Men and women have different nutritional needs, and they change as you age
What vitamins should men take? Key vitamins include Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E
Other important nutrients men need include Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc, and the Omega-3's EPA and DHA
Sometimes it can be hard to get the recommended dietary allowance of key nutrients through diet alone, so a supplement can help fill in nutrient gaps
For optimal health and wellness, you do your best to eat nutritious foods, stay active, and get plenty of sleep. But, as a man, do you need different nutrients than a woman? And do your nutrient needs change as you age? For instance, what vitamins should a 30 year old man take? Does that differ from the vitamins men in their 50s should take? From immune system support to heart health, you want to make sure you cover the bases at every stage of life.†
What Vitamins and Supplements Should Men Take Daily?
The human body requires 13 vitamins and at least 16 minerals essential to your health. However, while all adults need a variety of key vitamins and minerals every day, men and women have different requirements. For instance, women of reproductive age require more iron than men of the same age, so women’s supplements typically include iron and men’s supplements don’t. If you’re asking yourself, “What vitamins should I take daily for a man?” keep in mind that it varies depending on your age and lifestyle.
The best way to get these vitamins and other nutrients is by eating a healthy, balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, lean meats, healthy fats, and low-fat dairy. But if you’re not, you may not be getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals to keep you feeling your best. A specially formulated multivitamin for your age and gender, like one of our mens vitamins such asNature Made Multi for Him or Multi for Him 50+, may provide nutritional support to fill in nutrient gaps missing from your diet.
What Vitamins Should Men Take in Their 30s and 40s?
Ideally, you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you need through nutrient-rich food. But what vitamins should a 30-year-old man take? And how about when you get a little older, but you’re not quite a senior—what vitamins should a 40-year-old man take?
Men in this middle-age group should focus on these key vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin A: This fat-soluble vitamin supports eye health and healthy night vision. The body needs Vitamin A to support your immune system and to help support healthy skin. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A for men ages 19-50 is 900 mcg/day.1, †
B vitamins: The B vitamins are needed for your body to convert food into cellular energy that all the cells in your body can use and also support a healthy brain and nervous system. In particular, Vitamins B6 and B12 are needed to make certain neurotransmitters in your brain that regulate mood. They also play a key role in red blood cell formation. If you're vegetarian or vegan, it’s possible you may be lacking in vitamin B12 and Zinc. The RDA of Vitamin B6 for men ages 19-50 is 1.3 mg/day and the RDA of Vitamin B12 for men 19+ is 2.4 mcg/day.2, †
Vitamin C: As an antioxidant, Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system and helps neutralize damaging free radicals in the body. It may also aid in the body’s iron absorption. The RDA for men 19+ is 90 mg/day. However, if you smoke, you need an extra 35 mg/day.3, †
Vitamin D: This fat-soluble vitamin helps with the absorption of calcium to support teeth and bone health. Vitamin D also supports your immune health by helping to regulate your body’s immune response. Roughly 95% of men (and women) are not getting enough vitamin D through their diet alone.4 The RDA for men ages 19-50 is 15 mcg/day to support bone health.5 However, the Endocrine Society has also released clinical guidelines that are routinely used by health care practitioners who are working with patients to raise their blood levels of Vitamin D. These guidelines recommend 37.5-50 mcg/day of Vitamin D for adults to support consistent blood levels of Vitamin D and help those with inadequate Vitamin D intake meet their daily nutrient needs.6, †
Vitamin E: As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for your cells and helps neutralize damaging free radicals in your body. The RDA for men ages 14+ is 15 mg/day.3, †
Calcium: Essential to bone health, having adequate calcium and Vitamin D in your already healthy diet, along with regular physical activity, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life. The RDA for men ages 19-50 is 1000 mg/day.5, †
Magnesium: This key mineral assists with hundreds of metabolic reactions. Magnesium helps support bone health, nerve and muscle function, and helps convert food into cellular energy. The RDA for men 19+ and older is 400-420 mg/day.7, †
What Vitamins Should Men Take in Their 50s and Beyond?
As you age, your nutritional needs change—especially if you’re facing health issues, taking medication, or are simply less active. For instance, you might notice that your metabolism has slowed down, your vision isn’t as sharp, or you feel achier than you used to. So, what vitamins should a man over 50 take? If you are a man age 50 or older, you should focus on these key nutrients:
Vitamin A: For healthy vision and to support the immune system, it is important to make sure you are getting enough vitamin A per day, either as retinol or as carotenoids like beta-carotene. The RDA for men 51+ is 900 mcg/day.1, †
B vitamins, especially Vitamins B6 and B12: As mentioned above, the B vitamins B6 and B12 are both important in converting the food you eat into cellular energy.† Vitamin B12 also helps red blood cells form properly and is required for proper nerve function.† Older adults have reduced vitamin B12 absorption in the GI tract and a higher risk of B12 deficiency, therefore, adults over 50 should consider adding a vitamin B12 supplement to their routine or talking to their health care practitioner about supplementing with vitamin B12. The RDA for men 51+ for vitamin B6 is 2 mg/day and the RDA for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mg/day.2
Vitamin C: For immune system support, make sure your diet has enough Vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, strawberries, and red peppers. The RDA for men 51+ is 90 mg/day.3, †
Vitamin D: The RDA for men 51+ is 15-20 mcg/day to support bone health.5 The Endocrine Society has also released clinical guidelines that are routinely used by health care practitioners who are working with patients to raise their blood levels of Vitamin D. These guidelines recommend 37.5-50 mcg/day of Vitamin D for adults to support consistent blood levels of Vitamin D and help those with inadequate Vitamin D intake meet their daily nutrient needs.13, †
Calcium: As mentioned above, calcium is a mineral needed for healthy bones, as it is one of the major structural components in all bones and teeth. The RDA for men 51+ is 1000-1200 mg/day.5 Many people in all age groups don’t get calcium from food, but it’s more common in men ages 71 and over.8, †
Magnesium: Older people are more likely to consume an insufficient amount of magnesium through food alone. This important mineral assists in muscle relaxation, supports heart, nerve & bone health, and helps convert food into cellular energy.† The RDA for men 51+ is 420 mg/day.7 Many people in the United States don’t get enough magnesium through their diet—particularly men older than 70.9
The nutrients listed above represent the highlights (and recommended amounts) to focus on at different ages. But you still need other important nutrients, Vitamin K (to support healthy bones), Zinc (to support a healthy immune system), and fiber (to maintain a healthy digestive system).†
Should men take fish oil? Yes! There are many health benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA (found in large amounts in fatty fish like salmon, halibut, and sardines), such as supporting heart, brain and eye health. Experts recommend consuming at least two servings of fatty fish per week, which equals 200-500 mg EPA and DHA/day. If you’ve got heart health concerns, experts recommend 1000 mg EPA and DHA/day.10,11 If you don’t regularly eat seafood, consider adding an Omega-3 supplement to your daily routine.†
Since men’s nutritional needs change through the years, what vitamins should men take? While it depends on your age, lifestyle, and individual needs, key nutrients to focus on in your 30s and 40s include Vitamin A, B vitamins like Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E, as well as calcium and magnesium. Men in their 50s and beyond share similar nutritional needs, but need more of certain nutrients,such as vitamin B12 and calcium. And to maintain a healthy heart, everyone should be getting enough of the omega-3s EPA and DHA, primarily through fatty fish or fish oil supplements.†
If you’re not getting the daily recommended allowance of key nutrients by eating a healthy diet, you might benefit from taking a men’s multivitamin or one specifically formulated for men over 50. This helps ensure you’re hitting your daily target for a broad range of key nutrients, especially as you age.
Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin A. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2001:65-126.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin B6. Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington D.C.: National Academies Press; 1998:150-195.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin C. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000:95-185
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, D.C.; 2011
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. “Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline.” 2011. Accessed on: May 25, 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21646368/
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Magnesium. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 1997:190-249.
Lisa Beach is a seasoned journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Eating Well, Parents, AARP’s Disrupt Aging, Optimum Wellness, and dozens more. She also writes for a variety of health/wellness-focused brands. Check out her writer’s website at www.LisaBeachWrites.com.
As a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Sandra educates healthcare professionals and consumers on nutrition, supplements, and related health concerns. Prior to joining Pharmavite, Sandra worked as a clinical dietitian at University of Chicago Medicine in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Sandra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, with minors in Spanish and Chemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. She earned her Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition from RUSH University in Chicago, IL. As part of her Master’s program, Sandra performed research on physical activity participation and correlates in urban Hispanic women.
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