Nutrients can be something that are hard to gauge. Even if you understand how important getting the right amount of nutrients can be, knowing if you’re deficient or getting too much can sometimes be a struggle. Unfortunately, this leaves many individuals to suffer a nutrient deficiency they don’t even know they have.
Nutrient deficiencies can leave us feeling fatigued or clouded. It makes it difficult to focus, can affect our memory, and cause us to go through the entire day feeling “off.” Nutrient deficiencies also have the power to leave us susceptible to developing a chronic illness or other more serious consequences.
But what are the most common nutrient deficiencies that appear in males and what are the effects?
Vitamin D Deficiency in Men
Vitamin D is one of the biggest deficiencies in men, although who it affects the most depends largely on where you live and what you do for a living. Because we get most of our vitamin D from the sun’s rays, living in a place that gets less sun can increase your chances of being deficient. But where you live isn’t the only thing that affects your levels of vitamin D – what you do for a living can be just as big of a problem.
Many adults enter into jobs that keep them indoors all day. Whether they work in an office or a factory, many of us just aren’t given the opportunity to spend enough time in the sun. If you’re not taking extra precautions to ensure your are up, you are very likely deficient.
Why Vitamin D is Important for Men
Vitamin D is important for both men and women because it fights inflammation and keeps our immune systems strong. It can help us to fight colds, keep our hearts healthy, and boosts weight loss. Getting enough vitamin D can also reduce your risk of heart disease, prevent high blood pressure, decrease your risk of developing certain cancers.
But vitamin D has special benefits for men, and some unique consequences when deficient. Vitamin D is linked to testosterone in men. If you are low in vitamin D, you may also be low in testosterone. Being low in testosterone can cause some pretty serious concerns for men.
Testosterone is crucial for maintaining a man’s sexual performance. It can also fight depression, decrease body fat, and increase muscle mass. If you are looking to bulk up or get more definition to your muscles, you will want to have adequate levels of both testosterone and vitamin D. When it comes to working out, vitamin D has the additional benefit of reducing muscle pain.
How Much Vitamin D is Needed?
If you feel that you’re not getting enough vitamin D from spending time outside or in your meals, you may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement. But the amount of vitamin D that you will need depends on your deficiency and what other ways you’re getting the nutrient. The level of vitamin D that you need also depends on your age.
Spending just ten to fifteen minutes outside a few days of the week should be enough to prevent vitamin D deficiencies, so make a conscious attempt to spend some time outside at least three times during the week. Unfortunately, certain times of the year or areas of the world can make this a complicated task. In those circumstances, vitamin D can be found in supplements or a well-balanced meal plan.
For men under the age of 50, 5 micrograms of a vitamin D supplement should be enough. For those over 50, an additional 5 micrograms are recommended while men over 70 may need to take upwards of 15 micrograms. Eating foods that are high in vitamin D can sometimes replace the need to take a supplement. Some of those foods include egg yolks, fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, and cheese. Other options are butter and liver.