Even though it’s well known a well-balanced diet is essential to maintaining good health, it is still difficult to get all of the nutrients a body needs. While some people turn to women’s and men’s multivitamins to make up that difference, there are still many who view supplements as niche products only for moms-to-be and grandpas. Taking a daily vitamin can do a lot to help the overall health of men and women of any age. Here’s a closer look at supplements and why they make a great addition to any lifestyle!
Can Women Take Men’s Multivitamins?
A vitamin supplement is designed to fill gaps in nutrition, adding compounds such as B12 for energy or iron for blood health. Multivitamins contain a number of such compounds, and many are designed with specific purposes in mind. Male and female bodies are not drastically different, but there are some variations between the sexes. They still require the same 13 essential vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, but they don’t necessarily need the same amounts.
For example, women’s multivitamins typically incorporate more iron, zinc, and B12. Calcium and Vitamin D are especially important to stave off osteoporosis. On the other hand, brands geared toward the male anatomy have increased selenium counts to help bolster the immune system and promote healthy sperm. As a result, it’s not dangerous for a husband to dip into his wife’s multivitamins, but it means he’s not getting all of his essential nutrients either.
Nutrient deficiencies can play havoc on the human body. A lack of certain vitamins and minerals over time can lead to a host of complications. Scurvy is one of the most well know, as a lack of Vitam C can immobilize even the most fearsome of pirates. By taking the small doses found in women’s and men’s multivitamins, these deficiencies begin to reverse. These micronutrient supplements can help keep conditions such as osteoporosis and iron deficiencies at bay.
Studies are showing that micronutrient supplements can also be used to fight cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more. Many of the benefits of multivitamin use occur in the long term, making it difficult to perform clinical trials. Even so, an 11-year clinical trial found that taking a men’s multivitamin can reduce the risk of cancer by almost 10%, with an even more significant drop in lung cancer incidents!
Who Might Benefit
While it’s possible to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals from diet alone, most people will find that supplements fill any nutritional gaps. Certain conditions require that patients take additional vitamins as well, or cannot absorb nutrients from food correctly and must get them from other means. Those who may get the most benefit from taking multivitamins include:
- Pregnant Women: Those who are planning to get pregnant, already are, or are nursing
- Infants, Children, and Young Adults: Growing bodies require vitamins as they develop
- Obesity: Sufferers have an increased need for certain nutrients
- Those Prone to Vitamin D Deficiency: People who stay indoors, cover themselves when outside, or use a lot of sunscreens
- Older Adults: As the body ages, it becomes more difficult to replace nutrients with food alone
- Those With Nutrient Absorption/Intake Issues: Vegans and vegetarians, heavy alcohol users, and people on certain medications
Even if you don’t fall into one of these categories, it’s still possible that taking a multivitamin will help keep some of these issues away. Nutrient deficiency can take a long time to rear its ugly head, so using supplements as preventative measures is always a good idea.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Data has shown that taking women’s or men’s multivitamins almost completely eliminates vitamin deficiencies. The biggest argument against their use is the risk of excessive intakes or getting too much of a specific nutrient. However, even in studies where this issue has been identified, the offending additives were still well within clinically acceptable levels. If you are worried about such intakes, limit yourself to one type of multivitamin a day to avoid doubling up. It is also a good idea to check with your doctor before trying a new supplement as they can rarely have negative interactions with some medications.
Daily supplements are great ways for some to make up for the gaps in their diet. For others, multivitamins are an essential part of their daily health routines, resupplying the body with the nutrients it can’t get on its own. Since taking supplements hasn’t been shown to cause any long-term damage and may even have benefits further down the road, it makes sense to utilize them as a safety net protecting you from future issues. Man or woman, young or old, taking daily multivitamins can help as long as you choose the best product for your health and way of life!