Multivitamins are the most popular supplements around. In addition to capsules and tablets, you can find multis in a variety of formulations such as gummies, chewables and powders. But what is the difference between multivitamins for men vs. women?
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences provides nutrient recommendations, which vary by age and gender.
These nutrient guidelines detail the vitamin and mineral requirements we need each day. Since the recommended intake for certain nutrients is different for men and women, it stands to reason that multivitamins for men and women should be different as well. While many of the vitamins and minerals in men’s and women’s multis are the same, you’ll notice a few significant differences for this reason.
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As women age, bone density can become an issue. Eating a balanced diet that includes calcium-rich yogurt, milk and cheese can support healthy bone density. Women’s multivitamins contain more bone-strengthening calcium than men’s multis and are a great way to fill in nutritional gaps when we don’t quite hit daily food serving recommendations.
It’s no secret that the beauty industry is booming. Women of all ages want to look their best so they feel their best. Many multivitamins formulated for women contain beauty-boosting nutrients (like B-vitamins, methylsulfonylmethane or MSM, and antioxidant-rich grape seed extract) to help combat thinning hair and nails as well as aging skin.
As men get older, prostate health is a common concern. A number of nutrients can support prostate health, including saw palmetto, an herbal remedy which has been used successfully to treat symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (or BPH).
A good multivitamin formulated for men should also contain more zinc than a women’s multi. Zinc is essential for a healthy prostate and important for male reproduction system development and function. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that men over the age of 18 get 11 milligrams of zinc daily.