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Health for him

Expert advice on the common health issues affecting men and how natural remedies can help

Not so long ago women were known for taking care of their health, and men were less so. In fact most men wouldn't see a health expert unless urged to by the women in their life. Thankfully that has changed, and now men are just as concerned as women to stay healthy. Health store experts take a look at the issues that are most likely to affect men during various life stages and how best to deal with them.


“For younger men acne is often an issue,” says Gerald Colfer of health store Only Natural in Wexford. “Over-stimulation of the skin's oil glands can lead to breakouts. Matters are often not helped by diets high in sugar and low in nutrients, so lots of fruit and vegetables are called for and a balance of omega-3, -6 and -9 essential fats from fish, nuts and oils. Supplements containing A, D, E and zinc can help.”

“It is a good idea to go with the herb agnus castus which should help to address the hormonal situation,” says Matt Ronan from health store Evolv in Enniscorthy in Co Wexford. “Combine it with zinc, famous for its skin healing abilities.”

Sports recovery

“If the boxes of adequate sleep and hydration have been ticked then we can move along to electrolytes (in the summer months particularly) and also of course some suitable protein depending on the digestive preference of the individual,” says Matt Ronan. “For ongoing hard training sessions we recommend magnesium and a good omega-3 fish oil, as this is crucial to keep up flexibility and limit inflammation. In our experience there is generally insufficient of either of these nutrients in the common diet.”

“For optimal sports recovery it's essential to replace glycogen stores in the muscles by consuming some carbohydrates such as fruit or granola,” says Gerald Colfer. “You can help to repair and build muscles with amino acids from protein such as chicken, meat, eggs or a good protein powder within 30 to 45 minutes of training.”

Fertility issues

“Fertility issues can be a factor for men,” says Gerald Colfer. “Diet is paramount as it directly affects semen production. Focus on fish, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit and wholegrains while minimising alcohol, coffee and transfats from processed foods. There are many good male fertility supplements on the market and they can also maximise the chances of conception.”

“Fertility is becoming a more and more common problem as our bodies are bombarded with all types of hormonal disruptors like those in our plastic water drinking bottles,” says Matt Ronan. “We also have radiation from our wi-fi devices to take into account. Moving to a largely organic diet can help and also addressing any nutritional deficiencies by taking a high potency powder fertility supplement.”


“We recommend products that can help the body to withstand the strong demands prolonged stress places on it,” says Matt Ronan. “There are some particularly good high strength B complexes with zinc and vitamin C. Botanicals like rhodiola and ashwagandha can help as well as lemon balm. Men are often reluctant to talk about the pressure that they feel they are under – it is often their partner who seeks help for them. Encouraging them to talk through their difficulties and anxieties can be critical in reducing stress.”

“Along with adequate exercise, foods rich in B vitamins and magnesium such as wholegrains play an important part here,” says Gerald Colfer. “Focus on good sleep patterns and look into herbal supplementation. Rhodiola, ginseng and ashwagandha can all help.”

Heart health

“Men have a somewhat higher risk of cardiovascular disease, so it is always worthwhile to keep an eye on this important area, especially if there is a family history of cardiac events,” says Matt Ronan. “As well as diet and lifestyle modifications which improve risk reduction, try a good healthy dose of omega-3 fish oils, also nutrients like vitamin K2 and magnesium.”

“Men still seem to draw the short straw when it comes to heart health,” says Gerald Colfer. “Remember that good diet, sleep and exercise all play a part. We recommend plant sterols and red yeast rice to control cholesterol, hawthorn and garlic to maintain normal blood pressure, while both vitamin C and fish oils are natural blood thinners.”


“Modern research keeps telling us that high insulin levels are hugely damaging to both brain and body,” says Matt Ronan. “Anything we can do to reduce the blood sugar spikes associated with quick-release carbohydrates is useful.”

“Excess sugar, overeating and stress seem to be among the main culprits when it comes to diabetes, so all of them need to be addressed,” says Gerald Colfer. “Increasing activity levels when necessary is a must and cinnamon and chromium can both help with cravings by promoting balanced blood sugar levels. Including some protein in every meal will help to normalise appetite.”


“Nutrients to help support good prostate health include zinc, vitamins D and C as well as many effective prostate health supplements available,” says Gerald Colfer. “Pumpkin seeds are a helpful dietary addition as they're particularly rich in zinc and essential fatty acids to help reduce prostate inflammation.”

“Prostate health and function can be helped hugely by the herb saw palmetto,” says Matt Ronan. “Have a chat with your local health store in the early stages of frequency of urination. It can be a simple issue to correct, with no hesitation about the long-term use of supplements.”

Aching joints

“Natural product supplementation has now come into its own when it comes to aching joints,” says Matt Ronan. “There is a wonderful selection of nutritional products that can take the hardship out of this situation. To lubricate joints we have chondroitin and hyaluronic acid; and to help with repair we have glucosamine sulphate and MSM. Recently the effectiveness of turmeric capsules in the reduction of inflammation has made a huge difference to many people's lives. I would really suggest that you seek solid advice from your local health store and go with a combination of products rather than thinking in terms of one.”

“Eating oily fish three or four times a week or taking a good fish oil supplement can bring speedy relief,” says Gerald Colfer. “Other natural anti-inflammatories include turmeric and boswelia, while a glucosamine supplement can reverse joint wear and tear.”

Mood support

“Sometimes life may just be getting to someone a little bit more than they think it is,” says Matt Ronan. “They find themselves becoming more cranky. Having dealt with a case of this some time ago, I was asked if CBD oil might help and on reflection, I thought that it might contribute to an improvement. I recommended a good brand and was delighted when some weeks later the man and his smiling daughter reappeared to report that he was now exhibiting the same good-natured humour that was his norm.”

“Whatever your stage in life don't think that being a man means you have to suffer in silence,” says Gerald Colfer. “A little dietary tweaking and the right supplements where necessary can make a world of difference.”

Discuss with a healthcare practitioner before beginning or stopping any medical or herbal treatment.

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