Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Men’s Health – The 16 Best Suppliments for Men

For future reference, any time that I am adding my two cents, I will post the link the the article here at the beginning of my post. I am doing this to give you the opportunity to read the article sans my personal bias before reading my opinions on it.

So without further adieu, here is today's article:

I would like to comment on each suggested supplement individually, but first I want to list all the natural sources for all 16 suggested supplements together. My reason for doing this is so that you can see that if you are already consuming these natural sources, then you have no need for any of the suggested supplements (in pill form of course). I am a fan of getting as many of your nutrients from real food as possible and only supplementing when the only natural source is a food that you just personally do not like to eat. Being a somewhat picky eater, this is the case for me in that I do supplement some things in pill form because I just do not like the taste the foods that are the natural sources of the nutrient.

The list of natural sources for the 16 suggested supplements:

Red meat, dairy products, fish (especially fatty fish), eggs, broccoli, sunshine, leafy greens, whole grains, pumpkin seeds, coffee, nuts, "some fortified cereal grains", Yogurt, kefir, Red wine, parsley, grapefruit, onions, apples, Crustacean shells, green tea, Fresh or cooked tomatoes, fruits with red/pink flesh, Red wine, red grape juice, Saw palmetto berries

My first thought on this list is to immediately remove a few items for various reasons.


Psyllium Husk: "some fortified cereal grains"

If a food item is "fortified" that means something was chemically added to it by processing. That does not fit the definition of a "natural source". Also notice fortified milk as a source of Vitamin D. Logic fail, next...


Glucosamine: crustacean shells

Seriously?!? Have you ever heard of someone eating crustacean shells? Please correct me if I am ignorant on this, because I could honestly be missing something here. Glucosamine is also present in animal bones and bone marrow. Many people in the Paleo community praise the nutritional content of bone broth. I personally have never had it, but I am interested in giving it a try. I do know that one time that I made red beans with the bones from the Thanksgiving turkey, it tasted damn good.


Saw Palmetto: Saw Palmetto berries

From Wikipedia: "it grows in clumps or dense thickets in sandy coastal lands or as undergrowth in pine woods or hardwood endemic to the southeastern United States, most commonly along the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal plains, but also as far inland as southern Arkansas."

I have a logical problem when anyone tries to tell me that there is a nutrient found only in a special plant found only in a special climate/region that is necessary for all humans to consume. Do you see where I have an issue with the logic of this line of thinking?


Magnesium: whole grains

I have to remove whole grains here because people can have anywhere from a mild, hardly noticeable reaction to gluten, to being totally gluten intolerant. Since there are other source than whole grains (Leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, coffee, nuts), I think we have plenty of natural option without whole grains.


EGCG: green tea

This is supposed to be used to help reduce extra body fat because it "is thought to prolong exercise-induced boosts in metabolism." For me, "thought to" doesn't mean shit as far as being a logical reason to support the need for supplementation via pills.

First, what would you think if somebody came up to you on the street and tried to sell you a pill because they thought that it would increase you happiness. When you ask "how?", they have to respond "I don't know exactly how, but I think it does."

Second, I have read recent studies that show evidence that a high metabolism might actually not be a good thing. It showed that higher metabolism equals higher rates of oxidation and more rapid spread of cancer. People in the study with lower metabolisms appeared to be healthier and live longer than those with high metabolisms. Of course you cannot do a controlled study on long term differences between high and low metabolisms and this was an epidemiological study, but I do find its results to have merit and be worthy of additional thought on the subject.


Resveratrol: Red wine, red grape juice

From Wikipedia: "Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants when under attack by pathogens such as bacteria or fungi. Resveratrol is currently a topic of numerous animal and human studies into its effects. The effects of resveratrol on the lifespan of many model organisms remain controversial, with uncertain effects in fruit flies, nematode worms, and short-lived fish. In mouse and rat experiments, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, blood-sugar-lowering and other beneficial cardiovascular effects of resveratrol have been reported. Most of these results have yet to be replicated in humans. In the only positive human trial, extremely high doses (3–5 g) of resveratrol in a proprietary formulation have been necessary to significantly lower blood sugar. Despite mainstream press alleging resveratrol's anti-aging effects, there is little present scientific basis for the application of these claims to mammals (see Life-Extension section below)."

So all this resveratrol hype is not based on any evidence from human or even mamal studies at reasonable doses? Again, fail...



SAMe is "Made in your body, possibly after eating meats, greens, and oranges". I have two objections to this one.

I cringe when someone is trying to persuade me on their argument and they use words and phrases like: thought to, possibly, can aid in, may help to, is believed to, etc. Now in my own personal defense, I do use these term where appropriate when I am mentioning something as conversation fodder to see what others' opinions are on it, but I would never use them as hard evidence to support my argument.

The second complaint I have for this suggested supplement is that they are suggesting I supplement something that is made naturally inside my body after eating meat and/or vegetables. Seriously?!? Also, I have noticed a pattern with supplements that are chemicals which are naturally made in you body seem to have an extremely low bio-availability when ingested in pill form. So, the alternative seems to be to supplement the precursors to the chemical in question. This is the case with glutathione and supplements like Protandim.


My Conclusion

So, after I have ran this article through my personal filter, I come to the following conclusion:

If you regularly eat red meat, dairy products, fish (especially fatty fish), eggs, leafy greens, nuts, onions, apples, and tomatoes and you get plenty of safe exposure to sunshine, then you have no need to take any of these pill supplements.

I personally need to work on the leafy greens, but I do consume all the other foods on a regular basis (at least once a week).

As always, your thoughts and opinions are welcome, so please comment if you want to.

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