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 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.
For More Information
The NCCIH Clearinghouse provides information on NCCIH and complementary and integrative health approaches, including publications and searches of Federal databases of scientific and medical literature. The Clearinghouse does not provide medical advice, treatment recommendations, or referrals to practitioners.
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Know the Science
NCCIH and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide tools to help you understand the basics and terminology of scientific research so you can make well-informed decisions about your health. Know the Science features a variety of materials, including interactive modules, quizzes, and videos, as well as links to informative content from Federal resources designed to help consumers make sense of health information.
A service of the National Library of Medicine, PubMed® contains publication information and (in most cases) brief summaries of articles from scientific and medical journals. For guidance from NCCIH on using PubMed, see How To Find Information About Complementary Health Approaches on PubMed.
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