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Separate Multivitamins For Men & Women – Smart Nutrition Or Unnecessary?

Many people use multivitamins to fill nutritional deficiencies and to support health maintenance.  No two people are exactly the same and we all have slightly different nutritional requirements, a fact which has led some companies to produce laser target supplements. An example of this is gender-based supplements, such as separate multivitamins for men and women.

The argument for having different multivitamins for men and women is that men and women have different nutritional requirements.  Whilst this may be true in certain circumstances, such as for pregnant or post-menopausal women, in most cases there is very little difference in nutritional requirements for men and women.

Products on the market vary in their approach to gender targeted multivitamins. Whilst some offer substantially different vitamins between their men and women’s vitamins, others vary very little between the products.

The reality is nutritional requirements are the same for most people, whether male or female.  There are exceptions to this, especially for women, whereby additional nutrients are required in certain circumstances. However, even in these cases it is often more effective to add the extra nutrient to your diet rather than find a multivitamin which caters for it.

Multivitamins for Women

In addition to the balance of nutrients that a good multivitamin will give you, the other big hitters for women are calcium, vitamin d and iron.

Calcium and vitamin d are recommended to support bone health and provide protection against osteoporosis, a common problem for post-menopausal women.  However not all women are deficient in these nutrients and they can be each acquired as a separate supplement for those that do.

Iron is a concern through menstruation as the female body needs a high amount of it to prevent anemia. The problem is that not all women will require extra iron and some iron supplements cause stomach upset. A better solution may be to increase the amount of iron in your diet, or use a natural iron supplement such as beetroot to negate the side effects. Multivitamins with iron are also available which are suitable for either sex.

For pregnant women specific pre-natal vitamins are available on the market, an instance whereby using a gender-targeted supplement can be more easily justified.

Multivitamins for Men

Multivitamins targeted for men generally follow the angle of providing support for prostate health. Whilst this makes sense, the problem is that most multi-vitamins do not provide enough targeted nutrition to provide sufficient support.

If prostate health is a concern then a more effective route would be to use an effective general multivitamin alongside a prostate support supplement such as saw palmetto or green tea.

Conclusion

A good multivitamin is a safe and effective way to ensure you have sufficient nutrition in your diet to support your ongoing health. Whilst there are specific men and women’s vitamins on the market, the nutritional requirements for each sex aren’t that different much of the time. No multivitamin can exactly match an individual’s nutritional needs whether targeted for specific gender or not, meaning extra supplementation is usually more effective on an individual basis if needed. If you’re not sure about your own requirements, speak to a doctor or a nutritionist to try and establish exactly what you need.

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