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Healthy Aging for Men: Benefits of Men’s Multivitamins

According to research, more than 50% of Americans currently take a multivitamin to help address nutritional gaps in their diets. While this research suggests that multivitamin use increases across both genders with age, it’s reportedly lower among men as compared to women. 

Poor nutrient levels are widely regarded as the culprits behind many health concerns. As we grow older, ensuring we receive optimal levels of essential vitamins and minerals becomes even more critical. While the importance of supplementing age-related declines in nutrients like calcium to help prevent health risks is perhaps more well-publicized for women, optimizing nutritional intake is equally important for challenges specific to men

Unique Aging Challenges for Men’s Health  

One Harvard Medical School study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) cited a number of reasons multivitamin users take their dailies, including improved immunity, a boost in energy, and a heightened sense of overall wellness. Recent research shows additional benefits for both cognitive and physical well-being, especially as we age. 

Over time, men can begin to experience unique health concerns as nutrient and hormone levels fluctuate with age. Some of the most commonly reported aging concerns for men include:

Hair loss

Thinning and loss of hair has been linked to obesity, genetics, hormonal changes, and reproductive imbalances, among other causes.

Decreased activity & weight gain

Along with its related bodily changes, aging can usher in decreased physical activity and increased weight. According to Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, “[M]en aged 51 and older are much more likely to be overweight than women of the same age group – 46 percent compared to 33 percent.” Obesity can put both men and women at greater risk for age-related health concerns, while embracing regular exercise has been shown to help slow the aging process

Cognitive decline

Our brains transform as we age, and so can mental performance. Cognitive deficits can be due to a number of causes, including age-related imbalances and nutrient deficiencies.

Bone density

While men tend to lose less bone mass than women as they age, bone health is still an important consideration. After the age of 65, bone density starts to decline at similar rates across the sex and gender spectrum, increasing the risk of breakage and injury.

Loss of muscle mass

Lower muscle strength, power, and mass can occur with age, due to tissue changes caused by endocrine function (and resulting shifts in hormone levels), decreased physical activity, and inadequate nutrition.

Reproductive imbalances

After age 40, levels of hormones like testosterone can begin to decline. These changes, along with considerations like nervous system health, call some men to keep an eye on their sexual, urological, and prostate health. In a recent survey, reproductive health emerged as a top aging concern among men.

Mental health concerns

Excessive stress has been found to exacerbate practically all symptoms of aging in men, perhaps even more than lifestyle factors. Men’s mental health concerns as they age have in some cases been observed to outpace those of women’s, due to changing social situations, hormones, and the effects of aging symptoms on emotional state among other considerations. 

So, how can nutrition help support our well-being as we move through different phases of life? 

Could a Multivitamin Be Key to Healthy Aging for Men?

Staying healthy as we grow older can depend on a number of lifestyle factors, like limiting alcohol intake, avoiding smoking, practicing sun safety, eating a balanced diet, and prioritizing regular movement. But even with an active lifestyle and healthful meals, as we age, the levels of critical nutrients in our bodies will still start to naturally deplete. 

While your primary source of vitamins and minerals should always be the foods you eat, being sure to get plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, receiving the ideal amounts of every essential nutrient through diet alone can be challenging and time consuming. 

Adding an easy daily multivitamin to your wellness regimen may help to support optimal levels of these declining essential nutrients and help promote healthy aging for men:

Vitamin B12

When it comes to cognitive decline in particular, research suggests that a daily multivitamin could help to both prevent memory loss and slow cognitive aging among older adults. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to impaired memory and cognition in aging individuals. 

This vitamin may also be crucial to maintaining a healthy nervous system, supporting muscles, promoting balanced energy, helping to regulate mood, and supporting reproductive health and hormonal balance. Additionally, low B12 levels have been linked to hair loss

Eat this: trout, sunflower seeds, figs, dates, chicken, walnuts

Calcium

Crucial for maintaining strong bones and muscles, this essential mineral may help to prevent age-related health risks and support regulated hormones. According to the Mayo Clinic, calcium is especially important after age 50, when bone loss begins to accelerate. 

Eat this: yogurt, leafy greens, almonds, cheese, oranges, salmon, milk

Vitamin D

This vitamin is critical to the absorption of calcium to help promote strong, healthy bones and muscles. It has also been shown to support mood and mental health, immune function, reproductive health, and healthy weight.      

Eat this: tuna, mushrooms, avocados, spinach, milk, oysters

Magnesium

Numerous signs and symptoms of aging are associated with deficiencies in this mineral. Magnesium is important during the aging process to help support healthy nerves, muscles, bones, and immunity. This crucial electrolyte also supports men’s longevity, reproductive health, mental health, healthy weight, cognitive function, and may help with hair loss.    

Eat this: pumpkin seeds, black beans, brown rice, peanut butter

Potassium

The mineral potassium is essential for your nerves, muscles, and heart health, helps to regulate fluid balance and kidney function, and assists in moving waste and nutrients throughout the body. Low levels of potassium have been seen to contribute to hair loss, low energy, depression, and anxiety. Potassium has also been shown to help regulate levels of male hormones like testosterone.     

Eat this: lentils, broccoli, beets, dried apricots, bananas, squash

Omega-3s

In addition to supporting mood, vision, heart health, bone and joint health, and cognitive health, omega-3’s have been linked to increased lifespan. These healthy fats have also been shown to impact hair growth and thickness and men’s reproductive health

Eat this: flaxseed, salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, chia seeds

Folate 

Folate (folic acid, vitamin B9) has been suggested to support healthy hair growth. This nutrient also plays a role in supporting men’s reproductive health and promoting sexual function. 

Eat this: citrus fruits, brussels sprouts, eggs, asparagus, romaine lettuce

While diet is paramount, supplementing with the right combination of nutrients may help to address nutritional gaps and balance age-related changes, promote a healthy, active lifestyle, and provide the support your body needs at every age. 

Try this: A high quality daily men’s multivitamin formulated with each of these vitamins and minerals, with the added benefits of saw palmetto, a botanical linked to promoting men’s sexual and reproductive health and supporting healthy hair growth. 

Another notable nutrient that commonly decreases with age is collagen. Changes in the growth and appearance of hair, skin, and nails as we age can be due to a decrease in the production of this protein, which can begin to slow as early as our mid-twenties. Collagen accounts for around a third of the body’s protein, and in addition to healthy hair, skin, and nails, helps to support the health of joints, blood, and organs. For a collagen boost, try sipping bone broth, scrambling up fresh egg whites, or blending a tasty superfood smoothie.

 

Getting the ideal amounts of everything we need from our diets can be a struggle. And as we age, optimal nutrition becomes all the more important. Supplementing your healthy diet and active lifestyle with a convenient daily multivitamin for men may help to provide protection against nutritional deficiencies and ensure you reach the recommended daily values of essential nutrients. 

So while we can’t turn back the hands of time, with the right nutritional support, we may be able to enjoy its passing more fully by staying active and spending more time doing what we love along the way. 

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