How to Choose a Multivitamin for Men


mens multivitaminFor adult men, it is sometimes tough to find the right mens multivitamin. A one-size-fits-all approach, although effective when shopping for T-shirts, does not always apply to health products. To find the best multivitamin, talk to a medical professional who can advise you based on your individual health concerns, dietary habits and lifestyle.

Multivitamin Supplements

Since men have different nutritional needs than women, the best multivitamin for a man is specifically formulated for him. It should not necessarily contain iron because the body has difficulty getting rid of excess iron, but it should have adequate amounts of other essential nutrients. Most multivitamin supplements contain at least the recommended dietary allowance of most micronutrients, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Those that contain more, however, are unnecessary for most healthy men.

Vitamin D

Osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease, is not just a woman’s problem, although most men view it that way, reports the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. In comparison to women, men have larger skeletons and their bone loss starts later and progresses more slowly. However, they are still at risk for bone loss if they smoke, have certain medical conditions, or don’t maintain a balanced diet. Since bone mass peaks in a male’s 30s and begins to slowly decline thereafter, the best multivitamins for men will contain 200 to 600 IU of vitamin D.

Vitamin B-12

Since a man’s ability to absorb vitamin B-12 sometimes declines with age, supplementation is important. This is especially true for vegetarian men because vitamin B-12 is only found in animal products and in fortified foods. Adult men need approximately 6 mcg per day for optimal health and energy.

Vitamin C

As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps counteract cell-damaging molecules that contribute to illness and disease. Although most multivitamin supplements provide the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C, this number focuses solely on preventing deficiency diseases. Adult men will need more vitamin C to help prevent chronic diseases. In total, a man’s vitamin C intake should equal 400 mg. Male smokers need an extra 35 mg per day more than nonsmokers, however.

References:  National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; Osteoporosis in Men; January 2011; Linus Pauling Institute; What to Look for in a Multivitamin Supplement; Jane Higdon, Ph.D.; November 2003; Linus Pauling Institute; Vitamin C; Balz Frei, Ph.D.; November 2009

Mara Gerke