The Best Multivitamins for Men in 2014
See Our Comparison of 100 Multivitamin Brands Designed for Men
Would you like to increase your energy level and improve your overall well-being? Do you hope that taking multivitamins will help you do just that? I am afraid you may be disappointed. The reality is that most of the vitamin supplements available on the market today are not effective, and are often just a waste of your money. Many supplements are made with sub-standard ingredients that are not absorbed well and may pass through the body without any beneficial effect.
That being said, there is a small group of high quality vitamin supplements that are well worth your money, and they will be able to give you the results you are looking for. To find the best multivitamins for men, tune out the marketing noise, do some independent research and concentrate on the facts.
For the last six years, we've been working on just that, researching the best vitamin supplements that actually work, and we have prepared a guide that can help you discover the best multivitamin products for your needs. Our comparison chart compiles a scientific analysis of over 100 vitamin supplements specifically designed for men, including some of the more popular choices such as GNC, One-A-Day, Centrum, and Herbalife.
Our analysis involved an evaluation of each product against four specific criteria: potency, composition, bioavailability, and safety. Based on that we were able to calculate an Effectiveness Score, ranging from zero to ten, for each product. This score simplified the process of comparing the effectiveness of different brands and helped us determine which are the top men's multivitamins.
Counter to expectations, some of the most well-known and widely available supplements earned low scores. Whereas, a small group of virtually unknown vitamin supplements received exceedingly high effectiveness scores thanks to their superior potency, bioavailability, and overall quality.
How to find the best multivitamins for men?
The chart below lists the effectiveness ratings of various popular multivitamin brands available in the market today. A multivitamin with a score of eight points or higher is regarded as 'best in its class'. And, after taking a quick glance at the chart, you can see that the vast majority of the multivitamin products analyzed earned a low score. For optimum results, we recommend using a vitamin supplement that has an effectiveness score of 8.0 or higher.
Table 1: Effectiveness Scores of Popular Multivitamins for Men
|1||Xtend-Life Natural Products||Total Balance Men's||9.6|
|3||Douglas Laboratories||Ultra Preventive X||9.3|
|4||USANA Health Sciences||HealthPak||8.9|
|5||Life Extension||Life Extension Mix||8.7|
|6||Metagenics||Wellness Essentials Men's Prime||8.5|
|7||Nutrilite (Amway, Quixtar)||Double X||8.3|
|8||Garden of Life||Vitamin Code Men||8.2|
|9||Source Naturals||Men's Life Force||8.1|
|14||Dr. Julian Whitaker's||Forward Multi-Nutrient||7.6|
|15||New Chapter||Every Man's One Daily||7.2|
|16||Mountain Naturals of Vermont||Superior Care||7.1|
|17||amni||Added Protection III||7.0|
|18||Purity Products||Perfect Multi Focus Formula||7.0|
|19||Universal Nutrition||Animal Pak||6.9|
|20||Doctor's Nutrition||Mega Vites Man||6.8|
|21||DaVinci Laboratories||Spectra Man||6.8|
|22||GNC||GNC Mega Men Sport||6.8|
|23||TwinLab||Daily One Caps with Iron||6.7|
|24||FoodScience of Vermont||Superior Care||6.6|
|25||Puritan's Pride||High Potency Ultra Vita Man Time Release||6.5|
|26||Colgan Institute||Formula MCS||6.4|
|27||Rainbow Light||Advanced Nutritional System||6.4|
|28||NOW Foods||Multiple Vitamins - Liquid Gels||6.4|
|31||Nature's Way||Alive! Whole Food Energizer||6.1|
|32||Jean Carper's||Stop Aging Now!||6.0|
|33||Natural Factors||MultiStart Men's||5.9|
|34||Advanced Physician's Products||Maximum MultiVitamin/Mineral without Iron||5.8|
|35||EcoNugenics||Men's Longevity Rhythms Gold||5.8|
|36||Solaray||Iron-Free Spectro Multi-Vita-Min||5.8|
|37||Nature's Blend||Vitaminix Ultimate||5.6|
|38||Pharmanex (Nu Skin)||LifePak Prime||5.4|
|40||Herbalife||Formula 2 Multivitamin Complex||5.3|
|41||QCI Nutritionals||Ultra Vitality #1||5.2|
|43||Essentials by Megafood||Essentials for Life||5.2|
|44||Optimox||Androvite for Men||5.1|
|45||Swanson Premium||Men's Prime Multi||5.0|
|46||Jarrow||Multi E-Z Powder||5.0|
|47||Great Earth||TNT - Total Nutrition Tablet||5.0|
|48||Nikken||Kenzen Mega Daily 4||4.9|
|49||Garry Null's||Supreme Health Formula||4.8|
|50||Thorne Research||Al's Formula||4.8|
|52||Vitamin World||Daily 3 With Antioxidant Factors||4.7|
|53||PhytoPharmica||Clinical Nutrients for Men||4.7|
|55||4Life||BioVitamins Type III||4.5|
|56||Bronson Laboratories||Performance Edge for Men||4.5|
|57||One A Day||Essential||4.5|
|59||Nature Made||Multi Complete||4.3|
|60||Quest||Maximum Once A Day||4.2|
|61||Nature's Bounty||Green Source Vegetarian Formula||4.1|
|64||Michael's Naturopathic Programs||for Men||3.8|
|65||Natrol||My Favorite Multiple Original||3.8|
|66||Nu-life||Ultimate One for Men||3.7|
|68||Walgreens||Ultra Choice Premium Men||3.5|
|69||Swiss Natural Sources||Super Adult Chewable||3.4|
|70||Ripple Creek||Mega-100 (Slow Release)||3.3|
|71||Thompson||Human Nature Green Multi||3.0|
|72||Safeway Select||Super Men's Multivitamin||2.9|
|73||Perfect Choice||Multivitamin Specially Formulated for Men||2.9|
|75||Vitamin Power||Power Source 100||2.8|
|76||Pilgrim's||Silver Stars Multi||2.7|
|77||Absolute Nutrition||Dieters' Multi's||2.7|
|78||Nature's Sunshine||Super Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals||2.7|
|79||Freeda Vitamins||Ultra Freeda Iron-Free||2.7|
|80||ZonePerfect||Multi Vitamin & Mineral||2.6|
|83||Nature's Plus||Uitra One||2.0|
|84||Kirkland Signature (Costco)||Daily Multi||1.9|
|86||Lifestyles||Lifecycles for Men||1.6|
|87||Western Family||Multra Forte||1.3|
|88||Avon||VitAdvance Men's Complete Multivitamin||1.2|
|92||YourLife||Super Multi with Herbs||0.9|
|93||Rite Aid||Whole Source||0.8|
|94||21st Century||One Daily Men's||0.7|
|95||Spring Valley||Maximum One Dally||0.6|
|97||Good Neighbor Pharmacy||Balanced Care Complete Multi||0.6|
|98||Kroger||Advanced Formula Complete||0.6|
|100||Action Labs||Essential Nutrients||0.5|
What Are the Unique Nutritional Supplementation Needs of Men?
Men and women vary in their physical makeup and the ways their bodies work. This means that men have different nutrition needs than women. What are the reasons for these differences?
Just by looking at a man’s body and that of a woman, you can tell that there are obvious differences in the way they built. For example, men tend to have a larger frame and more muscle mass than women do. Along with the differences that you can see, men and women’s systems vary in other less obvious way, such as in their biological processes. As a result, men and women have different nutritional needs, so the supplements designed for women are not necessarily the best vitamins for men.
To make a sound choice about which is the best multi vitamin product for you, you need to have the answers to these questions:
- What are the vitamins and minerals that men need to have more of?
- What are these nutrient's functions in a man’s physiology?
- Why do men need more of certain nutrients than what women require?
- How do men’s nutritional needs change as they age?
When you have the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to evaluate the claims of the different nutritional supplements that contend they are the top vitamins for men.
The Best Vitamins for Men
If you compare the Daily Reference Intakes recommended by the National Academies of Health, you’ll discover the different nutritional needs of men and women (see Table 2 below):
Table 2: Differences in Nutritional Needs of Men and Women
|Nutrient||Unit||RDA for Women||RDA for Men||Difference|
What accounts for these differences?
At first, you might think that the variations between men's and women’s needs for certain vitamins and minerals are related to their weight differences. The problem with this explanation is that men would need more of all the vitamins and minerals. Perhaps the reason why men need a greater amount of certain nutrients, and less iron, has to do with the role they play in a man’s physiology. Let’s explore the function of each of the nutrients listed in the table above to see if this accounts for the differences in the nutritional needs of the two genders.
For both men and women, good eyesight and strong night vision is more likely among those with a greater intake of vitamin A.1 One of the dangers for men of being deficient in this vitamin is that they are more likely to develop lung cancer.2 Since the incidence of this killer disease is 28 percent higher in men than in women3, the research indicates that they can benefit more from supplementing their diet with vitamin A as a preventive measure.
This essential nutrient is not just useful as an anantioxidant, but also for the promotion of healthy muscle, bone, skin, gums, tendons, ligament and cell membranes. Additionally, clinical studies indicate that vitamin C provides protection against cardiovascular disease.4 This vitamin is especially important for men who work out regularly or who have had problems with their bone strength or gum health.5,6
The primary function of this nutrient is to start the blood clotting process which prevents blood loss when you are injured. In addition, vitamin K signals a protein that aids in rebuilding bones. Vitamin K has even been known to protect against fractures and some cancers. It's also an important part of maintaining vascular health because it can help prevent calcium buildup along blood vessel walls.7
Thiamin (vitamin B1)
The primary role of thiamin in your body is to convert carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches, into energy.8 Additionally, research provides evidence that thiamin also helps prevent cataracts, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, congestive heart failure, and cancer. Since vitamin B1 plays a direct role in transforming the food that you eat into energy, the more calories you consume, then greater your need for thiamin. Since men require more calories than women do, it logically follows that they need more vitamin B1.9
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
Riboflavin, is an essential component of energy production. It works to increase metabolism and is required for a variety of cell processes. Because it helps in blood movement, riboflavin is especially important for men who are experiencing a period of growth or who are eating large amounts of protein to build muscle. There is also evidence that it may be beneficial to men who suffer from migraines or tinnitus, which refers to ringing in your ears. Men who regularly engage in strenuous exercise often need supplements that contain extra riboflavin because their bodies tend to deplete their stores of this nutrient more rapidly.10
Niacin (vitamin B3)
The biggest strength of niacin is its link to lowering blood cholesterol. Lower cholesterol means you'll have less of a chance of suffering a stroke, heart attack or cardiovascular disease.11 Vitamin B3 can also help decrease your likelihood of skin problems because B vitamins are necessary for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. There have even been studies linking hair loss with niacin deficiency, but no conclusive evidence has been found thus far.
This vital nutrient is essential for normal activity in nerves. Deficiency can lead to anemia, which is a lack of healthy, oxygen-providing red blood cells. It is also part of the B-complex group of vitamins, a few more of which are on this list and all of which are essential for metabolism and energy.12,13
Chromium works with and enhances the work of insulin in regulating your blood sugar and changing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.14 Additionally, studies indicate this mineral may help in the treatment of Type II diabetes and that it helps you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Since strenuous exercise, performed as part of a body building or a strength training practice, depletes chromium quickly, active men often need supplements that contain elevated amounts of this nutrient.15
While most people associate fluoride primarily with its role in preventing tooth decay, this nutrient also acts to strengthen your bones by increasing their density.16 Since men tend to have larger bones than women do, their fluoride intake requirements are proportionately higher than those of women.
When it comes to iron it is important to note that men require much less of this mineral than women do because women lose iron every month when they are menstruating. Since we get some iron from our diet naturally, many multivitamin products designed for males do not include any iron.
Surveys indicate that 68 percent of Americans do not meet the daily required intake for this mineral. Since magnesium serves an essential role in muscle and nerve functions, men who are deficient in this nutrient are at risk for heart disease, attention deficit problems, anxiety, depression, and colon cancer.17
Your body needs manganese to create enzymes that control the way in which your body processes carbohydrates, maintains your cholesterol level, builds bones, supports healthy brain functions, and helps your body heal wounds. Since people who have more iron in their system do not absorb as much manganese, men need more of this nutrient than women do because men’s bodies tend to have greater stores of iron.18
Zinc is probably best known for supporting optimal immune system functioning, but it also plays a critical role in prostate health and regulating testosterone levels. Finally because zinc plays an importnat role in men’s sexual health, they need more of this mineral than women do.19
1. National Institutes of Health. Vitamin A Fact Sheet for Health Professionals
2. The Lancet Low Serum-Vitamin-A And Subsequent Risk Of Cancer
3. American Lung Association Lung Cancer Fact Sheet
4. National Institutes of Health Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Health Professionals
5. WebMD What can vitamin C do for your health?
6. BodyBuilding.com Vitamin C - The Vitamin You Need To Succeed!
7. Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center - Vitamin K
8. Hopkins Technology Thiamin Fact Sheet
9. Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center - Thiamin
10. Science Daily Vitamin B3 shows early promise in treatment of stroke
11. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Effect of physical activity on thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6
12. HowStuffWorks.com 10 Important Vitamins for Men's Health
13. University of Maryland Medical System Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Overview
14. National Institutes of Health Chromium Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet
15. University of Maryland Medical System Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide - Chromium
16. Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center - Fluoride
17. National Institutes of Health Magnesium Fact Sheet for Health Professionals
18. Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center - Manganese
19. National Institutes of Health Zinc Fact Sheet for Health Professionals
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