I am the world’s greatest multivitamin formulator. I know this because I just went shopping for a men’s multivitamin and came away pretty much unimpressed.
The multivitamin is the foundation of anybody’s supplement regimen and is right up there with good ol’ vitamin C as the original gateway supplement.
I will say that I saw a pretty nice diversity of products to appeal to any man’s world view. I do like how manufacturers have diversified their multi lines. Gone are the days of a “One-a-Day” multi suitable for men, women and children. Why, there was a “Men’s 40+ Multi” that looked right up my alley. There was actually quite a selection of whole-food multi’s from the likes of Nature’s Way and Mega Food (athough the nutritional payload of these whole-food supps are routinely less than most other brands). And then I’d find a pretty nice formulation – but you needed to take six pills a day! The bottle contained only 16 servings per bottle, and the bottle was $34.99, which comes in to about $70 a month for a multivitamin, of which you’d have to consume a half-dozen pills every day. Pass. Compliance and cost matter.
But far too many of the men’s multi’s contained iron. Hey, product developers: Please don’t give me any iron. Seriously, this is Rule No. 1 of a men’s multivitamin: no iron. There’s a reason why women get vastly fewer heart attacks compared to men – until menopause kicks in. It’s because women conveniently bleed out iron in the blood once a month. Iron overload is the likely culprit. I thought every manufacturer was hip to this trick, but apparently not.
Second, us men don’t really need much calcium, either. Too much calcium has been linked to prostate cancer. Vitamin D3 seems to offset calcium’s effects on the prostate by increasing the cancer-stopping form of vitamin D called calcitrol. Vitamin D is so inexpensive as to be almost free. So put 2,000 IU vitamin D3 in your multis.
And the conventional wisdom has long since discarded the old 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium – we need more magnesium – like maybe it should now be a 2:1 ratio of magnesium to calcium. I like 500mg/day of mighty magnesium.
Speaking of prostate health, in almost every multi I saw the selenium form is all wrong, and at the wrong dosage. It should be 200mcg/day, and it should be high-selenium yeast, not cheap selenomethionine.
Where have all the good product formulators gone?
Yours in health,