Even if you eat a healthy and well balanced diet, you might be missing some key nutrients. Of course your diet is the first and best place to start to obtain the nutrients your body needs for good health, but supplements can provide that additional some support to help you reach all of your nutritional requirements.
Multivitamins are a great way to increase your consumption of a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals to help bridge the gap between your diet and your actual nutrient intake, available in convenient to take tablets, capsules or soft gels.
A multivitamin can be used as both a preventative approach to health while maintaining and improving vitality and quality of life.
There are times where supplementation with vitamins and minerals may be necessary such as times of high stress, poor nutrition, injury, illness, compromised digestion, or physical changes such as significant growth and development.
It’s safe to say that most people nowadays could benefit from the additional support of a multi-vitamin when faced with the ever increasing stressors of life paired with a typically not so ideal diet.
In addition, men particularly may benefit from a multivitamin over the age of 40, living an active lifestyle, during periods of growth and development, or simply if their diet is lacking in nutrients.
All multivitamins have similar nutrients, but multivitamins for men will have specific ingredients and dosages for their own special needs and requirements. The National Institutes of Health recommends taking a multivitamin specific to your age and gender.
Nutrients that are needed for men’s health include :
Zinc is an important mineral needed for tissue and cell formation, wound healing, immune function, digestive function, skin elasticity and repair, and reproductive function.
Zinc is also a hormone balancer that can help support healthy hormone levels such as testosterone, supporting prostate and sexual health in men. The prostate is actually the organ that contains more zinc than any other making it an essential mineral for men’s fertility as deficiency can interfere with sperm production and have a negative effect on serum testosterone levels (1).
As it is essential, this means we need to get it from our diet or supplement form because our body does not produce it, unlike many other mammals.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that has the ability to destroy all virus organisms. In order to kill viruses higher doses of vitamin C are typically required. Vitamin C can help to boost both the innate and adaptive immune system by activating neutrophils (white blood cells), stimulating interferon and antibody production in the body, and protecting against oxidative damage (1). Vitamin C may help to prevent and treat infections while also shortening the duration of the common cold or flu (2).
Magnesium represents a commonly deficient mineral, as it is flushed out of the system by caffeine, alcohol, diuretics, medications, excessive exercising, diarrhea, and even chronic stress. A compromised gut also influences our ability to absorb magnesium, and these challenges only increase with age.
Magnesium is an important mineral in modulating the stress response, maintaining bone elasticity, and supporting cardiovascular health (5). This mineral is involved in over 300 enzyme systems and is required for a significant amount of reactions in the body.
Men over the age of 50 are also more susceptible to low magnesium levels.
Low levels of magnesium are associated with increased markers of inflammation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
You can find magnesium in foods such as leafy green vegetables, dried apricots, brown rice, almonds, pecans, cashews, and brazil nuts. However, soil depletion and the processing of foods such as grains can deplete magnesium levels found in foods today therefore supplementation is often recommended.
Vitamin D deficiency is quite common especially if you live farther away from the equator and do not get sufficient sunlight exposure.
Vitamin D is an important vitamin needed for optimal immune function, bone health, skin health, mental health, and many more functions in the body.
Vitamin D is an important vitamin for healthy male sexual function, and supplementation has been shown to even improve sexual function in men (8).
Symptoms of low vitamin D include muscle weakness, bone loss, and increased risk of fractures.
According to Health Canada, out of all of the nutrients, vitamin D had the highest prevalence of inadequate intake among Canadians (9). The need for vitamin D also increases after the age of 50.
B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential vitamin that is necessary for cognitive and cardiovascular health as well as normal nerve functioning.
Vitamin B12 is stored throughout the body thus it can take years for a deficiency to develop. However, this is an essential vitamin that is critical for brain health and cognition but also overall bodily functions. Therefore it’s important to ensure that you are getting B12 either through your diet or from supplementation and that you are actually absorbing it. The best way to ensure that your levels are met is to get testing done with your healthcare provider.
Benefits and uses of B12:
- Improves mood and brain function
- Prevents pernicious anemia
- Supports production of hemoglobin (protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body)
- Stimulates growth and repair
- Involved in the metabolism of fatty acids
- Vital for melatonin production, an important hormone which supports sleep
- Promotes healthy nerve function
- Supports adrenal hormone production
- Involved in the regulation of homocysteine (high levels of homocysteine can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease)
- Promotes absorption of nutrients by supporting the regeneration of our mucosal lining in the small intestines
- Helps to reduce fatigue and improve energy levels
- Supports methylation (an important process that controls chemical interactions in the body)
- Protects against heart disease
How to Choose a Multivitamin
Not all supplements are created equal, and that goes for multivitamins too!
In order to reap the benefits and get the most bang for your buck, it’s important to be aware of certain criteria to make sure your multi makes the cut:
Third Party Testing
When a product is third party tested this means it has been evaluated by a company that is not involved in the production or sale of the supplement.
How can you know if a product is third party tested? Look for the third party testing label from the certification company on a supplement to assess whether it has been evaluated for its safety, efficacy and use.
Examples of third party companies include Consumer Lab, NSF international, Informed Choice, ISURA, and USP.
Third party testing is one of the best ways to feel confident with your supplement choice and know that it has gone through vigorous testing to deem it a quality product.
Each country will have its own regulations but in Canada natural health products are regulated by their NPN (Natural Product Number) number listed on the product, deeming the supplement safe, effective, and of high quality under their recommended conditions of use by the government of Canada.
You can also identify licensed natural health products in Canada by the Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label.
Keep an eye out for these labels on the supplement bottle to ensure that you are getting a quality supplement and avoid spending money on a product that doesn’t work and as a result may just end up as expensive urine.
It can be helpful to look for supplements that target specific age categories as our needs for certain vitamins and minerals will differ according to what stage of life we are currently in.
As we age our needs for certain nutrients such as calcium, omega 3 fats, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin B12 may increase due to reduce digestive absorption, reduced caloric intake, use of medications, and other factors related to aging.
There can be many filler ingredients hiding in supplements which act as bulking agents and preservatives but that are not so beneficial for health such as soybean oil, maltodextrin, titanium dioxide, sodium benzoate, artificial colors, and stearic acid.
Though not all fillers will be harmful it’s best to avoid them as much as possible.
It is of particular importance to be attentive to these additives if you react to certain ingredients such as wheat, corn, soy, eggs, or gelatin. These will typically be listed under “other ingredients” on the supplement label.
Form of the vitamin or mineral
Vitamins and minerals can come in many forms and this will affect how they act in the body by impacting their rate of absorption.
Prime examples are vitamin B12, magnesium and folic acid.
Cyanocobalamin is the most common form of vitamin B12 found in supplements, however it has to first be converted in the body to methylcobalamin, and this process may be compromised in many people. Methylcobalamin is the active form of the vitamin and can be used by the body more efficiently.
Folic acid is the synthetic version of vitamin B9 which is the inactive form of the vitamin and not easily utilized in the body as it must be converted into 5-MTHF before entering the bloodstream. Folic acid is the cheaper form of vitamin B9 which is why it is found in most supplements however the active form 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) is what you want to look for, especially if you do have the MTHFR mutation which can be tested for.
Magnesium comes in a variety of forms which will have different uses and effects in the body.
The least absorbable form is magnesium oxide which can benefit those experiencing constipation as it is poorly absorbed in the intestinal tract. For more absorbable and effective forms you can opt for magnesium bisglycinate, citrate, malate, and threonate.
Some multi vitamins will require a significant amount of capsules per day which can be a dealbreaker for many people who are already taking supplements or have trouble remembering them. Pay attention to the nutrient servings per capsule to make sure you are reaching your daily targets and if it is realistic for you. This will also affect how long your supply will last which should also be taken into consideration.
What are the Best Men’s Multivitamins?
Shop multivitamins for men at Vitasave
An energizing vitamin and mineral complex with nourishing levels of all essential nutrients is needed for head-to-toe support. This includes a full spectrum of nature-based vitamins, as well as key minerals in highly absorbable forms. Forward Plus multivitamin supplement provides 47 carefully combined nutrients in the forms needed for optimal health.
- Supports brain and cognitive health
- Provides antioxidant support against harmful free radicals
- Helps support a healthy immune system
- Supports digestion and nutrient absorption
- Supports healthy cholesterol and blood pressure
Vitamin Code™ Men’s 50 and WISER Formula helps the body to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins; to form red blood cells; in tissue formation (including to produce and repair connective tissue); maintain immune function; in the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums; in wound healing; in the absorption and use of calcium and phosphorus; to support healthy glucose metabolism; in the function of the thyroid gland; and to maintain healthy skin. A source of Vitamin A to help maintain eyesight, membranes and to help in the development and maintenance of night vision. Contains CoQ10 to help support cardiovascular health. Calcium intake, when combined with sufficient vitamin D, a healthy diet, and regular exercise, may reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Prostate Health – Vitamin E, Selenium, Zinc
- Healthy Heart & Blood Pressure – Vitamin B Complex, Vitamins C and E
- Mental and Physical Energy – Vitamin B Complex, Chromium
- Optimal Digestion – Live Probiotics and Enzymes, Vitamin D3, Zinc
- Memory & Concentration – Vitamin B Complex, Vitamins C, D and E
- Eye Health – Vitamins A, C, E, Zinc
More Than Food Supplements, They’re Supplemental Food.
Organic whole-food cultured vitamins and minerals go beyond just addressing nutrient deficiencies to promote overall health and system-specific benefits, with complementary herbs
Every Man™’s One Daily 40+ is a probiotic-cultured multivitamin that can be taken anytime—even on an empty stomach
- Made with organic vegetables & herbs
- Convenient one a day dosage
- Can be taken on an empty stomach
Alive!® Men’s 50+ Premium Gummies is a multi-vitamin specifically balanced for men age 50+. It is gluten and gelatin-free (made with pectin) and is sweetened with organic tapioca syrup and cane sugar. It provides nourishment for heart, digestion, energy, immunity, eyes, & bone support.*
- Full B-vitamin complex to help convert food into energy*
- High potency vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6 & vitamin B12
- Selenium, lutein, and lycopene
- No synthetic flavors or preservatives
- Orchard Fruits™/ Garden Veggies™ powder blend (150 mg per serving)
About the Author
Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women’s hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence’s mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals.