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Important Vitamins & Minerals for Men

By K.T. Parker

Dr. Mehmet Oz -- citing a study that found of 3 million people surveyed, less than 1 percent met their daily vitamin and mineral needs -- states everyone needs a multivitamin. He notes that men don't need a multivitamin that contains iron but that specific vitamins and minerals can help ensure good health in men.

Zinc for Prostate Health

Zinc boosts your immune system, helps your body with enzyme processes and helps optimize your senses of taste and smell. For men, zinc is also an important mineral because of its role in prostate health. According to Dr. Oz, prostate cancer is a leading cause of death among men, and most men have at least some abnormal prostate cells by the time they become elderly. The prostate tissue stores the most zinc, and lower levels have a possible correlation with higher rates of cancer. Dr. Oz recommends supplementing with no more than 40 milligrams daily to reduce the chance of side effects from excessive intake, which can include headache and diarrhea.

Vitamin C

In "Vitamins and Minerals," Dr. Zina Kroner advises that vitamin C is important for a healthy heart. Vitamin C might prevent heart attacks and keep the delicate lining of the heart's blood vessels pliable. A study in the March 1997 issue of "BMJ" followed a group of middle-aged men with no pre-existing heart conditions. Researchers determined men with deficient levels of vitamin C were 3.5 times more likely to have a heart attack. Men need 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily.

Selenium for Healthy Sperm

Selenium is an important mineral that may play a role in heart health, preventing cancer and inhibiting cognitive decline, though more research is necessary, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. For men, selenium is important for reducing the risk of prostate cancer and for creating healthy sperm. A small study, published in a 2003 edition of "Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine," found 225 micrograms of selenium combined with 400 milligrams of vitamin E daily for three months increased sperm motility and improved semen quality in participants. Men should get at least 55 micrograms daily.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for many bodily functions, including bone growth and cell death. A study in the February 1997 issue of "Diabetologia" found that elderly men with vitamin D deficiencies were more likely to be glucose intolerant. An older study following 1,954 men, published in a 1985 issue of "The Lancet," found a link between lower vitamin D and calcium levels and a greater prevalence of colorectal cancer. Another study, published in the February 2006 issue of "Journal of the National Cancer Institute," determined men with vitamin D levels of at least 25 nanomoles per liter circulating in the bloodstream had less risk of getting or dying from digestive-related cancers. Researchers concluded supplements of at least 1,500 international units daily were necessary to reach 25 nanomoles per liter.

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