Men’s Changing Nutrient Needs
When choosing a multi, it’s important to remember that men have different micronutrient requirements than women. For example, women need additional iron during their reproductive years, while men require more zinc for reproductive health: Zinc is essential for hormonal balance, prostate function, synthesis of testosterone and the normal production and function of sperm. But did you know that men’s nutrient needs are also different according to lifestyles and life stages?
First of all, is a multi necessary?
That’s a good question. While nutrition experts agree that it’s best to get our nutrients from food, it doesn’t always happen. In fact, 2017 research shows that 89% of Canadian men don’t eat adequate amounts of vegetables and fruit, and consumption of these foods has been linked to reductions in all-cause mortality. Other research suggests that our foods simply don’t provide the same nutritional punch as they have in the past. Multi formulations may help to address nutritional gaps.
To simplify your nutritional regimen, choose a men’s formula that offers support beyond simple vitamins and minerals. Look for products containing herbal saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), Tribulus terrestis and pumpkin seed for their ability to promote men’s health. Ingredients including vitamin-like inositol provide support for healthy glucose metabolism, while milk thistle (Silybum marianum), Gingko biloba and hawthorn flower (Crataegus monogyna) along with sea plants like kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) help to maintain the normal production of thyroid hormones.
Choosing the right formula
Adult men who are inactive or moderately active have different nutritional needs than athletes and weekend warriors. During increased physical activity, your body needs additional nutrients. Increased energy production, greater free radical defense, electrolyte replacement and the maintenance of muscle tone all elevate your nutritional demands. Active men, therefore, need a formula that contains higher potencies of the key nutrients that support a more physically demanding lifestyle. Phytonutrients such as the bioflavonoids quercetin, rutin and hesperidin, for example, provide antioxidant support either by interfering with free radical formation associated with intense physical activity, scavenging free radicals or increasing antioxidant defenses in the body. Choose a multi that honours your athleticism.
Needs also change as men age. Men over age 50, for example, do not require iron in their multi, as iron stores build up over time and can lead to organ damage. It’s also important to remember that by age 65, up to 83% of Canadians take at least one prescription medication. For men, medication often relates to risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, and includes lipid-lowering agents, ACE-inhibitors and beta blockers. Other common medications include acid-reducers and analgesics used to treat pain and stiffness.
Unfortunately, these medications may alter the pH of the upper GI tract, impair metabolism of many vitamins and minerals, and lead to nutrient depletion. For instance, medications to treat gastrointestinal reflux (GERD) and stomach ulcers are linked to B12 deficiency. This is particularly problematic as we age, because B12 absorption already diminishes due to a reduction in the glycoprotein intrinsic factor required to absorb it. Vitamin B12 is critical for the normal functioning of the nervous system and memory. Drug associated low stomach acidity also decreases absorption of folic acid, iron and zinc. Diuretic medications may deplete ascorbic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, thiamine and zinc. Talk to your health care provider if you are on prescription medications to learn about possible nutrient depletion.
No matter your age and lifestyle, Progressive has a formula for you (and the men in your life). Each formula starts with the goal to provide foundational nutrients to support and maintain proper muscle function, energy metabolism, bone, skin and connective tissue development for men. The Adult Men’s formula is perfect for men who are not overly active, while the Multi for Active Men is designed for those who are enthusiastic about physical fitness. The Multi for Men 50+ addresses the needs associated with aging well. Try naturally flavoured citrus Chewable Multi for Adult Men if you don’t enjoy swallowing pills or simply would like to switch up your supplement routine.
Choice is good. Choose Progressive.
Lisa Petty MA, RHN/ROHP is a nutritionist and health researcher, international speaker, award-winning journalist, author and media health expert who believes that healthy living is simple – although it often isn’t easy. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Health Sciences.
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