How to choose multivitamins
Senior Indian man taking various pills

Males and females often benefit from different types, amounts and combinations of multivitamins and minerals.

With this in mind, some pharmaceutical companies develop specific formulas of supplements, vitamins, shakes and health bars to benefit male or female biology. A person should discuss their options with a doctor or healthcare professional who can help them make a decision, and choose the product that they feel is best for them and their needs.

Do Men over 50 Need a Multivitamin?

Multivitamins contain a range of vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health. In many cases, a person can obtain these nutrients from eating a balanced diet and from exposure to sunlight.

However, as people get older, they may need extra help getting enough vitamins and minerals. There are several reasons for this, including:

  • Poor absorption: According to the Institute of Medicine, 10-30% of older adults do not absorb vitamin B12 effectively. If a person is not absorbing enough nutrients from their food, taking a supplement can help.
  • Medication: Some medications can lower a person’s vitamin levels. For example, proton pump inhibitors and metformin can lower vitamin B12 levels.
  • Physical training: If a man over 50 is physically active, he may need additional vitamins and minerals to help with his training.
  • Reduced mobility: If a person has a disability or chronic condition, they may not be able to cook fresh food from scratch or go out easily. This can make it more difficult for them to get enough nutrients.
  • Restricted diet: A person with dietary restrictions cannot get all the necessary nutrients from food and may benefit from taking supplements.
  • Age-related chronic disease: Conditions such as osteoporosis can increase a person’s nutrient needs.

However, while some people may benefit from taking vitamin supplements, not everyone needs or benefits from them.

Too much of some vitamins can be dangerous, and some vitamins can interact with medications. For example, vitamin K can reduce the effectiveness of warfarin, a drug that prevents blood clotting.

A blood test can help a person determine if they have a vitamin deficiency and need a supplement.

Which Vitamins and Minerals are Important?

It is important to get enough of all the important nutrients every day. However, there are certain nutrients that men age 50 and older may benefit from.

Vitamin B12

Because 10-30% of older adults cannot absorb vitamin B12 effectively from food, they may need to increase their intake through more B12-rich foods or a supplement.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for bone health and immune function. However, many people do not get enough vitamin D from food alone, and the need for this nutrient increases as adults age.

Antioxidants

Some vitamins and minerals are also antioxidants. Antioxidants can help protect against free radicals.

Some antioxidants to look for in supplements include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

These nutrients have several potential benefits. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), AREDS, a combination of vitamins C and E, zinc, copper, lutein and zeaxanthin, may reduce age-related macular degeneration.

A 2016 review suggests that zinc is also essential for prostate function.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant that may help protect against obesity and inflammation, according to a 2014 review.

The authors of a 2018 study suggest that CoQ10 may reduce muscle pain and weakness that some people experience while taking statins.

How to Choose Multivitamins

Before purchasing multivitamins, a person may consider the following factors:

  • Cost: Some multivitamins are more expensive than others, and not all products contain the same supplements. Check the packaging carefully to ensure the best value for money.
  • Vitamin and mineral content: Not all multivitamin products contain the same selection or amount of vitamins and minerals.
  • Multivitamin form: Some multivitamins come in capsule, pill, or chewable gummy form. People may consider purchasing a multivitamin that is easy to swallow.
  • Subscription Services: Some companies may offer a subscription service, delivering a monthly supply of multivitamins directly to a person’s home.
  • Eco-friendly materials: Some companies use eco-friendly materials, such as 100% recycled bottles or biodegradable packaging.
How to choose multivitamins

Pros and Cons of Multivitamins

Multivitamins may have some benefits and drawbacks, such as the following:

Pros

  • They can help prevent vitamin deficiency.
  • They provide the convenience of only needing to take 1 pill.
  • They can help people who follow certain diets get vitamins they might miss when they eat.
  • They are easily available in drug stores and pharmacies.

Cons

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate multivitamins in the same way it does other products.
  • Some multivitamin brands lack legitimacy, and their products may not be effective or safe.
  • Some multivitamins may interact with certain prescription medications.
  • It is possible for a person to have too much of a vitamin in their body, and a multivitamin may provide more than the recommended amount.

7 Multivitamins for Men Over 50

The best product for an individual will depend on their specific circumstances, such as their age, any medications they take, and their health status. A doctor or nutritionist can advise on this.

Product options below:

  • Contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals
  • Contains foods that are suitable for adult men.
  • Passed third party testing for quality and safety.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

  1. Ritual Essential for Men 50+
  2. Care/of Men’s Care Pack
  3. Amazon Elements Men’s One Daily Multivitamin
  4. Persona Men’s Essentials + Stress Support
  5. Centrum Multivitamin for Men
  6. SmartyPants Men’s Formula Daily Gummy Multivitamin
  7. Nature Made Men’s Multivitamin Tablets

Are There any Risks?

Some vitamins and minerals can cause side effects. For example, some forms of calcium can cause gas and bloating, and iron supplements can cause constipation.

In addition, certain nutrients may be harmful to some individuals. For example, a multivitamin product may:

  • Interact with medications or other supplements.
  • Exacerbating pre-existing conditions
  • Increased risk of certain health conditions
  • Causes toxicity in high doses

Summary

A multivitamin may benefit men age 50 and older who may not be getting enough nutrients from their diet. Some essential nutrients include antioxidants and vitamins B12 and D. However, everyone’s needs are different.

It is important to know what nutrients a person needs and in what quantity. A doctor or nutritionist can advise one on which supplements to take and how to avoid possible side effects.

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