In an ideal world, we would all have a diet that is minimally processed, organic and nutrient-packed, with all types of food and essential vitamins. However, this is not always possible or realistic for many men. The result is widespread nutritional deficiencies and health problems.
Many people think that vitamin and mineral deficiencies are a third world problem in the 21st century, but research shows that even in developed countries, the best vitamins for men are not being consumed enough.
Most men today have a typical western diet and are deficient in at least some form of vitamin or nutrition. The main reason for this is that they have a diet that does not contain foods rich in vitamins such as vegetables and fruits. A 2009 NBC publication explained that studies show that 77% of men don’t get enough magnesium, that many of us suffer from vitamin D deficiency, and that medications used for heartburn often destroy vitamin B12 in the diet. Problems with potassium and iodine were not mentioned in this statement.
Men are just as prone to low vitamin and mineral levels as women. Correcting deficiencies and consuming more nutrients can contribute to men’s overall health: better muscle strength and muscle production, faster metabolism and fat burning, more energy, better sleep, better sexual performance and health such as heart attack, colon and prostate cancer. protection against problems. Therefore, it is important for men to get the best vitamins from their diet. Of course, women should also take the vitamins they need in the same way.
The Best Vitamins for Men
Under ideal conditions, vitamin supplements should not be necessary. But in the fast-paced, modern world, our lifestyles often prevent us from having a rich diet and getting all the nutrients for optimal health.
When researching multivitamins, I recommend choosing fermented options. Fermentation provides a pre-digestion that allows nutrients to be absorbed more easily, so you get more nutrients per dose than unfermented supplements.
Based on statistics of vitamins that men may be deficient in, I have listed the most important ones.
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in both men and women. It is estimated that between 45% and 75% of all adults in the US experience some degree of vitamin D deficiency. Especially those who live in cold climates and spend most of their time indoors are more prone to this.
Men need vitamin D3 to produce enough testosterone, maintain strong bone structure, protect brain health, prevent mental illnesses such as depression, and keep cholesterol and blood pressure under control. Vitamin D3 also helps reduce inflammation, which is why some studies have found that men with vitamin D deficiency are 80% more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke than those without a deficiency.
Vitamin D3 can be obtained from the consumption of eggs, some dairy products and some mushrooms, but most of our vitamin D amount is produced by direct sun exposure without applying any preservatives. Spending 15-20 minutes in the sun many days of the week ensures that vitamin D is produced by the body, and thanks to the sun, the body also performs detox processes. You can also take supplements if you are in the colder months of the year or are unable to go outside regularly.
Many men and women are low in vitamin B12 but for different reasons. Studies show that many men take vitamin B12 daily, but they often have problems with B12 absorption due to the medications they take, especially older men who take multiple medications together. It is stated that drugs that block acid and manage blood pressure and sugar prevent the metabolism of B12, which causes fatigue and central nervous system problems due to B12 deficiency.
Harvard Medical School estimates that between 3% and 4% of all adults are severely deficient in B12, while 20% have borderline values. B12 can be obtained by consuming animal proteins, especially from sheep, beef and salmon. If you are avoiding all or most animal products or are on regular medication, it may be a good idea to get a B12 test and take daily B12 supplements.
Vitamins A, C, and E. The best way to get protective antioxidants such as vitamins C and A is through the consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy vegetables such as spinach and collard greens. These fat-soluble vitamins cannot be produced by the body and must come from our diet. Their biggest benefits are in fighting free radicals that accelerate the aging process and cause cancer, cognitive decline, vision loss and heart disease in men.
As men age, consumption of antioxidant vitamins gains importance to protect healthy cells, prevent cell mutations and tumor development, prevent muscle wasting, and prevent vascular damage and tissue loss. Having dry, itchy skin and poor eyesight can indicate that you are deficient in vitamins A and E. Vitamin C deficiency is manifested by a weak immune system, frequent illness, swollen gums and nosebleeds.
It is necessary to get enough vitamin C from fruits and vegetables by keeping a colorful diet, and also to consume nuts and seeds for vitamin E. So you can lower your chances of Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, skin damage and diabetes.
Vitamin K is important for strong bone structure, blood clotting and prevention of heart attack. The #1 cause of death for adult men living in the US or western countries is currently a heart attack. So why is this vitamin deficiency caused? Vitamin K is frequently seen in men who do not regularly consume vegetables or dairy products, who take antibiotics or drugs for a long time, and who have intestinal problems.
Vitamin K1 is found in many green vegetables, while vitamin K2 is found in dairy products. The best way to prevent vitamin K deficiency is to consume dark leafy green vegetables, namely broccoli, collard greens, kale, and add sea fish and organic eggs to it.
These are among the best vitamins for men. But in addition to these important vitamins, men should also get essential minerals and fatty acids.
Magnesium is an essential electrolyte mineral used in more than 300 chemical processes. It plays a role in regulating calcium, potassium and sodium levels, preventing high blood pressure problems, muscle spasms, headaches and heart diseases. Magnesium levels in modern food sources are constantly decreasing due to soil impoverishment, and this may be the main reason why people are getting less of it. When men are under stress, this stress generally causes digestive disorders, impairing absorption, and it may be possible to encounter low magnesium levels.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle contractions, anxiety, difficulty going to the toilet and not sleeping well. Make sure you get enough magnesium by consuming green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, sea vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. It’s also a good idea to take extra magnesium supplements, as aging individuals absorb less magnesium from their gut, and more magnesium is lost through the urine, as the level of magnesium stored in the bones decreases.
Omega-3 Fish Oils
Studies show that the consumption of fresh sea fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines and halibut rich in omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial. Omega-3 fish oil supplements can also be preferred to achieve a healthier ratio of fatty acids in your diet. Many people on a Western diet consume too much omega-6 fatty acids, which causes its inflammatory effects, while not enough omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects. Omega-6 is found in packaged foods and vegetable oils, while omega-3 is found in fish, eggs, nuts and seeds.
Under ideal conditions, all men (and women) should have a 2 to 1 to 4 to 1 ratio of omega-6/omega-3 consumption, that is, omega-6 consumption should be 2 times that omega-3. But some men consume up to 10 times more omega-6 fats. These two need to stay in balance to keep inflammation levels low and protect the heart, brain and immune system. Consuming fresh sea fish or taking omega-3 fish oil supplements a few times a week will ensure you get enough.
Low potassium levels increase the risk of cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, which affects one in three men. It’s also linked to poor bone health, low metabolism, fatigue, poor digestion and muscle spasms. Many adults in developed countries have low potassium. Research by the USDA shows that the majority of adults do not get even half of their daily potassium needs.
Potassium deficiency is most common in men taking medications or diuretics for high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, as well as in men who frequently take laxatives for constipation, men with kidney and adrenal disorders, alcoholics, and men who exercise more than 1-2 hours a day.
You can meet your potassium needs by consuming legumes, avocados, sweet potatoes, bananas, salmon and red meat. If you’re dehydrated, have a fever and diarrhea, it’s possible that your potassium is low and you need to take it above normal.
Risk Factors for Vitamin Deficiencies in Men
Studies show that men who have a diet consisting of processed products, have a low economic status, and are surrounded by malnourished people such as family and friends are more likely to experience deficiencies in certain vitamins. All these factors affect the individual habits of the person, and as a result, food choices, vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intakes are also affected.
There are 13 essential vitamins that all men need – including vitamins C, A, D, E, K and B – as well as minerals, electrolytes and fatty acids. If you have low vitamin or mineral levels, you may not have signs and symptoms. Therefore, do not always think that your normal diet is sufficient in terms of vitamins.
The risk factors that cause a deficiency in at least one of the essential vitamins or other essential nutrients in men are as follows:
- poor diet, especially not consuming fresh vegetables and fruits
- having a family history of deficiency
- avoiding all or some animal products
- have food allergies that prevent you from taking certain foods
- being underweight and consuming very few calories overall
- having a low socioeconomic status, being uneducated, and experiencing poverty
- diseases that interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the digestive tract
- taking medications that block the effects of certain vitamins
Does Your Diet Provide All the Vitamins You Need?
Maybe you have a very settled and nutritious meal plan. However, you may think that you are at risk of deficiencies in certain vitamins. The above risk factors make nutritional deficiencies common in men, suggesting that it’s good to take supplements if needed. Studies show that some groups of men are more likely to experience deficiencies in essential vitamins, so extra vitamin and mineral supplements may be required to meet all needs.
If You Rarely Consume Seafood or Meat, Eggs, Dairy Products and Poultry Meat
Vegetarians and vegans are more likely to be deficient in B12, iron, some essential amino acids and omega-3 fats. If you are avoiding animal foods altogether, it may be a good idea to take supplements. If you don’t eat enough fish and seafood, you can get extra omega-3s.
Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies worldwide, and although many people think that women are prone to iron deficiency and anemia, men are also prone to it. You should consider adding some animal protein to your diet or consuming non-heme iron-containing plant foods along with foods containing vitamin C to increase absorption.
If you have a history of intestinal problems that interfere with absorption
Even though your diet is full of nutrients, it doesn’t work if your body isn’t getting enough of them. Deficiency of certain digestive enzymes and stomach acids can affect the absorption of vitamins. This problem is especially common in individuals with inflammatory bowel disease or food allergies, aging-related decline in digestive function, and high levels of inflammation.
If You’re Taking Medication
Many commonly used drugs reduce the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. For example, antibiotics block the absorption of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, binding to them in the digestive tract.
Antacids, cholesterol-lowering drugs, blood pressure medications, and diabetes medications disrupt the environment of the upper digestive tract, which in turn affects the metabolism of minerals and vitamins. Get your vitamin and mineral levels checked once each year and take a food-based multivitamin to be on the safe side.