If A Man Wants To Take A Daily Multivitamin, Should He Choose A Men's Formulation?

Question: If a man wants to take a daily multivitamin, should he choose a men's formulation?

Answer: So when I counsel patients on a daily multivitamin--first of all, whether to take it or not -- it turns out that most medical authorities agree that a multivitamin is something that's a good idea to take just as an insurance policy to ensure that you're getting a recommended daily allowance of most of the vitamins, micronutrients that we need. So, when it comes to choosing a brand, there's a couple of key points: One is just a regular standard multivitamin is typically what's the best option. There are several that say "special men's formulation" and I don't recommend those mostly because they're filled with a number of different herbs that one are not at adequate doses; two, they probably shouldn't be taken every day long-term; three, they're just not necessary and add to the price of the multivitamin.

So when looking at a multivitamin I suggest trying to get at a minimum [vitamin] D, alpha-tocopherol, which is the vitamin E. It's preferable if you can have mixed tocopherols. Also for the vitamin A it's best to have beta-carotene and avoid the other synthetic forms of it. And then looking for ester-C for vitamin C. And finally, for vitamin D it's helpful to have cholecalciferol, which is vitamin D3 -- vitamin D3. And men's multivitamins should also not have any iron just because that's something that because men don't menstruate, they don't need it.

So that's typically what I recommend -- avoiding a specific men's formulation but having no iron and those other recommendations.