smoke and drink more than women and often pay less attention to following a healthy diet and active lifestyle." Shona recommends the following heart-healthy nutrients:

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), found in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are known to have heart-protective effects.

B vitamins, including folate, B3, and vitamin B12, support heart health by reducing levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with increased cardiovascular risk. You can bolster your intake of B vitamins through whole grains, leafy greens, legumes, and lean meats.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that supports energy production in cells and may help maintain heart health. It naturally occurs in foods like organ meats, fatty fish, and whole grains.

Plant sterols and monacolin K help to lower LDL cholesterol levels. Plant sterols are often added to certain fortified foods, such as margarine or orange juice whereas monacolin K is found in red yeast extract.

Prostate health

"Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition where inflammation of the prostate tissue causes increasing constriction of the neck of the bladder," explains Alison Cullen, practice nutritionist and education manager for A. Vogel ( Symptoms include a frequent urge to urinate, a weak stream (dribbling) and nocturia which can seriously disrupt daily activities and reduce quality of life. Alison adds: "Men who have a high intake of vegetables, particularly those rich in beta-carotene, have a reduced risk for BPH. Saw palmetto extract has shown excellent results in long-term trials for lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to BPH, with its efficacy and safety found to be excellent over 12 months. Previous research showed that saw palmetto extract is as effective as drug medication for mild to moderate symptoms of BPH."

Mental health

"When it comes to mental health, many men feel they should be able to cope and deal with their problems and that asking for help could be perceived as a sign of weakness," says Lisa Gunn, mental health prevention lead with the healthcare charity Nuffield Health ( "Some men may feel that they're taking up someone else's place who may have greater needs or that they're wasting their GP's time. A survey conducted by the Priory Group found that 77 per cent of men experience symptoms of anxiety, depression or stress; however, sadly 40 per cent of men don't feel comfortable talking about their mental health. It can be more difficult for men to seek support for their mental health due to traditional masculine roles and perceived societal expectations of men. These expectations can form a real barrier for men getting the help that they deserve and need."

Lisa adds: "There is still a stigma surrounding men's mental health and often these messages can be subtle within society and within communities such as on social media. Perceptions remain and linger that men should be brave, protective or self-reliant which can add to the pressures to look after themselves rather than seek support for their emotional wellbeing."

"It's important to talk to someone: that might be a partner, friend, manager or GP. If symptoms start to impact your ability to function, then make sure you speak with your GP. Help is available and there's no shame in asking for help to look after your mental health. We all experience mental health problems and therefore at times will have mental health needs, so most people around us will be able to understand and relate to some of what we're going through and perhaps can share their experiences also."

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