Dietary supplements: Are they all good for you?
Written By : Catherine Grant
- Why men consume dietary supplements
- List of supplements that can harm your body
- Nutrients and supplements
Why men consume dietary supplements
What are dietary supplements? Dietary supplements are created with the intention to provide nutrients that may not be consumed in sufficient quantities through regular means. Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and fibers. A lot of guys consume supplement to boost their body, prevent disease or improve their bedroom performance. The important thing to know is that supplements cannot be a substitute for food. They simply can’t replace all the benefits of a good, proper meal. Still, sometimes it is good to consume dietary supplements, especially those that are rich in calcium, potassium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. That means that supplements can keep your bones and muscles strong and help you improve your stamina. They also can help some people with heart disease. Still, before consuming supplements you should keep few things in mind:
- Don’t take supplements in combination with medications unless your doctor say so
- Consult with your doctor should you take supplements if you are scheduled to have any type of surgical procedure
- “Natural” is not always safe. Some natural substances can cause you problems if your body starts to reject them. You must know what supplements your body accepts.
- Always be careful when you consume the supplements. You must know what is the proper dose to take and what are the potential benefits and risks of the product you are about to consume.
The supplements you should avoid
Selenium is a trace mineral that is found in bread, poultry, fish and meat. Since most of the foods that we consume on regular basis contain this supplement, the need for selenium should not be so great. A few decades ago there was a myth that selenium greatly improves human body and cardiac health but actually, very few of these theories proved to be true. Modern research indicates that if you consume selenium in large doses over an extended period of time, there is a chance for development of malignant lesions such as skin cancer. Contrary to popular belief, selenium doesn’t protect your organism against prostate cancer, it can actually cause it in some susceptible men.
Vitamin E is most commonly found in nuts, seeds, and vegetables that have been considered to help disease prevention. Some research even suggested that vitamin E can reduce both cardiovascular risk and the risk of cancer. Although vitamin E showed its benefits during a testing phase, it turns out that it is not that much effective when applied to humans. Also, many scientists believe that high levels of vitamin E in your body can cause prostate cancer. Recent studies have proved otherwise. Consuming some extra vitamin E through supplements doesn’t have any benefits on your body so there is no need to waste money on a product that accomplishes nothing.
Yohimbe is an evergreen tree found in western Africa and its extract that is made from the tree’s bark is most commonly sold illegally on the black market. You can obtain yohimbine, tree’s active ingredient, through legal means, but only by prescription. Although many studies have failed to prove it, yohimbine is believed to help erectile dysfunction. What yohimbine actually does is that it mimics what Viagra or Cialis do to the blood flow. Researchers say that yohimbine can’t do it well as prescribed medications do and it doesn’t do it in a safe way. Also, yohimbine doesn’t mix well with other medications. It can elevate blood pressure, increase heart rate, cause dizziness and headache. All in all, using this supplement doesn’t grant you the expected results and it is also too risky.
Horny Goat Weed
The story goes that one day a shepherd noticed increased sexual behavior in goats who ate this plant and so he named it “Horny Goat Weed”. Many believe that this plant actually increases blood flow to the penis. Officially, the effect of this plant has never been studied in humans. It is known that this weed contains edimedium which can help with erectile dysfunction. It is not known how much of it this plant contains. Also, this plant contains arsenic and lead which are quite dangerous for human body. Since the exact dose of this plant that is required to use is not mentioned and it can also cause some allergic reactions, it is for the best to avoid consuming it.
Beta-Carotene and Vitamin A
Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A by the human body. Vitamin A is vital for the health of your eyes, skin and immune system. If consumed in reasonable doses it can be quite helpful for your body. Modern studies have shown that high doses of vitamin A in the human body, especially when consumed through supplements, can increase the risk for a lung cancer. This especially affects men who smoke.
Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA for short, is a steroid hormone that your body produces and converts into sex hormones. Since the amounts of this hormone in the human body decline after age 30, many guys want to “get back on track” by consuming supplements that contain DHEA. Consuming this supplement can actually harm the natural production of this hormone in your body and it can also disturb your cholesterol levels. If necessary, it is best to take DHEA under medical supervision.
Tribulus Terrestris and Tongkat Ali
These two plants are believed to be natural testosterone boosters. Although it is proved to be true when it comes to animals, no studies have been done on humans. Consuming a supplement because someone on the internet says so can be a crucial mistake, so it is better to consult your doctor about trying these two plants.
Nutrients and supplements
Sometimes you need supplements to boost your body. Before it comes to that, you should know how to prevent vitamin deficiency from happening. The human body needs a variety of nutrients in order to perform well including calcium and vitamin D for the bones, folic acid for the cells and vitamin A for good vision and strong immune system. Food is the best choice for that. If you do need supplements, you should first check with your doctor. You need to check exactly what you need and what allergies you could develop by using a certain supplement. And also very important thing is, once you start consuming supplements, be sure not to exaggerate because it could be pretty bad for your health.