Best Multivitamins for Men – All You Need to Know
Are you confused about what multivitamins actually are?
I was too, so I set out to find some answers that I’d like to share with you.
After a series of health problems, I had “all natural” vitamins recommended to me as the fastest way back to health. When my research began I discovered that:
- Most vitamins are not made from real food at all!
- Over 90% of a typical vitamin is made up of a “filler” or “binder”
- Most vitamin production processes rob a large part of the nutritional value from the original ingredients
I wrote this article to guide you through some of the benefits pitfalls of buying all natural multivitamins.
Please note – I am not a doctor, a pharmacist or medical professional.
Like you, I consider myself to be an intelligent individual that can make good decisions given the right information.
The purpose of this site is to give you the best research and information to base your decisions on. Happy reading and I hope you find this information useful!
What’s a Multivitamin and how does it work?
What should you look for in a complete multivitamin?
This guide will cover the basics, including:
- The raw ingredients – Go whole food or go home
- Processing – Avoid the incineration method and
- Binders and Fillers – What to look out for
Let’s take a look at each in turn:
The first thing to look for in a high-quality multivitamin is if it comes from a whole-food source.
I was very surprised to find out that most vitamin C, for example, was not from an orange or grapefruit but rather manufactured in a lab.
The ascorbic acid was isolated from refined cornstarch and did not contain rutin and organic copper, which normally occur in the natural vitamin C complex.
The start of a great multivitamin begins with ingredients made from whole foods, but what happens next is just as important.
Unfortunately, what happens next in a lot of the manufacturing processes is that the raw ingredients are then flash-heated to reduce them to a powder format.
This process is the cheapest way to manufacture the vitamin since it takes up very little production time. However, this near-incineration of the materials strips some of the nutritional value from the inputs.
A much better substitute is a slow-drying or even sun-drying process, which is more time consuming and expensive, but retains more of the nutrients in the vitamin.
Binders and Fillers
Up to 80% of the multi vitamins on the market are made up of filler materials like maltodextrin, which are cheap ingredients added to “bulk up” the product so the hapless consumer thinks they are getting better value for money.
Watch out for fillers like this, as well as various binders that are used to keep the materials in tablet form and serve no nutritional purpose.
You can usually recognize a binder by the fact that you don’t know what it is.
If there is a strange chemical name in the ingredients list it is probably a binder or a filler that isn’t adding value to the product at all.
If you follow the buying guidelines above you will get far better value for money.
Remember the three keys:
- Whole food ingredients
- Slow-dry processing
- No binders or fillers
Key Benefits of using Multivitamins
Why do we need multivitamins?
I pondered this very question a while ago – why do we need multivitamins in the first place?
The first thing that struck me was that nearly everyone I knew had a health problem of some sort – no one was perfectly healthy.
I wondered – did I just hang around with sick people or what?
Sadly – no.
Very few people are functioning at their peak
I found a very interesting document called the UK National Diet and Nutritional Survey that revealed some shocking statistics about the average Joe and answers the question of “why do we need multivitamins?”.
- The UK has the highest incidence of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in Europe
- 44% of men and 46% of women have one or more chronic illness
- 65% of men and 56% of women are overweight or obese
- 26% of the UK population has categorized their health as only fair to very bad
There is a large segment of the population that is categorized as the “walking unwell”.
They are people who are affected by various illnesses, who are sick, but they are so used to feeling bad that they don’t recognize that they are ailing.
Tiredness, occasional exhaustion and just generally feeling under par are the most common symptoms.
They attribute these occasional feelings to aging or a tough night out, not even recognizing that they are not functioning as well as they could be.
Why is everyone not functioning at their peak?
The general consensus seems to be that lifestyle factors are causing us to become one of the unhealthiest societies of all time.
The commonly cited factors are
- Lack of exercise
- Insufficient nutrition
We have access to more types of foods that ever before. Organic meat, free-range eggs and all sorts of healthy options – right?
They don’t make them like they used to. The average mineral content for fruits and vegetables has severely declined over the last 50 years due to soil depletion.
Between 1940 and 1991 magnesium has declined by 25%, calcium by 47%, iron by 36% and copper by 62%. Thanks to soil depletion, the veggies we eat simply aren’t as healthy as they used to be.
Why do we need multivitamins – because you aren’t getting what you used to in your food!
Assuming that we do eat enough fruits and vegetables – which most people in the Western world don’t. Take vitamin C for example.
A Stone Age diet would have supplied us with about 400mg a day, where the average intake today is approximately 58mg. In short, we are overfed and undernourished.
If you’re thinking, “Shouldn’t I be able to eat all the nutrients I need?” Theoretically, yes. Practically, no.
Multivitamins for Men and Women – What’s the difference?
The difference Multivitamins for Men and Women is this – Premenopausal women need much more iron than men.
This is down to two reasons:
- Women lose a significant amount of iron from menstrual bleeding
- Women after menopause need more calcium than men to preserve bone strength
Notably, there are several types of multivitamins you can buy these days for men or women which add specific herbs for gender benefits. Though there has been much controversy whether these herbs should be added to multivitamins some critics have argued that the amount added to any daily dose may not be sufficient to have any noticeable effect.
So why am I telling you this? Be careful when paying extra for multivitamins which promote these herbs.
Most Essential Vitamins for Men over 50
Vitamins for the Heart - the usual suspects:
- Some of the most commonly cited vitamins that may reduce the risk of heart disease for men over 50 are the B-complex vitamins.
- Vitamins for the heart include vitamins B9 (folic acid), vitamins B6 and B12 are all involved in removing homocysteine from the blood supply. Homocysteine is thought to predict your risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and several other chronic conditions.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) may reduce cholesterol in certain situations and the antioxidant properties of Vitamins E and C have been well documented.
However, one question remains to be answered:
Will taking supplements actually decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease?
According to the published research to date – no.
More specifically, both the British Heart Foundation and the American Heart Association “cannot recommend the use of supplements to reduce the risk of CVD” moreover the US Preventive Services Task Force also doesn’t recommend taking supplements.
They all recommend eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, but the research doesn’t justify taking the supplements. The USPSTF did report, however, that the longest studies were 5-6 years long, which was “not long enough to determine if longer-term benefits exist”.
One thing to note is that all bar two of the studies that show no improvement due to supplements were done with synthetic, rather than natural vitamins. This is the research to date.
An alternative theory surrounding vitamins for the heart was put forward by a biochemist in 1992 claiming he could cure CVD. Prior to research, it was generally accepted that CVD was caused by lesions (injured tissue) in the artery walls that were then filled with plaques of cholesterol, eventually blocking the artery. However later studies discovered that the plaque was not in fact LDL cholesterol but lipoprotein A and that the artery walls and other areas were constantly being broken down and repaired.
More interestingly, Vitamin C played a key role in this process and, compared to other mammals humans had 30 to 300 times less vitamin C in our bloodstream that other animals that did not experience CVD.
So what was the cure?
Further studies showed that a combination of Lysine and Vitamin C, combined with mild exercise could reverse the process and cure the disease, based on individual cases that they encountered.
So why isn’t there any research supporting this?
Despite the overwhelming evidence, the National Institutes of Health twice refused to fund the research and the NAS refused to publish the facts concluded.
In short – no one would cough up the money.
Controversy Over Multivitamins Usage
Recommended Daily Intakes (RDI) also known as (also Recommended Daily Allowances) are not the best guidelines.
The RDI’s were not originally intended to be a guideline for optimum health, but rather the guide to a bare minimum intake to fend off disease
They are usually several years behind current research, as shown by the fact that the intakes are mostly increasing with every revision
The UK and US populations, which are regarded as the “healthy” baseline, are not healthy at all. This is a poor reference point and not a good guideline.
However, to understand why these are no longer an appropriate guide, you need to first understand how they came about.
The original Recommended Daily Allowances objective was to determine what the minimum level of nutrients a person could survive on, not to sustain optimal health. Today, they are used for planning emergency relief supplies, a baseline measurement on food containers and in food and nutrition education programs.
Changes over time
One other reason that the RDA’s may not be your best guide, is that they have been continually increasing the intakes for the vitamins and minerals, several years behind current research.
One example: the RDA for Vitamin C went from 30mg to 45mg to 60mg in the UK while in the US, it’s currently 85mg.
These values are far behind the times.
Our Top 5 Best Multivitamins for Men
With the staggering amount of health information available to us today, it’s sometimes difficult to ascertain what vitamins and supplements are necessary to maintain health. Drugstores and health food stores stock shelves filled with multivitamins and herbal extracts. Some are designed for all men; some are marketed to seniors or active men. Yet each of us is unique. How can any one-size-fits-all vitamin formulation be effective for every man?
This question is what led researchers to create vitamin and supplement companies dedicated to finding not the best vitamins for men – but the best vitamins for each unique individual man.
Below we’ll take a look at our top 5 Best Multivitamins for Men:
Garden Of Life Vitamin Code For Men
Great advances in DNA technology and the mapping of the human genome have led to many discoveries. This same technology can be used to help engineer health. By analyzing the key genes, and special needs of men, Garden of Life is able to formulate their Vitamin Code Men's Multivitamin: a unique health supplement with RAW Food-Created Nutrients, ensuring the exact blend of vitamins and minerals necessary are delivered when and where they're needed.
Total Primate Care
Every man has his own unique combination of advantaged and disadvantaged genes. By assessing which genes are disadvantaged Onnit's Total Primate Care offers men a customized supplement, using vitamins, minerals and herbs to help support your brain, mood, energy, bones, immune system, and joint health for maximum performance.
Nature's Way Alive Max Potency Multivitamin
Beginning with a base formula containing antioxidants and diversity of daily essentials Nature's Way offers a unique multivitamin packed with high potency B-vitamins to address that specific man's genetic variants. The areas assessed include: bone and heart health, oxidative stress, lung health, immune health, eye health, joint health, skin health, brain/cognitive health, and the ability to detoxify pollutants.
GNC Mega Men
GNC's Mega Men includes active ingredients will boost that specific man's ability to combat oxidative stress and environmental challenges; aid with detoxification and strengthen immune system. The active ingredients can also address specific issues: for example, a person with a genetic propensity to develop osteoporosis can receive a formula that contains more calcium, or a person with a genetic propensity for developing prostrate problems can receive a formula that contains saw palmetto and other prostate support nutrients.
Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men
Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men is the latest innovation in organic vitamins that focused on providing over 75 active ingredients in 4 blends specifically designed to support the needs of active men. Comparable to the new chapter vitamins Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men free form amino acids, antioxidant vitamins, essential minerals and botanical extracts are just some of the highlights you get when you buy the product.