There simply is no denying that men have different nutritional needs than women. While the commonalities are greater in number than the differences, of those areas that are different, they are strikingly so. A good example is the prostate, which can be quite the cantankerous organ for the vast majority of men. Another one is Male Pattern Baldness, which can be mitigated with specific hair nutrients. Less obvious, but no less important, are the differences in certain vitamin and mineral needs, such as Calcium and Vitamin K intake. In short, men are better off taking a multivitamin that caters to these specific needs than a general multivitamin. This is precisely why premiere vitamin brands manufacture separate multivitamins for men and women.
Best Multivitamins for Men: What to Look For
Total Balance Men’sFormulated to address specific health concerns for men, including urinary tract health, prostate health, cancer prevention and testosterone production, TB Men’s is the highest quality men’s multi we’ve tested.
As mentioned, prostate care is vital for men. By age 40, over half of men will suffer from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Hypertrophy), which is the progressive inability to empty the bladder due to an enlarged prostate caused by renewed growth of prostate cells. By age 59, nearly 60% of men will suffer from BPH. By age 80, some 85% of men will experience at least one symptom of BPH. Furthermore, 25% of all urologist visits are for treating chronic prostatitis, while many urologists believe that some 60-80% of men will suffer from acute and chronic prostatitis (oftentimes painfully) at some point in their life. While less common for men in their twenties, prostate issues begin to manifest more frequently for men in their thirties. As such, it is advised that men 40 and over take a multivitamin that specifically targets prostate health.
Supplements to look for in preventing and treating prostate issues include isoflavone herbal preparations containing plant estrogens, such as lignans from flax and sesame seeds, saw palmetto berries and flower pollen. As men grow older, the ratio of estrogen to testosterone changes, and is responsible for prostate issues. Plant estrogens in particular provide benefits, as they are much weaker than estrogen itself, but help restore the balance between estrogen and testosterone in men by reducing the impact of hormonal estrogen on the cellular level.
While bone health is a matter of concern for both men and women (bone mass peaks at age 30), it is not as much of an issue for men as it is for women, who over the age of 50, are advised to supplement with increased Calcium for maintaining bone health. Too much Calcium for men, however, can increase prostate issues. Rather, it is Magnesium that men need to be more concerned with. Not only is Magnesium a co-factor for maintaining adequate Calcium levels in bone and soft tissue, it is responsible for preventing Metabolic syndrome and inflammation, both of which are more common in men than women.
Also highly beneficial in mitigating inflammation are omega-3 fatty acids, which are predominately found in fish oil, and hence the recommended use of fish oil in lowering cholesterol and alleviating vascular conditions. However, here again we find a difference between men and women. It is not the total amount of omega-3 fatty acids (ALA, DHA and EPA) that matters, but rather, the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6. Furthermore, studies have shown that women respond more favorably to DHA in treating inflammation while men respond better to EPA fatty acids. Additionally, men are recommended to intake 25% more Vitamin K (a blood coagulant) than women. Thus, it is important that men over the age of 50 take a multivitamin that also targets these specific needs.
Approximately 50% of men in Western, industrialized nations suffer from Male Pattern Baldness. While seemingly more of a cosmetic concern than a health issue, studies show that hair loss has been correlated with reduced blood circulation and heart disease. For example, hair loss on certain areas of the scalp (such as extreme thinning on the top) is more correlated with hear disease than thinning on other areas of the scalp. Alpha lipoic acid and co-enzyme Q-10 have both been show effective at improving scalp circulation, while the entire range of B vitamins, including Pantothenic acid, biotin and inositol have been linked with helping prevent and mitigate premature graying and hair loss. Studies have also linked the amino acid, Cysteine (or Acetyl-Cysteine, aka NAC) with speedier hair growth.
For the active man, there are a number of specific nutrients shown to enhance performance and speed up recovery. Again, the co-enzyme Q-10 plays a role in this regard, which along with astaxanthin, provide anti-oxidant benefits. Flavonoids, Vitamin E & C and the amino acid compound L-Carnitine are all thought to play roles in maintaining and building skeletal muscle, while grape seed extract has shown effective at reducing bruising. One of the most well known and favored amino acids by serious athletes – Glutamine – is highly beneficial for decreasing recovery time and preventing lean tissue degradation. Xtend-Life’s Total Balance Men’s Premium is the perfect example of a multivitamin targeting active men’s needs. For a whole food, organic multivitamin specifically geared toward men over 40, New Chapter’s Every Man II is outstanding.