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Vitamins and Supplements for Male Performance

by
author image Jennifer Byrne
Jennifer Byrne is a freelance writer and editor specializing in topics related to health care, fitness, science and more. She attended Rutgers University. Her writing has been published by KidsHealth.org, DietBlogTalk.com, Primary Care Optometry News, and EyeWorld Magazine. She was awarded the Gold Award from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE), 2007, and the Apex Award for Publication Excellence.
Vitamins and Supplements for Male Performance
Most men want to maintain their levels of athletic and sexual performance as they age. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Whether you are concerned about athletic performance, sexual capacity or overall health, if you're like most men, you don't want to see your abilities decline with age. As men get older, they may begin to see signs of aging not only in their appearance, but also in their athletic and sexual endeavors. While various prescription options are available to address these concerns, you might also wish to try vitamins or other supplements to restore your youthful vitality. Supplements are not considered a medical cure for any condition, and you should discuss them with your doctor.

Types

Many types of vitamins and supplements are used to address lagging athletic or sexual ability in men. According to a study published in the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition," supplements containing the amino acid L-arginine and antioxidants showed some effectiveness in improving exercise performance in elderly bicyclists. Arginine is also used to improve erectile function. A study in "Psychopharmacology" reports that supplementing with vitamin B6 improved memory, mental performance and mood in older men. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC, Asian ginseng is commonly used to improve sexual performance in men.

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Theories/Speculation

The use of arginine for athletic performance appears to involve its capacity to produce nitric oxide, according to a study published in the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition." Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which means it relaxes blood vessels and promotes blood flow, the Mayo Clinic reports. Antioxidants prevent the neutralization of nitric oxide by free radicals. The Mayo Clinic notes that arginine is also thought to be useful for bodybuilding and erectile dysfunction.

Benefits

With regard to vitamins--and antioxidants in particular--supplementation as you age is generally considered beneficial. Antioxidants are considered useful in combating free radicals, preventing disease and promoting longevity. Ginseng is thought also to have antioxidant benefits, UMMC notes. B6, along with other B vitamins, is thought to be beneficial to the brain and nervous system. These benefits are not scientifically proven.

Warning

If you opt to take a supplement to improve your sexual abilities, you should be careful and seek a reputable product. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about over-the-counter sexual enhancement supplements sold online. Some of these products contain hazardous ingredients not cited on their labels. Talk to your doctor about any supplement you are considering.

Considerations

When contemplating ways of improving your overall physical and sexual health, consider dietary adjustments as well as vitamins or supplements. According to Forbes.com, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help lower your cholesterol, which improves blood flow and can enhance sexual function. In addition, a diet featuring fruits and vegetables can help you attain a healthy body weight, which can improve fitness and libido. Forbes.com also advises limiting alcohol, which has been known to impair sexual function, and adding whole grains, which offer slow-burning energy.

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References

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