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Best Men’s Vitamins – Important Nutrients for Men Over 50

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Men and women require the same vitamins but usually in different amounts.  While it is usually the case people get all the nutrients they need from their diet.  As men age, they may need to compensate for deficiencies in their diet using vitamin and mineral supplements to keep healthy.  This blog discusses which vitamins are the best men’s vitamins for guys over 50. 

 

What are vitamins and minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are essential key nutrients your body needs.  Vitamins are organic substances found in food that you need for your body to function.  Your body needs essential vitamins A, B, C, D, E, F, and vitamin K.  Some of these vitamins consist of groups of vitamins. For example, the B vitamins include vitamin B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B 3 (niacin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), to B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12.  All are necessary to maintain a healthy body.

Along with vitamins your body needs minerals. These are either trace elements or a chemical combination of elements and include iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, zinc, iodine, and selenium, among others.

 

Why are vitamins necessary?

For those that eat a healthy balanced diet, there is usually no need to think about vitamins.  Vitamins and minerals are key nutrients found in the foods we eat.  The problem is many people don’t eat a healthy balanced diet or have difficulty digesting nutrients and so don’t get all the nutrients they need.

Minerals - best men's vitamins

How to get the essential vitamins your body needs

Most of the vitamins and minerals we need for healthy bodies and immune health are available in the foods we eat. If you eat a balanced healthy diet and consume enough amounts of food you should not need to take vitamin and mineral supplements. The benefits of taking supplements are minimal to none and may actually make things worse if you consume too much of some vitamins and minerals.

 

You should take vitamins and mineral supplements only if you have dietary deficiencies. It is best to get professional medical advice if you are unsure if you are getting enough essential vitamins and minerals in your diet.

 

Vitamin and mineral supplements come in different forms.  This can include liquid, powder, and pill (capsules or tablets) form. Vitamins and minerals are added to some food products, as is done with cereal and milk. Some vitamins and minerals are water-soluble and can be taken in powder form and some are fat-soluble and should be taken as a pill. Water-soluble vitamins are dissolved in water and your body uses them right away.  Your body washes away any amounts not used and thus need to be replenished. Vitamin C and the B vitamins are both water-soluble.

Fat-soluble vitamins are dissolved in fat and are stored in your liver or fat tissue in your body. You should take fat-soluble vitamins while you eat a meal with healthy fats. Since you can store fat-soluble vitamins in your body it is possible that they can accumulate to toxic levels. Taking supplements may compound this problem.  Examples of these vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K.

 

What is different when you age

As we age we consume fewer calories.  We also decrease our food consumption which causes decreased levels of essential nutrients. Also, the ability to digest vitamins and minerals is reduced by some medications.  Finally, digestive issues may impact the absorption of nutrients.

Vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, iron (for people over 50), and magnesium  are some of the vitamins and minerals that are deficient in the elderly

 

What are the best men’s vitamins to take?

Although adult men and women need the same nutrients, the amount that they need varies for some vitamins and minerals.  For example, women need more iron and vitamin B9 (folic acid) than men. Women also have more nutrient needs when they are pregnant or nursing and take specific vitamins to supplement these needs.  Men generally need more vitamins C, zinc, and some of the B vitamins than women. Supplements for men over 50 shouldn’t have iron included in a men’s multivitamin as iron levels in men build up over time and may lead to organ failure.

Since the nutritional needs of men and women over 50 differ, they need different supplement formulas. The best vitamins for guys over 50 should contain a cross-section of essential nutrients found to be deficient for active men and men over 50.

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Top 10 best men’s vitamins for guys over 50

  • Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for healthy hair, a healthy nervous system, and brain health.  It is also necessary for the production of red blood cells.

 

Vitamin B12 may be the most deficient vitamin in older adults. This is partly because it is a common deficiency in people with gastrointestinal disorders and people who are vegetarian. Vitamin B12 is deficient in up to 30% of the population over 50.  This is due to difficulties absorbing it and due to the reduced variation in the diet of older adults.

Vitamin B12 is found in meat and dairy.  It may also find it used to fortify food products, such as cereals.

 

  • Potassium

Potassium helps your body maintain healthy blood pressure, muscle contraction, digestion, and heart rhythm.

Because your body doesn’t produce potassium you must eat the right foods to be able to maintain your potassium levels. This usually consists of a balanced diet of fruits, leafy greens,  vegetables, beans, nuts, and lean meat. 

There are many things that may cause potassium deficiency including sweating a lot from a hard workout. Usually, there is no need to supplement potassium as your body recovers once you eat a meal or drink electrolytes before things become worse.

 

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D is needed for immune health and heart health. It is also needed for the absorption of calcium for bone health.

Many people are deficient in vitamin D.  Our bodies can create it if there is direct sunlight on our skin. Though most people only get direct sunlight during the summer months and have deficient levels of vitamin D the rest of the year.  The closer you live to the equator, the more vitamin D you can create.  For this reason, most people should take a vitamin D supplement, at least during the winter months. Winter months are also the time of the year when you need the strongest immune system as people usually catch a cold or flu during this time.

 

  • Zinc

Zinc is needed for a healthy immune system and metabolism.  It may help reduce the impact of ageing and impacts prostate health.  It also helps with wound healing and is important for taste and smell.

Zinc is available in red meat, oysters, poultry, beans, eggs, and nuts. It is found in a small number of vegetables and is also found in fortified cereals. 

There is strong evidence that Zinc helps in the healing and growth of cells and tissue and the building of proteins.  Zinc is also known to support a healthy immune system.  As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, Zinc provides antioxidant support. It helps stimulate immune cells and reduces oxidative stress while triggering T cell and immune cell activity.  A deficiency in Zinc causes a weakened immune response.

Zinc benefits men’s health: Zinc is responsible for aiding in the production of testosterone. A deficiency in Zinc is also responsible for a loss of smell, which in turn affects the male libido, particularly in younger men.  Zinc is important in promoting prostate health, especially in men over 50.  Adequate levels of Zinc help prevent prostate disease from developing or progressing.. 

 

  • Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that helps produce energy, helps nerve and muscle function, and helps support heart health.

It can be absorbed from eating nuts, beans, dairy, and some leafy vegetables such as spinach.  Dark chocolate is also a good source of Magnesium. Like with most vitamins and minerals, adequate absorption of magnesium from natural food sources should provide enough nutrients without the need for supplements.

Magnesium deficiency can cause weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.  It also can cause an increase in cardiovascular problems. Taking magnesium reduces the risk of stroke, and when taken after a heart attack may reduce the risk of death. 

Magnesium helps provide energy to the body by moving blood sugar into your muscles and helps dispose of lactate build-up which causes muscle fatigue.

 

  • Calcium

Calcium is necessary for bone health.  It is also needed for your heart health, nerves, and muscles to function.

Calcium helps your muscles and heart by regulating muscle contraction and maintaining heart muscle action. 

A diet rich in dark leafy green vegetables, dairy products, and fortified foods such as orange juice will usually provide enough calcium for your body to function. As you reach your 50s bone loss accelerates and your ability to maintain calcium decreases. Since your body requires vitamin D to absorb Calcium and vitamin D is deficient in many people, it is important that people ensure they get sufficient levels of both vitamin D and calcium. 

 

  • Vitamin A

Vitamin A aids eye health, bone health, and a healthy immune system.

It is  an important nutrient in eye health and aids in nighttime vision as well as decline due to ageing. It also helps with the creation and use of white blood cells, which clears away pathogens from your bloodstream.  Along with vitamin D and calcium, vitamin A is also needed to maintain healthy bones as you age.

You can get vitamin A from eggs, dairy and fish, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and peppers.

 

  • Vitamin E

Vitamin E is important for healthy skin, scalp, and a strong immune system.

It is an antioxidant that helps slow down and repair damage to ageing cells.  As an antioxidant, it neutralises free radicals thereby protecting cell damage.  Free radicals are created as a byproduct of creating energy from the food we eat. Free radicals can also enter your body from environmental influences such as tobacco smoke, air pollution, and the sun’s radiation. 

Deficiency in this vitamin is rare and it can be found in seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables and fortified processed foods like cereal.

 

  • Vitamin C

This vitamin helps form collagen needed for blood vessels, muscle, and joint health.  It also helps with men’s reproductive health.

This is a strong antioxidant that when taken increases the antioxidant levels in your blood. This helps reduce inflammation by helping your body’s natural defenses which reduce the risk of chronic disease. Its antioxidant properties also help in maintaining healthy sperm production by neutralizing the free radicals which reduce sperm count. Vitamin C has also been shown to be important in healing connective tissue and the formation of collagen fibers.

Good sources of this vitamin include citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and peppers.

 

  • Lycopene

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that also helps provide immune support and helps support prostate health

It is not a vitamin or mineral but a dye found in foods like tomatoes and red/orange-colored fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit. 

Because of its antioxidant properties, Lycopene is known to prevent and fight some types of cancer, including lung and prostate cancer. It can also fight bad cholesterol and helps delay or prevent eye disorders that impact people as they age, such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

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How to select the best men’s vitamins as multivitamins

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Dietary supplements are usually available based on your gender and age.  There are many multivitamins that contain both a vitamin and mineral supplement including most if not all the vitamins and minerals listed above, for men over 50.

The criteria for selecting a multivitamin is to ensure that all those vitamins and minerals you need or are deficient in are in the supplement. The best multivitamins should also strive to contain nutrients from whole foods.  A whole food multivitamin is more effective as the body is able to absorb these better, depending upon the nutrient. 

Ideally, a multivitamin will be gluten-free and will also exclude artificial sweeteners and artificial flavors.  It should also not exceed recommended daily intake for each nutrient included and, depending on the form of the vitamin or mineral, should be below that recommendation with the assumption that absorption from your diet will account for some of your daily intakes.  The goal of a multivitamin should always be to supplement nutritional gaps. Talk to a healthcare professional or your doctor about the risks of exceeding the recommended daily intake of each vitamin and mineral.

 

Quality

Because vitamins made in the US are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) you may want to ensure they have been third-party tested by an independent third-party testing agency.  Not all multivitamins are created equally.  There are some of poor quality that have questionable efficacy or doesn’t contain the ingredients listed on the label or the percentage listed of each ingredient. 

Quality Assurance: is a facet of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) that encompasses all aspects that impact the overall quality of a product. GMP quality assurance is essential for making sure a final product has the quality expected of it and the quality that is required for it to work as intended.

NSF certification, and GMP through it, is your key to making sure that the products you use meet strict standards for public health protection. Choosing a product certified by NSF lets you know the company complies with strict standards and procedures imposed by NSF.

Other independent inspection agencies that provide third-party certification of supplements include USP (US Pharmacopeia), TGA (Australian / Therapeutic Goods Administration), and Consumer Lab.  

 

Conclusion: The best men’s vitamins

Vitamins and minerals from whole foods taken by eating a balanced diet are always better than taking a dietary supplement.   If you aren’t eating a healthy balanced diet, for whatever reason, and you are experiencing health concerns, you should speak to a medical professional about your nutrient needs and whether you are getting the right amount of nutrients  Dietary concerns, overall health and the medications you are taking are three things that should help you question whether you are getting the recommended daily intake of each of the best men’s vitamins and mineral and whether you need to consider a men’s multivitamin.

 

Check out The Best Multivitamin for Men Over 50, a comparison of men’s multivitamins for guys over 50.

 

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the support and guidance of your physician when you are unsure about any health issues.

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Daily Tip

Alcohol? Red Wine is the Better Choice

Pouring a glass of red wineChoose red wine when drinking alcohol for a number of health benefits. First, it contains antioxidants like resveratrol, which support heart health by improving cholesterol levels and blood flow. Additionally, it can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that boost overall health. Plus, moderate consumption of it may help improve gut health and support longevity. With these benefits, it stands out as a healthier option compared to other alcoholic beverages. So, next time you want to drink alcohol, choose red wine for its health benefits.

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