7 Supplements A Men Should Never Take
Many American men consider taking dietary supplements on the regular basis these days. Most of these supplements contain vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements or sports nutritional products. Fortunately, or unfortunately, in many cases, these products are easily available as over-the-counter formulations which makes it easier for the consumers to spend a great deal of money on purchasing these supplements without any barriers. However, the fact remains that majority of these supplements are not FDA-approved and their safety and efficacy is not well-established.
Why Do Men Consider Taking Nutritional Supplements?
Men usually take extra nutritional or hormonal supplements for following reasons:
- To enhance their physical or sexual performance
- To prevent certain nutritional deficiencies
- To boost their energy levels
But it is imperative to mention that even the supplements that claims to deliver these benefits may contain hazardous chemicals or contents that may in fact affect their health. Therefore, men should be extremely cautious about taking these the following 7 supplements that are fairly popular in both men and women.
1. Beta Carotene And Vitamin A
Beta Carotene, an antioxidant which is converted into Vitamin A by the body, is required for the health and wellness of your eyes, skin and immune system. Research has shown that the risk of developing a malignant lesion is lower in individuals who consume this vitamin in recommended amounts. But it is imperative to keep in mind that a latest study has provided statistical evidence that chronic high consumption of this vitamin can directly cause lung cancer in smoker men. The reason for this toxicity is attributed to its fat-soluble nature, which results in the body storage rather than excretion.
Selenium is a trace mineral, another antioxidant that is found in bread, poultry, grains, fish and meat. In the past few decades, role of selenium in the maintenance of overall physical and cardiac health was studied in great details and contrary to the popular belief, research indicates that extremely high intake of selenium over an extended period of time can lead to recurrence of malignant lesions (especially skin cancer). Also, research statistics shows that there are no health benefits of selenium in protecting against prostate cancer; rather it increases the risk of prostate cancer in some susceptible men.
3. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is found abundantly in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. Human trials have shown that it has no real benefit in reducing the risk of cardiovascular events and cancers, as it was believed in the past. The previously known effect of vitamin E was that it protects against prostate cancer. Recent researches suggest that there are no added benefits of vitamin E supplementation.
Yohimbe is an evergreen tree found in the African forests. Its bark extract is available as an over-the-counter formulation but the active ingredient yohimbine is available only on doctor’s prescription. The bark supplements makers claim that consumption in recommended doses helps in preventing or managing erectile dysfunction (ED). However, instead of benefits, it does much harm to the body e.g. elevation of blood pressure, increase in the heart rate, nausea, headache and dizziness. It also has significant interactions with many other drugs like antidepressants and blood pressure lowering agents.
5. Horny Goat Weed
Horny Goat weed is a plant which has an active ingredient known as edimedium. This was used traditionally to help in ED. However, these male enhancement products are not free from fillers and contaminants like arsenic and lead. Additionally, the exact dose required is not mentioned and you might be taking it in high amounts. Allergic reactions have also been reported with its use.
6. DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
This is a steroid hormone that is converted into testosterone by the enzymes present in your body. Its synthetic supplements have been taken to boost male libido. But, quality control issues have been found with it, as well as different adverse effects like palpitations, and lowering of the good cholesterol.
7. Tribulus Terrestris And Tongkat Ali
These two flowering plants are mainly classified under natural testosterone boosting supplements. However, no improvement in the serum testosterone levels has been observed in human clinical trials.
If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction or related complaints, speak to your doctor to determine the root cause of your complaints. It is strongly recommended not to start these herbals supplements without speaking to your healthcare professionals.
- Skalicka-Woźniak, K., Georgiev, M. I., & Orhan, I. E. (2016). Adulteration of herbal sexual enhancers and slimmers: The wish for better sexual well-being and perfect body can be risky. Food and chemical toxicology.
- Moyad, M. A. (2016). Rapid Review of Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects and Dietary Supplement/Integrative Options from A to Z: What Helps, Harms, or Does Nothing?. In Integrative Medicine for Breast Cancer (pp. 225-342). Springer International Publishing.
- Cohen, P. A. (2014). Hazards of hindsight—monitoring the safety of nutritional supplements. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(14), 1277-1280.
- Henkel, R. R., Wang, R., Bassett, S. H., Chen, T., Liu, N., Zhu, Y., & Tambi, M. I. (2014). Tongkat Ali as a potential herbal supplement for physically active male and female seniors—a pilot study. Phytotherapy Research, 28(4), 544-550.