For a patient-centered naturopathic and functional medicine provider, it’s difficult to recommend one multi-vitamin with the expectation that it would meet the needs of most men.
There are many factors to consider. And even something seemingly as simple as vitamins should be taken on a case-by-case basis. Allergies to certain foods and medications, the patient’s age, and their diet all come into play when choosing an appropriate multi-vitamin. For example, a patient that eats a Kosher diet may require a capsule without gelatin. Celiac patients have a specific set of dietary concerns, as well. Someone who is vegan might need different levels of minerals and nutrients from their multivitamin than someone who regularly eats meat.
Another thing to consider is sensitivities that vary widely from one patient to the next. Some people may be sensitive to certain fillers, binders, or food coloring. Others may even have difficulty swallowing, so they may need a powder, chewable, or liquid formula.
Choosing a Multivitamin Using a Patient-Centered Approach
Using a patient-centered approach offers the best chance of success. It’s also important to understand why the patient wants a multivitamin supplement. There’s a big difference between a healthy adult male who wants an energy boost and to feel better day-to-day and a man who has some health concerns like heart issues, high cholesterol levels, prostate issues, or high levels of homocysteine.
When men come into the office with health concerns, or they have a recommendation from a physician that they take a prescription and are unsure whether they want to comply, we try to get some background information about what’s going on with their body and their overall health. Bloodwork offers many answers about whether there’s a deficiency in the diet or potential problem with absorbing nutrients.
Some men want a multivitamin because they’d like only to take one or two pills each day. In some cases, we have to tell them that for the best results, it’s necessary to take more. So, their needs may not match their desires.
Some vitamins and nutrients are more difficult to get in a multivitamin form. For example, magnesium and calcium are physically larger molecules, so when included in a multi-vitamin, they are in small doses. For people who need additional magnesium and calcium for muscle or bone health, we often recommend that they take those in a separate supplement.
Targeting Specific Health Concerns with a Multivitamin
The quality and variety of vitamins, herbs, and nutrients included in the hundreds of men’s multivitamin options available today is staggering. A multivitamin created to support heart health many include glutathione and amino acids like methionine to help with homocysteine levels.
A men’s multivitamin for prostate health support could have pygeum, nettles, or saw palmetto included among other common vitamins to support overall health. Certain gummy vitamin manufacturers even include essential fatty acids to help with the texture of the vitamin. All these options make it difficult to make a one-size-fits-all recommendation for the best multivitamin for men. So, it’s a good thing that there are various types of multivitamins on the market.
For men over the age of 40, supporting prostate health is a common priority. A multi-vitamin that includes selenium, copper, and zinc will help support the prostate gland and fertility in general. Lycopene, the carotenoid that comes from tomatoes, is an important antioxidant that’s good for the bladder and prostate.
For heart health and neurological health, B vitamins in quantities over 25mg each are a crucial component of a good multi-vitamin. Antioxidants, including citrus bioflavonoids and bioflavonoids, in general, are great additions, as well. Look for anti-inflammatories, including bromelain, rutin, and hesperidin.
You can easily find a high-quality daily multivitamin with 25-60 ingredients to bridge nutritional gaps and support healthy processes within the body. For the average person, more is not necessarily better. There are multivitamins on the market with hundreds of ingredients that include fatty acids, probiotics, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. In many cases, it’s better to choose fewer ingredients in higher doses to target specific health concerns.
The best men's daily multivitamin offers a reliable and affordable way to bridge the gap between the body’s nutritional needs what they get from the foods they eat. The human body is so efficient that even if a patient gets too much of a particular vitamin or nutrient, they often use it in different organs or pathway systems. There isn’t really a downside to taking a high-quality multivitamin formulated to support the crucial systems of the body.
This is where functional medicine comes in. With the help of a knowledgeable doctor, a patient can find their ideal combination of ingredients in a multivitamin that will help them on their journey towards optimal health.
Dr. AnnAlisa Behling is a licensed and accredited Naturopathic Medical Doctor practicing general family medicine, specializing in natural and complementary medicine with a focus on women’s health and Laser Medicine. She received her BA from Duke University and her Doctorate from National College (NCNM) in Portland, OR. Dr. Behling has been in private practice for 14 years and dedicates her practice to treating each person as an individual considering all the aspects essential to recovery and prevention of disease.