Best supplements for men’s health and strength

Hi, you’re probably looking for something here, but since I put all this information in my book, I pulled the post. May I suggest you buy the book? It’s quite good in my humble opinion.

 

Best Supplements for Men's Health, Strength, and Virility

Available on Kindle and in paperback at Amazon.

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47 comments
Wolf says April 22, 2014

Very helpful, many thanks!

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Anonymous says April 23, 2014

thanks very much for this

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    Anonymous says May 5, 2014

    One question:I recall you wote a piece aways back re Vit C,that it is bad for you. I think they said it didnt reduce oxidation but may increase it,something along those lines. I dont take it but its on my “someday I’ll tak ethis”list. Anyone have info on Vit C? Anyone….anyone…Bueller…

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    Mangan says May 5, 2014

    Yes, I’ve written about the uncertainty of vitamin C as supplement. I currently lean towards modest supplementation. See e.g. current post at top of blog, or search the blog for posts on C.

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Neil Edmondson says April 23, 2014

So grateful for this, dutifully retweeted, thank you.

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Mangan says April 23, 2014

Thanks all, I enjoyed writing it, and glad you find it useful.

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Allan Folz says April 23, 2014

Yes, thanks Dennis. I’d been wanting to ask you to put together such a post for a while, but never quite got around to it. It always felt a little presumptuous to ask.

You seem to be concerned with aging effects, may I ask how old you are? I occasionally send copies of your posts to my Dad, who’s in his early 60’s. (He doesn’t do the web, but has a kindle so I can copy text of blog posts and email them directly to his kindle.)

A couple things I’d like to add if I may:

Concerning Omega 3, I just today finished a lengthy article for Seth Roberts on my wife’s and son’s experience supplementing O3. It completely turned them around on some mental health issues, once they started taking a consequential dosage. We don’t eat any industrialized food and so I figured because of that we didn’t need very much O3. It was complete luck that I discovered it helped my son with some ADHD-like symptoms. (Watch for the story at Seth’s blog.) I think more people need to be aware of this aspect of O3.

Concerning K2, once I started taking that (1 drop of Thorne’s K2-MK4 twice a week) my teeth practically clean themselves. The difference is incredible. It’s the one and only vitamin I’ve taken that I can absolutely tell makes a physiological difference in me. Again, that was one I thought of being for heart health, and once I started taking it realized it was making an acute and almost immediate difference for my dental health. It took about 5 days to kick-in and feel the difference.

Also, one caveat on the K’s. I started out taking a version that was a mix of K1 and K2. It made my gums feel weird, which I thought was weird and hesitated to ascribe to the vitamin until I read somewhere on Stephen Guyenet’s blog that high doses of K1 can cause gum problems. Go figure. I switched to a straight K2 formulation and never had the issue again.

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Ozarkian says April 23, 2014

Thank you for the list! I know nothing about supplements. Since your list starts with whey protein, I thought I’d start there… but I don’t know where to begin. Concentrate? Isolate? Hydrolyzed? What goes in a whey protein shake, anyway?

My elderly mom is having issues with macular degeneration. Do you know if there’s anything good for aging eyes?

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Kindke says April 23, 2014

Good list and agree with everything, especially whey, its been so heavily marketed as a bodybuilding supplement when clearly its health benefits extend far beyond that. ( Ive actually considered investing in some whey producing companies since I expect demand for it to increase heavily in the future when more people realize its potential ).

BTW is Creatine worth the hype? Its one of the few things ive done almost zero research on and ive always just dismissed it as hogwash. Maybe I should take another look.

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Mangan says April 23, 2014

Thanks for your comment, Alan. In fact, I’m not much younger than your father. However, I’ve been interested in anti-aging for quite some time and one reason I find it of great importance is because aging predisposes to virtually every disease. In my book I noted the similarities between chronic fatigue and aging, for instance in mitochondrial function, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

Certainly there are many cases in which one would want to increase omega-3 intake. Dr. David Perlmutter (who wrote the current bestseller Grain Brain) recommends something on the order of 4 or 5 teaspoons a day for Alzheimers’ prevention. (I’d have to go back to find the exact figure.) I don’t know whether that applies strictly to high risk groups or whether he means everyone.

Interesting about K2. I can’t say that I’ve noticed a marked difference from taking it.

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    Anonymous says May 5, 2014

    Note re Perlmutter:On Amazon a man who ID’d himself as a doctor wrote a review in which he castigated Perlmutter for cherry picking the research to get the results he wanted. I’d read him with care. As the saturated fat debate has shown, scientists are right up there with mortgage brokers when it comes to honesty and reliability!!!

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Mangan says April 23, 2014

Ozarkian: Not too much difference between whey isolate and concentrate, the former is is almost pure protein, the latter maybe 90%, the difference being a gram or two of carb/fat. So either one is fine. Hydrolyzed is more for those who want fast absorption, mainly bodybuilders, and even they don’t really need that, IMO. Most whey is formulated with an artificial sweetener, although you can get it plain too; a whey shake is just whey mixed with water usually.

Macular degeneration seems to be related to oxidative stress, so whey and NAC may be helpful there. And don’t neglect diet – see my comment about industrial food.

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Mangan says April 23, 2014

Kindke, creatine really has been studied to death and really does work, though its effects seem greater in groups that need more of it, such as vegetarians and older people.

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Anonymous says April 23, 2014

What about flaxseed oil? I have heard that is benefits men as a weak estrogen mimicker.

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    Mangan says April 23, 2014

    Flaxseed oil can be of benefit, but I wouldn’t think because of any putative estrogen mimicking effect. That strikes me as not of benefit.

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    Anonymous says May 5, 2014

    When it comes to mimicking,I really like the work of Frank Gorshin. His Richard Widmark was spot on!

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    Mangan says May 5, 2014

    What a coincidence. My uncle was college roommates with Richard Widmark!

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    joshrandall says September 25, 2014

    Nothing funnier than Kirk Douglas!

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Anonymous says April 23, 2014

What about absorbing magnesium through the skin with an Epsom salt bath? Is that as good as or better than taking magnesium orally?

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    Mangan says April 23, 2014

    Short answer is I don’t know, but one would have no idea as to how much has been absorbed. That’s probably not that bad, but if one wants to be sure of repleting magnesium, seems to me orally would be the better way.

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joe says April 23, 2014

Gonna have to strongly disagree on fish oil and whey powder, and question resveratrol.

Whey protein powders are very highly oxidized. They inevitably have a lot of toxic crap in them that stresses your body. Whey protein is super good. Drink milk and eat cottage cheese. But do not use protein powders; they are all crap.

Fish oil trials show strong benefits for various inflammatory diseases. This is because N-3 oils are *immunosuppressive*! They also lower metabolic rate. Fish oil can help in the short term but will inevitably hurt and contribute to premature aging in the long term. The N-3 fats accumulate permanently in tissue over time and are linked to cancer. You want to eat as little unsaturated fat as possible (both N-3 and N-6), and address inflammation problems by fixing metabolism, not with immunosupression.

Resveratrol is a very questionable supplement. It is essentially a phytoestrogen. It seems to negatively affect insulin production, cell division rates, and mitochondria respiration. Depending on your ideas about physiology these are all bad things. Mice experiments with resveratrol show they lose endurance and strength on it. If resveratrol does anything at all in a human I would lay money it does bad things.

BTW, asprin is a highly potent aromatase inhibitor. If I had any signs of excess estrogen I would go for a one cent aspirin tablet before anything fancier.

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TetanusScrote says April 23, 2014

Zinc itself is also an aromatase inhibitor. Lots of whey products are mixed with soy, not to mention the cows the stuff is derived from are pumped full of hormones. Grass fed whey is the way to go if you care about those kinds of things.

Onion juice I’ve also heard is a good free radical chaser and a T booster, but I haven’t tried yet.

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    Mangan says April 23, 2014

    Re zinc as aromatase inhibitor, I hadn’t heard that so I looked around a bit. From what I can find, it appears that only in cases of zinc deficiency will adding zinc affect aromatase. This is similar to zinc’s T boosting effect: if your zinc replete, adding more zinc doesn’t do much of anything. The reports of zinc affecting aromatase I found were anecdotal and on bodybuilding forums. (If you have a legit source, I’d be interested in it.)

    As for whey, I’m not aware of and haven’t used any products mixed with soy. Of course what the cows themselves eat matters, but grass fed whey is awfully expensive. Grass fed beef is better too but I don’t buy it ’cause of expense.

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    TetanusScrote says April 24, 2014

    That’s where I found the zinc info too. Makes sense too about the whole depletion thing because there was a time when I masturbated a lot (now stopped) and when I took zinc then the effects were far more noticeable, now not so much.

    Yeah that’s what I meant in regard to soy, it’s not uncommon for the cattle to be fed the stuff, get more bang out of the buck when it’s put in their feed as it were. Grass fed whey is expensive but I just minimize costs in other areas and only use it on work-out days. Same thing with beef.

    Great post by the way, I bookmarked it for reference.

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Mitja says April 25, 2014

I apologize if this is the third time you see this comment, I think the last two attempts failed.

I take whey protein, creatine, multivitamins and fish oil capsules. I started taking fish oil capsules after you tweeted some study that showed that Omega 3 increase muscle protein anabolism.

In this article you wrote to avoid fish oil capsules. Can you give a reason?

After looking for a reason myself I stumbled upon this article http://www.nbcnews.com/health/mens-health/fish-oils-may-raise-prostate-cancer-risks-study-confirms-f6C10597283

Now I’m a little concerned. Any truth to it?

What would be better Omega 3 source if I would switch from capsules?

Thank you!

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    Mangan says April 26, 2014

    Mitja, fish oil capsules are more readily oxidized, as they’re exposed to air and warm temperatures (e.g. on store shelves) for a long time. That’s why I say to avoid them.

    As for fish oil linked to prostate cancer, I agree that this is something to be kept in mind. (I’m in no position to say what the “truth” is, I just read and try to figure things out.) We need to look at the balance of evidence, which changes constantly. There’s a fair amount of evidence, for instance, that high omega-3 levels in the blood are associated with the lowest risk of heart attack. (Look up “omega-3 index” for that.) Anyway, I don’t discount this study you cited, and I’m going to look further into it.

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    Mangan says April 26, 2014

    I immediately came across this: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/808402

    “The bottom line is that we cannot determine from this study design whether the intake of omega-3 fatty acids will cause prostate cancer and raise a man’s risk for high-grade disease. The media has taken this and sensationalized the risk associated with omega-3 fatty acid intake, but I believe that the attention is overplayed and the concerns about the study design were not mentioned at all. At the end of the day, this study does not prove that intake of omega-3 fatty acids causes prostate cancer or increases a man’s risk for high-grade disease. We would need better-designed trials that are prospective and randomized to be able to make such a claim. Until that is done, we will have to weigh the pros and cons of taking omega-3 fatty acids in terms of its other potential health benefits to decide what to do. Whether it causes prostate cancer is not determined by the results of this trial. I look forward to your comments.”

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SimianOutcast says April 28, 2014

In your research and personal experience, have you found that creatine monohydrate is adequately absorbed by the body or is there a superior form?

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Mangan says April 28, 2014

Based on what I’ve read, there’s no difference in that regard between types of creatine. I have however read that there may be some concern with purity; apparently some types (brands) have a high fraction of toxic contaminants, and since the dose is grams daily, that can be significant. NutraBio which I noted above makes a 99.95 pure form as do others, and it may be worthwhile to ensure that you get pure creatine.

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A Axe says May 5, 2014

I assume you know of Examine.com? Great for supp recommendations.

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Laguna Beach Fogey says May 5, 2014

Thanks for this. Good list. I’ve been taking 7/10 of these, but will look into the others.

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Anonymous says May 5, 2014

You left out a big one: caffeine. Particularly if you don’t normally drink coffee, tea, coke, etc. A little before a workout definitely gives you a boost.

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    Mangan says May 5, 2014

    Yes. I guess I figured that since I get caffeinated every day and before every workout, everyone else does too. Essential for good gym sessions.

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Anonymous says May 5, 2014

I would like to recommend two leading edge candidates for your future consideration :

Astralagus at maximum refined state such as TA65 or Stem Cell 100. Longevity and telomere protection.

Carbon 60 in olive oil : incredible anti- oxidant far superior to anything out there

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Anonymous says May 7, 2014

Is broccoli or cauliflower a AI?

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Anonymous says May 8, 2014

Why not hemp protein instead of whey? Far far superior.

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Vascularity777 says May 9, 2014

I’ve been purchasing supplements from nutritionexpress.com for about 30 years; since before the internet when they were a catalog company. The prices are outstanding and the customer service has never let me down.
A few years ago a blood test revealed that my kidneys were unhealthy due to elevated level of creatinine. My doctor had me quit the creatine for a couple of months, then retested me twice. My creatinine level was back to normal and no kidney disease as I already knew. I asked the doctor if the elevated creatinine level could cause actual kidney disease, but he seemed to dodge the question. So I don’t know if using creatine just causes a false positive, or if it is truly harmful. I do know it helped my strength and muscle density gains.

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Phall says May 10, 2014

Test propionate or test enanthate?

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Matt says November 17, 2014

Mangan, great post – any recommendations for or thoughts on supplements for joint health?

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    P. D. Mangan says November 17, 2014

    AFAIK, supplements targeted at joints, like glucosamine, don’t work – though glucosamine extends lifespan, so it’s healthy. Osteoarthritis seems to be caused by inflammation, so anything that fights that, which is just about any healthy practice, should help joints. That being said, I’ve just told you almost everything I know on that topic, so there may be things I have to learn.

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      Matt says November 17, 2014

      Thanks – that’s exactly what I was looking for. Lifters seem to favor not using much to fight inflammation in case it interferes with your body’s own feedback system, e.g. that you can take aspirin as an AI, but be careful it does not hinder your ability to know you’re hurting yourself. If your shoulders are hurting, maybe lay off the military presses for a bit; if knees, maybe lay off squats for a bit, etc. But this looks like an area where supplementing specifically isn’t really beneficial. Thanks

      Reply
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Tuba says November 25, 2015

I loathe Kindles… I was given one and destroyed it. It was so irrational it deserved to be pounded into a pile of shards and twisted metal leaves. I would vote to torture its software engineers as well. Once you go MAC everything else is worse than dumb. The book, however, is good.

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