Whether a man over 40 wants to lower his risk of developing certain age-related diseases or he still plans to have children, he must focus on getting enough amounts of certain vitamins. Vitamin D is essential for the health of the bones, while vitamin B12 helps the central nervous system of a man stay healthy. In theory, one should get all required vitamins from his food and not depend too much on any vitamin supplements.
Men over 40 have to get adequate amounts of vitamins to maintain optimal health. The body needs them for proper functioning of all body systems. But some vitamins are particularly important.
Antioxidants (vitamins E and C)
Antioxidants can help slow down the aging process, make the body cells healthy and boost the ability of the body to fight free radicals causing premature aging and disease. Also, it’s believed that vitamins C and E along with zinc and beta-carotene may help slow or even prevent the development of age-related degradation of muscles. As for vitamin E alone, it’s said to have a potential in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
The best way to get the required amount of these vitamins is to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins C and E – peanuts, whole grains, nuts, spinach, kale, broccoli, oranges, peas, cantaloupes and vegetable oils. The daily intake of vitamin C should be 90 mg, as for vitamin E, it’s 15 mg.
Men who are over 40 especially need vitamin D. It’s hard to get this vitamin from food, it’s mainly synthesized in the skin from sun exposure, but this ability of the human body reduces with age. Vitamin D is essential for the bones as it helps the body absorb calcium in them. If a man gets not enough vitamin D from his diet (fatty fish, fortified mil and cereals, fish liver oils) and from the sunlight, it may cause reduced bone density, osteoporosis, tooth decay and brittle nails. Besides, vitamin D deficiency in males is associated with nervous system and heart disorders – tachycardia, arrhythmias, sudden blood pressure changes, irritability, excessive sleepiness, apathy, etc.
Nutritionists recommend getting vitamin D from supplements as it’s one of those vitamins that males are unlikely to meet their needs for through their diet alone, especially in winter. A man over 40 needs at least 15 mcg (600 UI) of vitamin D per day.
Vitamin B12 can be found in such foods as eggs, milk, fortified cereals, fish, meat and poultry. However, human body tends to get less of this vitamin with age. Some studies show that as people grow old, the production of stomach acid reduces. It is stomach acid that promotes the efficient absorption of vitamin B12, as before making use of this vitamin the body should separate it from the protein it’s contained in.
This vitamin helps maintain the health of the central nervous system. Low vitamin B12 levels are associated with decrease in cognitive and memory functions as well as other neurologic abnormalities.
A male who is over 40 needs 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 every day.
Food should always be the first source from which one gets all required vitamins. Nutritionists state that a well-balanced diet is able to provide a person with all nutrients he needs. Ideally, any vitamin supplements for men over 40 should be administered by a health professional only. They should be chosen taking into account the age and chronic diseases of a person.