Immune system vitamins are nutrients that your body uses to defend against microbial infections and cancers. It is true that all vitamins and minerals are essential to support the functions of your body, but there are a select few that are more oriented towards disease prevention. The body’s natural ability to fight disease is different depending on your sex, age and activity level. Men have much higher testosterone level, which significantly increases their exposure to prostate hypertrophy and cancer, stress-related disorders, acne and skin allergies as well as heart diseases. The potentials for diseases increase as age progresses. Men are more likely to eat red meat and drink alcohol. These habits can raise their risk of developing liver problems and colon cancer. Therefore, men need to take extra amount of pro-immunity nutrients as defense against these diseases.
About 200,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, of which 30,000 loses their lives. Having a healthy diet is crucial to the prevention of prostate cancer. Studies have shown that higher intake of vitamins B6, C and E and selenium can significantly lower prostate cancer risk.
Vitamin B6 is involved in protein, glucose and fat metabolism. It is also needed for synthesis of neurotransmitters and proper gene expression. Dietary sources of this vitamin B6 include meats, whole grains, dairy, vegetables and nuts. This vitamin is also fortified into many breakfast cereals and milk alternative beverages.
Vitamin C and E are two very important antioxidants for both men and women. Vitamin C is water-soluble where as vitamin E dissolves in fat. Higher intake of these two vitamins can help prevent all types of bacterial and viral infections. They are also great for cancer prevention. Selenium is an anticancer agent in itself, but it works best in combination with vitamins C and E. Studies have shown that combined administration of vitamins C, E and selenium can effectively prevent prostrate tumor growth and inhibit cancer cell proliferation. All fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C, whereas vitamin E and selenium mainly comes from fatty fish, nuts and seeds.
Because of hormonal factors, men are more likely to suffer high blood pressure and cholesterol. To prevent atherosclerosis and other heart diseases, it’s important for men to take enough calcium and vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Most people know that calcium and vitamin D are necessary for health muscles and bones, but in fact, they also help to regulate your blood pressure and hormonal balance. Higher intake of calcium and vitamin D allows blood vessel relaxation which reduces blood pressure. Studies have also shown that taking these two nutrients can lower prostate cancer risk and stress-related syndromes.
Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to prevent cardiovascular and neurological diseases. They are also effective in allergy and cancer prevention. The best way to get omega-3 fatty acids is by eating fatty fish like tuna and salmon. You can also take daily fish oil supplements. In general, one capsule of 1,000 milligrams of omega-3 is enough for a stronger immune system.
Additionally, men should take extra precaution against digestive disease by eating lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. Phyto-antioxidants like beta carotene, lycopene and resveratrol in these veggies are powerful defenders against liver and pancreatic disorders, and they help lower the risk of colon cancer.