This article is about the best daily vitamins for men. Due to their active lifestyles, men are more likely to have poor health and diet than women. Men need nutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin D to stay healthy. One of the best ways to ensure that you’re getting all of these nutrients is through a daily multivitamin.
Best Daily Vitamins For Men
And that’s not really a huge surprise, when you think about it, because there are so many factors at work with multivitamins.
First, there’s a generational factor. You may remember your dad (or grandfather) taking a multivitamin daily. He may have even encouraged you to take one so that you could “grow up big and strong.” Maybe you even say the same thing to your own kids as you remind them to take their daily gummy.
Second, there’s the general “that-makes-sense” factor. If you’re going to take a vitamin, shouldn’t you take a vitamin that is all the vitamins? Multivitamins are multiple vitamins, combined, and who likes taking more than one vitamin?
And, finally, there’s the cover-your-bases factor. Even if you believe that you already eat a healthy diet, you might think that there’s a nutrient you’re missing. Maybe you have a strong distaste for rutabagas and you’re thinking, “there’s probably something important in rutabagas, nutrition-wise, that’s probably also in a multivitamin, and multivitamins surely don’t taste as terrible as those godforsaken rutabagas.”
But here’s the thing: Despite the fact that men older and perhaps wiser than you have long taken a multivitamin, and it sort of makes sense that getting all your vitamins in one vitamin is a good idea, and that maybe a multivitamin can cover blindspots in your rutabaga-devoid diet, you probably don’t need to take a multivitamin.
Okay, but probably?
Yes, there are exceptions, so let’s get into that.
Should men take a multivitamin?
A 2019 Tufts and Harvard study found that despite the $43-billion supplement industry marketing that states otherwise, people who took a multivitamin lived no longer than those that didn’t.
And, in fact, popping a multivitamin may backfire when it comes to your daily diet.
“Some people who take a multivitamin use them to justify less healthy eating habits,” says JoAnn Manson, M.D., professor at Harvard Medical School. Vitamin-takers may become complacent about diet, thinking they’re covered by nutrients in the vitamin.
The above information considered, science does show a benefit for reducing cancer risk, says Michael Roizen, M.D., Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic.
A randomized clinical trial (the gold standard in research) found an 18 percent reduction in cancer risk among initially healthy older men who took a daily multi for more than a decade. It’s 18 percent, but still: cancer.
“The data on multivitamins in the short-term isn’t beneficial for otherwise healthy men,” says Dr. Roizen. So if you take a supplement for a few months, and then stop for a few years, and then repeat, you’re simply forking over your cash to supplement companies. (The top four companies spent a collective $155 million on advertising in 2014 alone.)
If you do have a highly restricted or poor diet, suffer from a gastrointestinal problem that impairs nutrient absorption such as celiac disease, or take certain medications including proton pump inhibitors for heartburn, then you may need a multivitamin and/or a specific nutrient supplement.
This is the kind of situation where if you haven’t already talked to your doctor about a multivitamin, it’s time.
What is the best multivitamin to buy?
The FDA considers multivitamins a dietary supplement and so it doesn’t have to approve or inspect them—those the agency can issue recalls for dangerous supplements if problems arise after the product is on the market.
That lack of oversight is one of the reasons that you should look for a multivitamin with third-party certification from a trust entity (USP, NSF, Informed Choice). This certification verifies that what’s on the label of the multivitamin is what’s actually in the multivitamin itself, says Dr. Roizen.
And then, specifically, choose a multivitamin that contains the active (and more beneficial) form of folate called methylfolate, not folic acid. And consider taking half of your multivitamin in the morning and half in the evening to keep levels steadier, Dr. Roizen says.
Here are some good picks.
NSF CERTIFIED AND CONTAINS METHYLFOLATE
Why It’s a Good Buy: This multi contains methylfolate, not folic acid, which aids in nutrient absorption. Plus, it’s certified by the National Sanitation Foundation International. That NSF seal ensures product quality. Not many multivitamins feature both methylfolate and a third-party seal, as you’ll soon see.
NSF CERTIFIED AND CONTAINS METHYLFOLATE
MegaFood Multi for Men
Why It’s a Good Buy: Other than Klean’s offering, it’s the only other multivitamin on this list that has methylfolate and a third-party certification (NSF).
Nature Made Multi for Him
Why It’s a Good Buy: You get at least 100 percent of the USDA recommended daily allowance of vitamins C, D, and E in a capsule that’s much smaller than some of the horse pills you’ll find in the supplement aisle. Plus, it’s USP certified for quality control.
Why It’s a Good Buy: This multi has the gold-standard NSF seal of approval. That means what’s advertised on the Nutrition Facts Panel is what’s actually inside the pill itself.
Active MV Multivitamin and Mineral Formula
Why It’s a Good Buy: This option also carries the vaunted NSF seal.
Kirkland Signature Adult 50+ Mature Multi
Why It’s a Good Buy: This Costo-branded multivitamin has the USP seal of approval. There’s more calcium in this version than their more general multi, which is why it carries a 50+ marketing angle. A bottle is pretty inexpensive, especially compared to some boutique brands, too.
Kirkland Signature Daily Multi
Why It’s a Good Buy: This version of Costco’s multivitamin is for general health, without age in mind. It also proudly displays the USP badge.
Nature Made Multi Complete
Why It’s a Good Buy: This Nature Made product is USP certified. Another bonus: You can find their products pretty much everywhere.