In A Nutshell: Multivitamins are dietary supplements that contain vitamins, dietary minerals, and sometimes, other nutrients, such as enzymes. You will find that these can be specific to your sex and age and that the different forms of multivitamins may be targeted toward problems that people of these different ages suffer from.
You are advised not to take them with coffee or while smoking because their efficiency will be impaired by the intake of caffeine or nicotine.
Also called multivitamins and multiminerals, multivitamin/mineral (MVM) supplements are taken to ensure that a person gets enough of the essential nutrients that his normal diet may not be able to provide. They aren’t intended to replace food but rather to fill in any nutritional gaps. Therefore, those who choose to take multivitamins may consider taking them because of seasonal problems but should always ensure that they follow a sensible and varied diet, which includes fruits and vegetables, as well as sources of protein.
An MVM tablet or capsule can contain at least three vitamins or minerals. Of course, some MVMs contain all or most of the essential vitamins and minerals in amounts approximating the recommended daily requirement. Many multivitamins are meant to be taken once daily, while others may be taken twice or thrice alongside meals.
People who have nutrient deficiencies need to take multivitamins that contain adequate amounts of the nutrient that they lack. Others have certain medical conditions that are treated or improved by the intake of MVMs. Supplements are really for everyone, as most people don’t eat completely balanced meals these days.
You can ask your doctor for a blood test; if you feel that you have a specific lack of something in your body, blood tests will reveal deficiencies in iron and other minerals that may be useful. If this is the case, choose multi vitamins that do add this element to your intake. Another thing that is useful when contained in multi vitamins is magnesium, which helps you to keep cramps at bay. If you are going to exercise on a regular basis, this is very useful.
Uses of Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements
Each of the vitamin and mineral components of MVM supplements serves a specific function that is vital to good health. For instance, vitamin A improves eyesight and skin, calcium promotes healthy bones and teeth, iron strengthens the blood (2), and so on. A person must take the recommended daily amounts (RDAs) of these nutrients for optimum health. If he has a nutrient deficiency or a medical condition, he may need to take more than the RDA of a particular nutrient, according to what his doctor advises.
Supplementation is especially beneficial if you eat poorly. This is the case if you eat mostly junk food or empty calories, if you don’t eat from all the different food groups (fats, proteins, carbs, vegetables, fruits, and so on), or if you don’t get to eat regularly for some reason.
However, MVM supplementation isn’t an excuse to continue eating poorly. Supplements can never replace real food. They are taken as add-ons, not as substitutes for real food.
I have also reviewed a lot of weight loss supplements, if you are interested, you might check them out.
How to Choose the Right MVMs
Choosing the right MVMs for you depends on many factors. These include your present health (if you have existing nutrient deficiencies or medical issues), your
age, that your lifestyle, and your health goals. Below are some general guidelines you can follow:
- Choose MVMs that have all the basic or essential vitamins and minerals. The ingredients should, at the minimum, include vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B- 3, B-5, B-6, folic acid, B-12, biotin, C, D-2 or D-3, E, and K, as well as the minerals potassium, iodine, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, borate, selenium, iron, molybdenum, and beta-carotene. Please see the notes below, as these show you what each of these means to your health.
- Choose MVMs that contain 100% of the RDAs of nutrients. Consider MVMs that have extras, such as antioxidants and enzymes.
- Remember that men and women have different nutrient needs. Men, for example, don’t need as much iron as women do.
- Do not take more than the RDAs of nutrients, as doing so may cause toxicity and produce unwanted side effects.
- If you are already taking prescription medicine, consult with your doctor about the most suitable MVMs for you. Some drugs interact unfavorably with dietary supplements. Their dosage or timing may need to be adjusted, and your doctor is the one who can decide on this.
- Take MVMs with meals to lessen any gastrointestinal side effects.
- Research indicates that the nutrients most men miss out on are zinc and vitamin D, so be sure that your multivitamins include these two nutrients.
- Research also shows that the nutrients that are already present in most men’s diet, and that they don’t need much supplementation of, are vitamins C, A and beta-carotene, E, and B6. Unless your doctor advises you to take these vitamins specifically, you probably can do without them as supplements.
- In addition to MVMs and the nine other supplements discussed in earlier chapters, also consider taking dietary supplements containing probiotics (good bacteria for digestive health and a stronger immune system), glucosamine and chondroitin (to ease joint pain and pain from injuries), coenzyme Q10, saw palmetto, and ginkgo biloba. These are additional substances that promote men’s health, especially in the more advanced years (age 40 onwards).
- Remember that you’ll be healthier if you eat well and exercise regularly. Never rely on multivitamins or supplements alone for good nutrition. Nothing beats eating complete, well-balanced meals – except perhaps complete, well-balanced meals that are supplemented with MVMs and the vital supplements discussed in this book.
There are sets of vitamins that are targeted toward different age ranges, and this is important to note because this relates to the bodily needs of men going through that phase of their lives. When choosing, be sure to read what the values of the contents are, as some are more beneficial than others.
Vitamin and Their Use in the Body
Vitamin A – If your diet is varied, then it is unlikely that you need to supplement your vitamin A, as most of the needs that your body has are supplied by the food that you eat. Vitamin A in excess is harmful to your health, so it isn’t a recommended vitamin for people unless suffering from cystic fibrosis, in which case they will not retain sufficient vitamin A for their bodily needs.
B Vitamins are building blocks for red blood cell production. B-12 is the one that stands out as being very useful to men. This helps to regulate the nervous system, as well as helps produce red blood cells. A blood test from your doctor may come up with results based on which your medical provider may suggest taking B-12 or other B vitamins to help balance out your blood work.
Vitamin B-1 and -2 are going to help with your eyesight, and you may even find that you have an improvement in memory from taking these because they work on the neurological system. You find this naturally in cereals, dark green vegetables, and in dairy foods.
Vitamin B-6 helps the body to release serotonin, which can be useful to help you stay young and to protect your neurological system.
Folic Acid – This acid is a soluble one, which is useful for the digestive system. It helps the liver function and also assists when someone is suffering from low blood pressure.
Vitamin D – This is essential for calcium to reach the bones, which is why it is important for men suffering from osteoporosis.
The overview of the different vitamins that are needed for your health should help you decide on which multivitamins suit you. However, do be aware that some online sources are questionable and that you should always purchase from a reputable source.
LabDoor.com has conducted a survey on all of the multivitamins available. These have been tested and the results are interesting. Among the top-rated multivitamins for men, there was a clear winner. Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Men was voted as being the top multivitamin, based on the criteria used for all tests, which are:
- Product purity
- Nutritional value
- Ingredient Safety
- Projected efficacy
It was ranked number 1 when compared with 74 other similar products.
Rainbow Light Men’s One was voted number 4 out of the 75 and is also worth considering. High in zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin D, this would seem to be the ideal supplement to take if suffering the initial effects of osteoporosis or if trying to stave off the same.
OptiMen Optimal Nutrition also rated very high in all of the above criteria, with high levels of vitamins A, D, zinc, and calcium, making this a good alternative for men seeking to retain bone strength and optimal muscle strength. Of course, muscle strength is determined by the level of exercise, and supplements should not be depended upon to replace lifestyle choices, such as good food and exercise, as well as drinking water regularly.
There are many choices out there on the market, but if you are interested in reading the lab reports on multivitamins, these can be read on LabDoor’s Website (https://labdoor.com/rankings/multivitamins) by specifically targeting those intended for men and following up by seeing what the lab report came up with.
At least, this will give you good guidelines as to which products have specific issues, as this is also shown on the lab report as well.
It was noted during my research that some of the multivitamins are associated with health issues, and you need to read the lab report to the end to see which in particular have problems. However, those mentioned above did not and seemed wise choices based on content, efficiency, and purity of the ingredients, as well as the suitability for men and the problems that they may encounter during their lives.