Many people are not able to get all of the vitamins and minerals that their bodies need from diet alone. A multivitamin can be a way to supplement your diet to ensure your body has what it needs to function at its optimum.
Which Multivitamin Should I Take?
Multivitamins for Men
Men don't require as much iron as women, so look for a multivitamin that contains little to no iron to prevent overloading your body, as reported by WebMD. You should also prioritize a multivitamin that contains vitamin E, which may contribute to prostate health. Since men's bodies typically contain more muscle, they'll want to protect it with a multivitamin that contains magnesium, as suggested by GNC. Magnesium is responsible for energy production and muscle function.
Multivitamins for Women of Child-Bearing Age
Women in their 20s and 30s require different amounts of nutrients than men of the same age. Women start to lose their bone density at an earlier age than men, so it's imperative that their supplements contain higher amounts of calcium and vitamin D to maintain bone health, claims U.S. News.
Iron increases the amount of red blood cells in the body, which is important for women who are menstruating or pregnant. Women are more prone to anemia than men, so a multivitamin with an iron supplement is a good choice, according to WebMD. Similarly, women who are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant will benefit from a multivitamin that contains folate, or folic acid, which helps with fetal development, as reported by U.S. News.
Multivitamins for People Over 50
Bone loss is common in both men and women as they age, so you should look for a multivitamin that contains calcium if you're over 50 years of age. Calcium requires vitamin D for better absorption, so your multivitamin should contain it as well, claims WebMD. Many older people are deficient in vitamin D, especially when they tend to spend a great deal of time indoors.
If you're over 50, look for a multivitamin that contains a range of B vitamins, especially B12. This vitamin is essential for keeping your nerves and blood cells healthy, according to WebMD. If you become deficient in B12, it can leave you feeling lethargic and fatigued.
What Every Multivitamin Should Contain
Despite your age or gender, everyone should look for a multivitamin containing a variation of vitamins and minerals that are essential to a healthy body. Try to avoid multivitamins that provide more than 100 percent of the daily value of any vitamin or supplement to reduce your risk of overdosing, reports WebMD. Both men and women of any age should take a multivitamin that contains antioxidants like vitamins A, E and C as well as selenium and zinc, claims GNC.
Before Taking a Multivitamin
Before you take any multivitamin, consult your physician. Multivitamins should not replace a healthy balanced diet. You should only take them to supplement your health. Speak to your doctor about any possible interactions with medications you are already taking.