It’s Men’s Health Awareness week which means today’s article is all about keeping the male body in tiptop condition. At the end of the day, we are the same species but there are many differences between personalised male and female health. To learn more about what makes a healthy male body, keep scrolling.
It is well known that women typically carry more body fat than men, for reproduction purposes. Interestingly, there are not only differences between the amount of fat carried, but where the fat is deposited too. Fat percentages are measured in ranges, the recommended healthy range for adult men is 12-15%, and 25%-28% for adult women. This is due to hormonal differences between males and females, females have higher oestrogen which encourages fat deposits. Alternatively, males have higher testosterone which dictates where their fat is deposited. Studies demonstrate that men tend to deposit their fat within their trunk, whereas women typically deposit their fat in their arms and legs. One 2019 study found significant differences between body fat storage, finding that 28% of men stored their body fat in the legs and hips, vs 39.7% of women. Whereas 62.2% of men stored their body fat in their trunk, whereas women carried only 50%
Studies demonstrate that even when men and women have the same BMI their body composition differs greatly. One study found that the average lean body mass for women was in a range of 69-75% and for men 76-82%. Therefore, men have higher caloric requirements than women. Muscle is more metabolic than other body tissues meaning that it requires more energy/calories.
Hormones and Organs
As we all know, the greatest difference between men and women is their physiology and hormones. Generally, females and males have the same hormones - oestrogens, progesterone, and testosterone, but in different concentrations. The predominant hormone in males is testosterone. This is produced in the testes; testosterone is the male gonadal hormone secretion. The role of testosterone is to support the following actions in the male body:
- Fertility and Spermatogenesis
- Bone Mass
- Fat distribution
- Muscle mass
- Muscle strength
- Red blood cell production
Another physiological difference in males is the prostate gland. The role of the prostate gland is to produce seminal fluid. However, as men age it is very normal for the prostate to enlarge over time. Majority of time this is harmless but this can also be associated with prostate cancer.
Across the board, the majority of nutrients are recommended to men and women in the same quantities. However, there are a distinct few vitamins and minerals which are recommended in greater quantities, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6
Conversely, Iron requirements are lower for males than they are in females. This is because women experience menstruation which typically leads to monthly blood loss. This means that iron requirements are higher in young women, than they are in young men.
It is important to note that both vitamin B5 and zinc are notably important for males. Vitamin B5 synthesises and metabolises steroid hormones, of which testosterone is one. Zinc is responsible for the normal metabolism of fatty acids, and maintenance of normal serum testosterone concentrations. Most well-balanced diets contain sufficient amounts of these nutrients. However, some food sources of both nutrients include, meat, fish poultry, shellfish, nuts, seeds and legumes.
Risk of disease
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) onset is multifactorial. However, there are some factors that predispose you to the onset, one of which is gender. Men are more likely to develop CVD and have higher cardiovascular mortality rates than women. This is thought to be due to the deposition of fat mass in a male body. As discussed above, men typically deposit fat in their trunk, this is considered less beneficial to health because if there is excess fat this spills out into visceral deposits, or in other words fat around the organs. This has been shown to affect the way that the organs' function. One study found that men with higher visceral fat deposits had higher blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol concentrations, both of which are a risk factors for CVD.
As we discussed above the prostate is a male-only organ that has roles in secreting seminal fluid. The health of the prostate rarely becomes a concern before 50 years old, which is when NHS screening begins. Screening is essential to maintain the health of your prostate because it’s natural for the prostate to enlarge with age. Most often this is non-harmful called benign prostatic hyperplasia. Often this is experienced alongside some common symptoms such as changes in urinary frequency and ease, as well as an urgent need to urinate and an inability to completely empty the bladder. It is estimated that 3.2 million men in the UK experience symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. However, on the rare occasion this can be cancerous. Prostate cancer is thought to account for 24% of all new cancers in UK. 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, so, be sure to attend each of your prostate screenings with your healthcare practitioner.
Vytaliving has two supplements formulated just for men, you can read about these below:
The hormone testosterone increases during male puberty. It promotes muscle mass, bone density, energy metabolism and libido. Vytaliving’s 5-ingredient testosterone complex tablet helps to boost the body’s natural production of Testosterone. Each tablet contains, D-aspartic acid, zinc, ginger, fenugreek and Vitamin D. Zinc helps the body to maintain normal healthy levels of testosterone contributing to normal fertility.
The Vytaliving Prostate Support supplement has been formulated using modern research, hand-selecting natural extracts to create the best ingredients that modern science can offer. Each tablet contains a blend of 5 ingredients including green tea, selenium, pumpkin, flaxseed and lycopene. This formulation is rich in antioxidants which contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. Current reasearch suggests ingredients like lycopene and pumpkin have applications in prostate health.