By Dr. Josh Axe
You might assume that as long as you’re consuming enough calories in general from a variety of foods each day, then your risk for experiencing nutrient shortfalls should be low.
However, it’s still possible for many men to lack certain vitamins and minerals in their diets, especially those found in nutrient-rich foods like fresh, organic vegetables, organ meats, fish and so on.
Men are just as susceptible as women to experiencing certain vitamin or mineral shortfalls from diet alone. If you want to support an overall healthy immune response and digestive function, along with healthy metabolic function and body composition, then it’s key to cover your nutritional needs.
So what vitamins should men take daily, especially as they get older? Let’s take a look below.
Most Important Daily Vitamins for Men
Men and women both require more than a dozen “essential” vitamins and minerals from their diets, since these can’t be made by the body itself.
While ideally you’ll choose a multivitamin that covers most or all of your needs, I highly recommend looking for a formula that emphasizes vitamin D, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin K and B12.
Here’s why the best multivitamins for men should include these nutrients:
1. Vitamin D
In developed countries, where adults tend to spend a lot of time indoors, low levels of vitamin D are thought to be very common.
Men need vitamin D to support cardiovascular health, to help maintain strong bones, and for overall immune support.
In addition to getting natural vitamin D from exposure to sunlight — and in small amounts from foods like eggs and some dairy products — I recommend that men supplement with high-quality vitamin D3 to help cover their needs and promote bone/skeletal health, cognitive functioning and more.
Zinc — found naturally in foods like organ meats, fish, legumes and nuts — is an essential mineral for overall immune support and healthy metabolic function. You may not be aware just how much your body relies on zinc; it’s second only to iron in terms of mineral concentration in the body, and it’s involved in more than 300 enzyme reactions that take place every day.
Getting enough of this mineral helps to boost cognitive function and supports a healthy response to oxidative stress and more..
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C may be best known for supporting a healthy immune response, but it also acts as an antioxidant and plays a role in generally supporting healthy aging and a healthy response to stress.
Consuming enough can contribute to healthy functioning of the heart, eyes, skin, brain and more. This essential vitamin can also support vision/eye health, and help the skin defend against UV light redness.
4. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins are important for supporting a healthy metabolism, for helping with digestion of other nutrients, and for maintaining healthy cognitive functioning and adequate energy levels.
Generally speaking, B12 works with other vitamins to help make red blood cells and to support other aspects of cell metabolism, healthy nerve function and production of DNA. This is considered an especially important vitamin to supplement with if you eat a strictly plant-based diet that doesn’t include high B12 sources like organ meats, beef, fish and eggs.
5. Vitamin K
Vitamin K — found naturally in green leafy vegetables, broccoli, eggs and aged cheeses — is important for building and maintaining strong bones, as well as for supporting cardiovascular health in general. One of its primary functions is to help ensure calcium gets to the right places in the body, such as the bones and teeth rather than the arteries.
Why might a man be low in this vitamin? A vitamin K shortfall is more common in men who don’t regularly consume veggies or dairy products, as well as those who struggle with proper nutrient absorption.
How Needs Change With Age
What should a men's multivitamin contain as they reach their 40s and beyond?
Here are some general guidelines for choosing the best multivitamin based on your age:
In Your 20s and 30s
If you’re active and living a busy lifestyle, requirements for many micronutrients (and calories) will increase— especially nutrients like iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and B vitamins.
Be sure to fuel yourself properly before and after workouts, and to eat a healthy diet overall, in order to provide your muscles, bones and organs with adequate energy.
In Your 50s and 60s
B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium, potassium and vitamin K are all important for helping to maintain skeletal/bone strength as you age, as well as for supporting cardiovascular health in general and healthy arteries.
Emphasize foods in your diet that provide these key nutrients, such as leafy greens, nuts/seeds, cage-free eggs, fish and organic dairy products — while also potentially supplementing to further boost your intake.
In Your 70s and Beyond
Now’s the time to prioritize getting plenty of antioxidants like vitamin C, A and E, which can help to support vision and eye health, skin health, and healthy cognitive functioning.
Focusing on getting adequate D is also important, since coming up short on vitamin D tends to affect a higher percentage of older people who tend to spend a large majority of their time indoors.
Do men's multivitamins really work? And how can men benefit from taking a daily multivitamin?
Depending on the ingredients and approach in producing them, multivitamin benefits or men can include:
- Supporting healthy immune system function and immune activation
- Supporting a healthy metabolism, healthy body composition and athletic performance
- Helping to maintain strong bones/a healthy skeletal system
- Supporting healthy production of testosterone
- Promoting healthy energy levels and restful sleep
- Providing nutrients that are important for cognitive health and heart/arterial function
- Supporting maintenance of healthy homocysteine levels and already healthy insulin levels
- Helping to maintain health of cells that form the eyes and skin, plus supporting defenses against UV light effects and redness
Best Types of Multivitamins for Men
For both and women, a multivitamin that includes fermented vitamins and minerals is the type I most recommend. Fermentation is a form of pre-digestion that generally makes nutrients easier to absorb once they reach the gut.
In my opinion, in addition to providing essential vitamins and minerals, a quality multivitamin will also include additional herbal and superfood ingredients that promote absorption and general gut health. Herbals work hand-in-hand with vitamins and minerals so they are best utilized by the body.
I personally take a multivitamin featuring superfoods like ashwagandha, saw palmetto, ginger, ginseng and others, which further helps to support a healthy immune response and digestive health, giving me even more benefits from my supplement routine.
At Ancient Nutrition, we offer several options of potent, highly absorbable multivitamins intended to support the overall health of men.
Our line of men’s multivitamins feature a potent combination of organic vitamins (whenever possible), fermented vitamins and minerals, enzyme-activated minerals, and coenzymated vitamins. We specially select each ingredient to create the most bio-accessible nutrients possible to meet your needs.
Within our line of multivitamins for men, you’ll find not only nutrients like vitamin C, zinc, B 12 and others, but also some of the following herbs and beneficial mushroom, which are inspired by centuries of traditional herbalism:
- Ginger root and turmeric root — two powerful herbs for supporting digestion, a healthy immune system and providing antioxidant compounds
- Gingko leaf — can generally help to support healthy cognitive functioning
- Ginseng root Extract — traditionally used for energy and vitality support in men
- Fenugreek seed — generally used to support healthy testosterone levels
- Fo-Ti root — an herb native to China and used in traditional Chinese methods (TCM) for its tonic-like effects
- Cordyceps mushroom — beneficial mushrooms used holistically for overall vitality
- Schisandra berry — adaptogenic berry utilized in traditional Chinese herbalism, believed to help support energy
- Hawthorn berry — prized for its antioxidant levels, particularly flavonoids
- Bovine liver — an ancient nutritional powerhouse, full of vitamins A, D, B12, iron, zinc and more
- Bone broth — great source of collagen, amino acids including proline, glycine and glutamine, and other complimentary compounds
- And others
To help you choose which multivitamin is best for you, here are key features of our multivitamin formulas for men:
- Formulated specifically for men under 40
- Provides 100% or more Daily Value (DV) of 13 essential vitamins and minerals, split into three daily doses to help support absorption and retention
- Features multi-kingdom ingredients inspired by traditional herbalism practices (including Traditional Chinese Method), such as organic fenugreek seed
- Made with beneficial mushrooms used holistically for centuries, including cordyceps
- Features bovine liver, one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet (high in B vitamins, iron, zinc and more)
- Supports cardiovascular health and healthy homocysteine levels, healthy energy levels and healthy sleep, plus support for healthy immune system function
- Also formulated specifically for men under 40, but intended for those looking for a once-daily multi (as opposed to 3 capsules per day)
- Provides 100% or more Daily Value (DV) of 13 essential vitamins and minerals
- Offers gentle, “body-ready” form of each ingredient, such as methylated vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, plus vitamins A and C, iron and more
- Features multi-kingdom ingredients inspired by TCM (Traditional Chinese Method) that support absorption in the gut, such as organic licorice root extract, bone broth and ginger root extract
- Formulated specifically for men in their 40s and beyond
- Provides 100% or more Daily Value (DV) of 15 essential vitamins and minerals
- To help support absorption and retention, taken in divided doses/3 capsules per day
- Includes vitamin D3 to support bone health and healthy immune system function, Vitamin K to support cardiovascular function, and methylated vitamin B12 to support healthy energy levels and cognitive health
- Includes antioxidant vitamins A, C and E to support healthy aging and healthy immune responses
- Features multi-kingdom ingredients inspired by TCM (Traditional Chinese Method) to support overall immune response and healthy hormonal balance, such as Fo-Ti root extract, gingko leaf extract, turmeric root extract and green tea extract
- Same vitamins and minerals as our Ancient Multi - Men's 40+ (3 capsule per day formula) but intended for those who prefer the convenience of a once-a-daily multivitamin
Men may have a higher probability of coming up short in certain vitamins and minerals if they eat a mostly processed diet (one lacking things like veggies, fruits and quality protein sources). Other factors such as age and general health can also increase the odds of running low in essential nutrients.
Consider supplementing with a daily multivitamin if any of these situations apply to you:
- Your diet lacks some of the top sources of vitamins
- You’re a vegetarian or vegan, which can limit diversity of certain nutrients in your diet
- You’re consuming too little calories in general
- You’re over the age of 65
- You spend most of your time indoors, away from sunlight
- You’re very active, which can increase your overall calorie and nutrient needs
What should be in a men's multivitamin? The best multivitamins for men's health should include nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, B12 and vitamin K.
Ancient Nutrition’s line of men’s multivitamins features a combination of organic (whenever possible) and fermented vitamins and minerals, enzyme-activated minerals, coenzymated vitamins, and other complementary ingredients such as herbs to support overall absorption and healthy gut function.
You can choose from once-daily formulas, or those divided into three daily doses to help support retention of nutrients. We also offer formulas specifically intended for men under and over 40, providing adequate levels of nutrients that are needed during different stages of life.
Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, is a doctor of chiropractic, doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and author with a passion to help people get well using food and nutrition. He operates leading natural health website DrAxe.com and is co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, a health supplement company. He’s also author of the books Eat Dirt, Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine, Keto Diet and Collagen Diet.