Saturday, June 20, 2009

Men suffer from mineral deficiency

The majority of men in the modern world struggle with severe deficiencies in key minerals and vitamins due to following unhealthy diets.

According to a study published in Men's Health, 77 percent of men do not take enough magnesium, the element involved in more than 300 bodily processes particularly those responsible for generating energy, in their daily diet.

The daily intake of magnesium in men is reported to be about 80 percent of the recommended 400 milligrams. Low levels of magnesium are linked to increased blood levels of C-reactive protein, a key marker for heart disease.

Scientists therefore urge men to include more magnesium-rich foods such as halibut and navy beans along with magnesium supplements in their daily diet. As for vitamin D, men are reported to suffer from vitamin D deficiency, making them more vulnerable to developing cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.

Many researchers recommend the male population to take 1,400 IU of vitamin D supplements a day, indicating that this amount is seven times higher than the recommended daily dosage but is necessary to boost blood levels of vitamin D.

While men are reported to consume the daily quota of 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12, the increased consumption of certain medications such as acid-blocking drugs and diabetes medication among this population contributes to large-scale vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is necessary to protect the gray matter of the brain. Seniors with the lowest levels of B12 are reported to lose their brain volume at a faster pace over a span of 5 years compared to those with the highest levels.

While the daily diet is load up on sodium, men only use 60 to 70 percent of the recommended 4,700 mg a day of potassium, another essential dietary mineral critical for nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and heart function.

Scientists urge men to take avocado (half an avocado contains nearly 500 mg of potassium) and banana (containing some 400 mg of potassium) each day, adding that potatoes (1,600 mg) are a good source of the mineral for those who do not like fruits.

Finally, iodine -- the mineral necessary for the accurate function of the thyroid gland which controls metabolism as well as weight and the feeling of exhaustion -- is not efficiently used by men.

The majority of salt tables are reported to contain lower than the FDA-recommended amounts of iodine. Scientists urge individuals to make up for the lack of the mineral with milk, eggs or yogurt.