It's no secret that men and women are very different and that goes for our nutritional needs also, especially during the child-bearing years. After that time, nutritional needs become very similar which is why multivitamins for older age groups are often the same.
To address the nutritional needs of people of childbearing years, there are multivitamins available that are formulated to meet the specific requirements of each gender. These products may contain different ingredients and/or they could contain different amounts of certain nutrients. Whilst it's okay to take a multi designed for men and women, you will benefit more from taking one especially made for your gender.
Here's how a men's and women's multivitamin may differ:
Multivitamins formulated for women are created specifically to meet women's nutritional needs and their unique health concerns.
Beneficial ingredients include:
- Iron - Can assist in maintaining normal blood
- Calcium - supports the structure of bones and teeth
- Vitamin B6 - As it may help with the relief of premenstrual symptoms (PMS)
- Evening primrose oil - Helps maintain healthy skin
- Biotin - Helps strengthen soft brittle nails
- Chromium - Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels in healthy individuals
Similarly, men's multivitamins are designed to meet men's nutritional needs and the distinct health challenges they may face. A good men's multivitamin should contain particular nutrients including:
- Zinc - Men have greater zinc needs than women as it's necessary for the normal functioning of the male reproductive system, supports healthy prostate function and is important for sperm density, mobility and viability.
- Selenium - Selenium has antioxidant properties and may help maintain a healthy prostate.
- High strength B vitamins - B vitamins help to release energy from the food we eat. Men generally have higher energy requirements than women because they have more muscle tissue.1