If you’re male, over 40, and you want to do something about preventing the impending ageing your body is inherently designed to do, this is the article for you. In this article, we will be discussing the potential downfalls of the ageing process for males and what supplements you can use to prevent further degradation, but more importantly what supplements you can use to help improve yourself physically and mentally.
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns of males when ageing is dealing with the reduction in Testosterone or going through a phase known as Andropause, which is a phase when Testosterone traditionally drops and Estrogen rises. Essentially we are looking at the same concept as women with menopause but the hormones go in reverse.
The reality is, men are supposed to have Testosterone, and while ageing may be “natural” it should not simply be accepted as the norm. Just because we are supposed to age, doesn’t mean we should age faster or without an attempt to ‘age more gracefully.’
With that in mind, the 3 primary aspects of supplementation that I think men should focus on when over 40 are:
1. Optimising hormones
2. Improving joint health
3. Maximising strength
Now while the primary focus should always be on food consumption and living a lifestyle that is conducive to promoting health, supplementation can certainly help supplement, or support your efforts.
So let’s get to the nitty gritty.
Hormone Optimisation – Zinc, Vitamin D3, Alpha Lipoic Acid and DIM
When attempting to optimise the hormonal environment of a male, especially when ageing, in my opinion, the focus should be on:
- Stimulating more testosterone production
- Minimising testosterone conversion/inactivity
- Improving insulin sensitivity
To do this we can utilise a couple of quick core ingredients to optimise the environment.
Zinc is an essential mineral that must be consumed via dietary means and is utilised in a multitude of ways, including, but not limited to cellular metabolism, immunity support and hormonal support.
In individuals, experiencing low Testosterone, supplementation with Zinc has shown an improved hormonal blood profile, which has been linked to a reduction in Sex Hormone Binding Globulin, which is a protein that reduces free Testosterone and is negative for male performance and health (1).
Zinc may aid in supporting both the production and usability of Testosterone.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, that is synthesised via the skin after exposure to the sun. So while getting some sun is a simple solution to ensuring you have adequate Vitamin D levels, it may not always be viable to get in your daily exposure as consistently as needed.
Individuals with low circulatory Vitamin D levels show correlation to low testosterone (2), and more specifically, supplementing with more than 3000iu of Vitamin D3 daily has been shown to increase testosterone levels with statistical significance (3).
For more information on Vitamin D3, see why it’s a part of my Top 3 Must Haves.
DIM is found in cruciferous vegetables, but more specifically the ones of the mustard family, such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower and is derived from the naturally occurring component of these vegetables known as Indole-3-Carbinol.
Supplementation with DIM aids in inhibiting the aromatase enzyme, which is responsible for converting Testosterone into Estrogen. DIM is also a strong Estrogen modulator, whereby it acts upon stronger, toxic forms of Estrogen and converts them into their softer counterparts.
Ensuring Testosterone conversion remains low, while also preventing SHBG, is critical in ensuring optimal hormonal blood profiles are maintained, which may result in an increase in lean muscle mass and a reduction in fat mass. The major benefit for DIM here is to improve the Testosterone to Estrogen ratio in a positive manner.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a fatty acid antioxidant that has shown great promise with improving mitochondrial biogenesis, which essentially means it can aid in the production of energy at the cellular level.
More specifically to hormonal support, ALA has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can aid in ensuring dietary carbohydrates are less likely to negatively affect fat mass.
Furthermore, ALA is also a potent antioxidant, which helps support the reduction in cellular damage, inflammation and disease.
Not only will ALA aid in carbohydrate utilisation, but may reduce age-induced systemic inflammation.
Alpha Lipoic Acid 300 by Herbs of Gold
While none of these supplements are directly focused on stimulating more Testosterone production, controlling the Estrogen to Testosterone ratio is far easier through supplementation and will achieve the same desired benefits even without a rise in absolute total or free Testosterone levels.
Keep an eye out for an article to come, which will focus purely on hormonal optimisation.
Joint Integrity – Fish Oil and Curcumin
If you are like most men, we all have some form of ache and pain from past injuries, exercise stress or just lifestyle factors.
Now while we may not be able to remove all joint pain, if the pain is debilitating enough that it prevents activity or your ability to move, then it is a MUST that we at least attempt to improve it.
Preventing the nasties of the ageing process requires activity and your quality of life will be highly affected if you are unable to perform daily tasks, play with your kids or your grandkids and if you’re unable to be active in keeping your house and its landscape clean and tidy.
Bioactive Curcumin by Nutra Life
These two products alone will aid in pain reduction, act as anti-inflammatories and can also benefit gut health, brain health and blood lipid profile health.
Strength Optimisation – Creatine
The stronger you are, the more muscle you will have or the greater your ability to maintain muscle becomes. The fact of the matter is, with more muscle we are both healthier physically, but also from a metabolic point of view, your ability to eat the foods you love and still maintain a healthy body fat range is much easier.
Supplementing with Creatine has been shown to increase strength, power and performance and has even been linked to reduced falls in the elderly, which may be an indirect benefit of improved muscle tonicity and performance.
Find out more about Creatine here in “What Does Creatine Do?”
Utilising Creatine will aid in performance enhancement and we know that the better we perform the better we look.
Where to from here?
Supplementation is exactly that, a supplementary addition to a dietary protocol. Focusing on a controlled caloric intake with adequate protein. appropriate fat intake and a supportive amount of carbohydrates to ensure performance can be maintained or improved is critical in long-term health longevity.
Utilising the above supplements, which cannot be consumed adequately via dietary means, is a great addition to your daily routine and can really make significant differences in your health longevity.
Hammond, Geoffrey L, George V Avvakumov, and Yves A Muller. 2003. "Structure/Function Analyses Of Human Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin: Effects Of Zinc On Steroid-Binding Specificity". The Journal Of Steroid Biochemistry And Molecular Biology 85 (2-5): 195-200. doi:10.1016/s0960-0760(03)00195-x.
Wehr, E., S. Pilz, B.O. Boehm, W. MÃ¤rz, and B. Obermayer-Pietsch. 2009. "Association Of Vitamin D Status With Serum Androgen Levels In Men". Clinical Endocrinology. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03777.x.
Pilz, S., S. Frisch, H. Koertke, J. Kuhn, J. Dreier, B. Obermayer-Pietsch, E. Wehr, and A. Zittermann. 2010. "Effect Of Vitamin D Supplementation On Testosterone Levels In Men". Hormone And Metabolic Research 43 (03): 223-225. doi:10.1055/s-0030-1269854.