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The Best Multivitamin for Men and Women: Health Benefits for Both

August 24, 2021

The Best Multivitamin for Men and Women: Health Benefits for Both

The market for supplements is a difficult one to navigate. When you get a prescription, you can go to the pharmacy to pick it up, and you can count on the fact that it will do what the doctor said it would in the vast majority of cases. On the other hand, with supplements, it is mostly the Wild West for consumers. There are minimal regulations for businesses selling supplements to make truthful claims about their products' contents or effects. This leads to a situation where as a consumer,  you are very much responsible for yourself in your search for supplements that will positively affect your health to make sure you don't get ripped off by unscrupulous vendors. Stick to vendors that can back up everything they claim with scientific research and studies!

Many businesses that sell supplements may focus on specialty formulas that are designed for a particular demographic or subset, like men who are seniors or pregnant women. However, understanding the nutrients and their benefits, and which deficiencies or problems you may have is critical, regardless of what sex you are or your age. Also keep in mind that there are gummies, softgels, pills, and chewable forms, as well as non-GMO and gluten-free options for your nutritional preferences. 

Tiffany Lester, MD at Parsley Health, puts it this way: "Most individuals benefit from specific nutrients found in vitamins, yet have no idea what to take." The doctor recommends consulting a physician or healthcare provider and taking a micronutrient test to get the answer to what vitamins you should or shouldn’t, be taking. This is because the question of which vitamins any one person should take could have very different answers depending on their overall health, diet, and pre-existing conditions. Most doctors agree that no matter how pristine and healthy a person’s diet is, most people could benefit from a vitamin or supplement of some sort. The modern food supply chain in the United States makes it difficult to attain all of our needed nutrients through much of the processed foods we eat. However, there is unfortunately no universal regiment that everyone should take as far as vitamins go.

For example, following a vegan or vegetarian diet would have completely different health needs in terms of vitamins and supplements than someone who eats a diet heavy in animal proteins and fat. A pregnant female will require specific vitamins to assist with her pregnancy, which may not help others as much as it helps her during that time in her life. Diet, lifestyle, and genetics all contribute to a person's individual nutrient needs. 

Should Men and Women Take Different Multivitamins?

The answer is usually yes. While men and women may be able to benefit from taking the same supplement, it doesn’t mean that either or both are maximizing their supplement's utility by drilling down to their specific needs. Men and women's multivitamins have different nutritional requirements and purposes. Recommended dietary allowance or daily value guidelines vary widely by gender and age, and this reflects the reality that human beings require different mixes of nutrients as they age and their bodies change, whether they are a male or a female. Women, for example, will almost always need more calcium than men in a multivitamin supplement. This means that if a woman tries to get her proper levels of nutrients by taking a few of her husband's multivitamins, she is most likely not going to get the results she’s looking for, particularly if his vitamins were formulated for a male his age. 

Men's vitamins tend to prioritize muscle health as well as the effects of declining sex-specific hormones in a man's body. On the other hand, women generally need a multivitamin that focuses on the skeletal system rather than the muscular system. This is because women generally see a greater need to maintain good bone health and the potential adverse side effects from lack of calcium. Women also have a unique set of needs and circumstances around the time of pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins are generally not something that can be substituted with a daily men's health multivitamin. 

However, both sexes have a plethora of nutrients that they both need and can benefit from, like antioxidants. Immune health is another item that tends to be high on the priority list, particularly in a post-pandemic world, regardless of sex. Unfortunately, some people still do not realize the importance of sex-specific vitamin regiments. It is imperative, the more we learn about nutrition, to have as customized and well-informed of an approach as we can have when making crucial decisions that affect our health or the health of others. This is why being informed about your unique nutritional needs and deficiencies is very important. 

Which Common Vitamins and Mineral Supplements Are Taken For What Symptoms?

Multivitamins and supplements have a wide variety of uses and benefits--it’s just a matter of working with your physician to figure out what uses apply best for you as an individual. The following is a list of some of the most common vitamin supplements Americans take and their uses: 

  • Vitamin D: This vitamin is not as common in food as some others. This vitamin can also be obtained naturally by spending time in the sun. However, it is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies, found particularly in those who may spend long hours working inside, or those who live in areas where there is less year-round sunlight. This vitamin helps bones absorb calcium and stay healthy. 
  • Vitamin B3: This vitamin is also commonly known as niacin. This vitamin is found to help with maintaining healthy skin, nervous system health, and digestion. Many women who have been taking birth control for a long time may develop a deficiency of B vitamins, so supplements of niacin may be helpful for these individuals.
  • Vitamin B12: This important vitamin is essential to the health of nerve tissue, brain health functioning, and the production of red blood cells. About 5% to 15% of Americans have a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vegans and vegetarians may benefit from this supplement as it is commonly found in meat. 
  • Vitamin C: While it is commonly known as an immune-booster, there is limited evidence to support this conclusion. Eating citrus can convey the same benefits as most citruses have a good dose of vitamin C, and if you have a cold, taking zinc has been found to be a more effective remedy for treating its symptoms.
  • Zinc: This common mineral was found in a study to mitigate the length and severity of common cold symptoms significantly. People commonly take this supplement to boost immune system health. 
  • Folic Acid: This is a vitamin from the B family. It has an essential role in the formation of new cells, making it a highly recommended vitamin for pregnant women. A study also found that this supplement may help reduce congenital disabilities. 
  • Multivitamins: This is where recent scientific literature has found the most varied results. Doctors generally advise taking a tailored approach to your nutrition, relying on tests and other health factors to identify your specific needs rather than relying on a universal approach to multivitamins.

All of these key nutrients are needed at different levels and at different times to varying degrees within a human being's lifespan. We are continually fluctuating, and our bodies’ processes and nutritional needs are ever-changing The best thing we can usually do is maintain a healthy and consistent daily routine. 

Can Vitamins and Minerals Help Me?

Vitamins have the potential to help almost anyone supplement their diet and fill nutritional gaps. Most people don’t know what to take, so the easiest thing to do is to just ask for help! However, there is no substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle, and vitamins can enhance these components, but not replace them. Vitamins should not be used to treat or cure any illness as they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do so. This means consumers do assume a higher level of risk of being exposed to contaminants or receiving products that are inaccurately labeled if they don’t go with companies that have a reliable reputation and quality ingredients. It is always recommended to consult medical professionals in any significant decision that affects your health.

Vitamin vendors can be evaluated and rated on the internet. Check customer reviews and the company website to see if the company's materials pass the initial test of credibility. Vitamin supplements are most useful for people with an underlying deficiency or restricted diet. If you have a balanced and healthy diet, it may not be as important for you to take a daily multivitamin unless you have another underlying health condition. Vitamins are not a cure for anything and should be used to supplement an already robust health and wellness routine. Do the work and find out the right kind of vitamin that can give you the most benefit.

Avoid vitamin supplements that contain a large number of fillers, allergens, and sweeteners. Also, make sure to investigate the company you are purchasing from. Unfortunately, not all vendors are created equal. It is imperative when possible to stick to only the highest quality vendors who take the most considerable lengths, only  making claims that are certified by scientific research.


Medically reviewed by Jimmy Salas Rushford

Written by Quality of Life – Updated on March 3, 2021

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