Some health issues, such as erectile dysfunction (ED) and prostate problems, are unique to men. As many as 30 million American men have ED, and benign prostatic hyperplasia is the most common prostate problem for men older than age 50.
Other health issues—such as coronary heart disease, lung cancer, HIV infection, and Parkinson’s disease—are more common in men than women.
Some dietary supplements and other natural products are marketed specifically for men’s health issues. But many have not been shown to be safe or effective.
For instance, no complementary health approach has been shown to be safe and effective for treating ED. The scientific evidence also does not support using the dietary supplement saw palmetto for any health condition, and yet it is often promoted for urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate gland. And similarly, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of the dietary supplement lycopene for preventing or treating an enlarged prostate gland.
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