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A photo of a man with a bowl of food

Men may be sometimes reluctant to seek help for health issues, but your local Irish health store can be a wealth of information and real help

Main issues

According to John Halpin, manager at The Health Store, Dundrum, “The main issues men come into store with are stress, fertility, thinning hair and hair loss, cholesterol, prostate, arthritis, to combat stress and energy levels for general living, and some for athletic performance.”

Jill Bell at Well and Good, Midleton, Co Cork says, “Apart from hormonal problems, our male customers generally have very similar concerns to women, and we see a lot more of them than we used to. We find they are generally very appreciative of a listening ear. Cholesterol issues would probably top the list of queries, for which we recommend lecithin and fish oils. Lots of our customers would have porridge for breakfast so oat bran is a natural addition, and as with customers of any age or gender, we suggest dietary changes ahead of supplementation. Men who exercise regularly often ask about protein for overall health and we suggest hemp or whey to back up a good diet. Younger men are the main buyers of 1kg tubs of nut butters.”

Ages of man

John Halpin: “Men tend to have different needs at different ages. Younger men in their 20s and 30s are more concerned with their appearance and look for supplements to prevent hair loss, protein for muscle growth and repair. Older men from 40s plus start to worry about high cholesterol and their joints.

Energy is a bigger concern at this age too. They are probably a bit better at admitting to suffering with stress than their younger counterparts. Men begin to start worrying and become affected by their prostate gland as they get older.”

Jill Bell: “Often it’s the wives who come in with their husbands’ requests, but whatever we might suggest, a tablet or capsule is preferred over a tincture as older men in particular reject anything which tastes remotely peculiar.”

Natural support

John Halpin: “ We would recommend a good multivitamin for energy, also a herb like rhodiola, or a supplement like CoQ10. Rhodiola also helps with stress, as does the supplement L-theanine. Fish oils help with joint inflammation and also high cholesterol. Glucosamine is taken for arthritis and joint issues, along with anti-inflammatories like turmeric and specific formulations. There are a couple of different products available aimed at increasing male fertility. The supplement L-arginine is sold for improving sexual and athletic performance.”

Help for health issues

Problem: acne
Take: omega 3 from fish oils and flax oils, available in capsules or liquids. Zinc can help prevent scarring and is available in capsule or tablet form.

Problem: fertility issues
Take: arginine in a fertility formulation or include more nuts, fish and eggs in your diet. Zinc also helps sperm production and is sold in tablet or capsule form.

Problem: stress
Take: a B complex and rhodiola. Magnesium in a spray or tablet is also good for stress and anxiety. Rhodiola and B complexes comes in tablet or capsule form.

Problem: decreasing testosterone
Take: chromium to stabilise blood sugar levels and omega 3 to boost good cholesterol. Blood sugar and cholesterol levels are affected by falling levels of testosterone in the body. Chromium is sold as tablets and capsules. Omega 3 oils are generally liquids, softgels or capsules.

Problem: prostate issues
Take: a number of natural prostate health supplements are designed to ease an enlarged prostate gland. Also, ask about nettle root, vitamins C and B6, zinc with copper.

Problem: joint pain
Take: glucosamine to strengthen cartilage. It is hard to find in common foods, so best to take a supplement. Available as a liquid, powder, as capsules or tablets.

Problem: eyes
Take: selenium benefits the eyes. It is found in small amounts in brazil nuts, eggs, garlic and brown rice, seafood and yeast or take a supplement. Available as a liquid, tablets and capsules.

Click here to read earlier Rude Health Magazine natural health articles.
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