It probably comes as no great surprise that the differences that make us male or female also make our nutrient needs unique. If you’ve ever looked closely at the ingredients of gender-specific multivitamin & mineral formulations, you’ll notice they reflect these differences. And if they don’t, that’s a good reason to steer clear.
Here’s 5 important reasons why men and women need different multivitamins:
1. Iron-free for men - Men are more prone to a hereditary condition that causes excess iron to build up in the organs so they are best suited to an iron-free multivitamin & mineral formulation. In contrast, most women will benefit from a daily maintenance dose of iron in a multivitamin. This is best delivered as iron bisglycinate, which is well absorbed and gentler on stomachs.
2. Extra zinc for men – Both men and women need zinc in a multivitamin but men may benefit from slightly higher levels. This is due to increased needs to support male fertility.
3. Lycopene & phytosterols for men – Many multivitamins contain essential vitamins & minerals, however the more innovative formulas have added phytonutrients to further boost their effectiveness. Look out for special ingredients such as lycopene and phytosterols in a men’s multivitamin. Lycopene is found naturally in tomatoes and has the highest antioxidant activity of all the carotenoids. Lycopene may be a useful phytonutrient to protect sperm against oxidative stress. Phytosterols may help to support prostate and cardiovascular health.
4. Di-indolylmethane (DIM) for women – Oestrogen balance is a significant concern for women’s health and there are natural plant compounds which may help to support this balance. Di-indolylmethane (DIM) is a phytochemical produced from the breakdown of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and is particularly useful to support a healthy balance of oestrogen in the body.
5. Pomegranate for women – Much has been written about the power of pomegranate in recent years, especially its high antioxidant activity. Less well known however is the phytoestrogen properties of pomegranate seeds which may help to support women’s hormonal balance. Unique phytochemicals in pomegranate can help to deliver added benefits in multivitamin designed specifically for women.