Multivitamins have become an integral part of our lives. We take our multivitamins on daily basis and have turned this practice into a ritual. This ritual of taking our multivitamins each day is often so mechanical that we don’t even care to think whether the multivitamins that we are popping into our mouths are actually made for our sex or not.
Although our swift and dynamic lifestyles have made things easier for us and choosing gender-neutral products isn’t uncommon, even with the availability of gender-neutral products, our multivitamins are one thing that should be specific for our sex. The nutritional needs of men and women are very different from each other and hence, it is important that the multivitamin that is built for males shouldn’t be taken by females, and vice versa.
The basic function of multivitamins is to fill our nutritional gaps, protect us from various diseases that arise due to deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals, and help us have a healthy life as a whole. With the progress of research in the department of health and nutrition, we have come to know that the nutritional needs of a female differ from that of a male and since then, multivitamins have emerged that cater to the specific needs of males and females respectively.
While it is okay to share same supplements in some cases, such as Vitamin C supplements, it is always preferred that one should use only such supplements that specify the sex they are formulated for. Although there haven’t been any major issues linked with the use of multivitamins of the opposite biological sex, if the use is not prolonged, still they aren’t a best match for the needs of your body.
The nutritional requirements for males and females are similar but not identical. Following puberty, there come changes that are best addressed with the use of multivitamins that are gender-specific. One of the differences that can make things easier to understand is the menstrual cycle of women. This cycle causes deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals in the female body and before their body can recover from the deficiency, the menstrual cycle begins all over again.
Due to this reason, it becomes vital for women to increase their iron intake to make up for the loss of essential vitamins and minerals. So, the nutritional needs of a woman ask for a higher dose of iron as compared to that of a man. The multivitamins that are meant for women contain increased levels of iron and hence, men should avoid taking such supplements. Since excess iron is not removed through urination, it can build up because of prolonged use of incorrect multivitamins, especially in the body of males, and cause various health problems.
Folate is a B-Vitamin that is required by the female bodies in higher quantities, especially in the years of childbearing. Its intake is important for females to avoid the risk of certain birth defects. So, folate is found in higher quantity in the female-specific multivitamins and this quantity is generally lower in the male-specific multivitamins. The bone density of a woman, after the age of thirty, also tends to reduce faster as compared to that of a man.
For this reason, the multivitamins that are meant for females usually have higher levels of calcium to support bone health, and Vitamin D to aid in the absorption of calcium. The multivitamins that best match the requirements of a male body usually contain higher levels of zinc because it is required for protein synthesis, maintains a healthy prostate, and is essential for the production of testosterone.
Some multivitamin companies also make use of certain gender-specific herbs in their products to support the best health of that specific gender. When you take multivitamins that are not gender-neutral or cater to the needs of the opposite gender, there are chances that you might end up causing a buildup in your body of certain minerals to a level that is toxic. It happens because the content level of certain vitamins and minerals in gender-specific multivitamins varies according to biological needs.
You can also end up wondering why your health is declining instead of getting better when you have completed a month’s course of multivitamins. This happens when your body is missing out on the vitamins and minerals that it actually requires, due to your carelessness, and is being given such multivitamins that it does not even require.
So, this difference between men and women’s multivitamins makes it vital that you only opt for gender-specific multivitamins and avoid taking those that are not meant to cater to your needs. Instead of wasting your time, and money, and causing other health issues due to the intake of wrong multivitamins, you should do your research and consult your healthcare provider for the best recommendations. In this way, you can save yourself from a lot of health issues and enjoy good health.